Richmond’s National Recruiting Manager Matthew Clarke provides Richmond Media with a recap of the 2019 NAB AFL Draft.
On Wednesday night we recruited Thomson Dow at pick 21. A midfielder with clean creative hands and excellent decision-making. And having only turned 18 in October, you must see a lot of upside in him?
"Absolutely, we’re pretty excited with Thomson. He’s played footy with Bendigo Pioneers and Geelong Grammar. Probably not a lot of games in the pathway but we think he's got significant upside. He has got great hands, we liken him to one of our current players, Shane Edwards…We’re really happy to have him."
He also seems to have an excellent character, one that will fit in well at Richmond, and also a lot of maturity having spent the last few years at boarding school pursuing his football.
"He’s been at Geelong Grammar for the last couple of years…He comes from a great family. His older brother Paddy we really rate as a player and he’s going to be a really good player for Carlton, but we are looking forward now to seeing what Thomson can do for us."
Now onto Thursday night and out of our remaining four picks we picked three Academy players...
"We did. Our job is to rate the talent pool as we see it across the board regardless of where they’re from, whether they’re Academy players from other clubs or just normal players in the draft. It doesn’t come into our thinking where they’re from, our job is to get our order right and then stay true to it."
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Brisbane Lions Academy forward Noah Cumberland was our second selection, taken at pick 43. He had a breakout season which included playing in the Lions' premiership winning NEAFL side. What else made Noah stand out?
"Noah’s a really powerful player. He’s a really strong-bodied kid, he likes to crash in and tackle and that’s exactly what we like in our footballers. He’s got some real skill too to kick some goals. So, we can see him playing as a forward and hopefully in time will go through the midfield."
Our third selection, midfielder Will Martyn, also played in that premiership winning NEAFL side and also comes from the Brisbane Lions Academy where he was captain this year. Those leadership qualities, alongside his competitiveness, must have impressed you?
"Absolutely. Will’s been in the program for a bit of time now with the Lions and also through AFL Academy programs too. He’s a professional Will, he’s really dedicated to his craft and also working on his body through his recovery and his diet. He ticks a lot of boxes and he’s a very skilled player too. So, we’re really happy to have him as well."
Sandringham Dragons midfielder/forward Hugo Ralphsmith was our fourth pick at no. 46 overall. He really impressed this year in the NAB league, particularly during finals. What can the Tiger Army expect to see from Hugo?
"He’s pretty exciting, Hugo. He’s a really good athlete, he’s got really good speed, he’s got a really good endurance base which fits our athletic profile. He can take some marks, he’s played some really good footy at Haileybury and also at the Dragons. He’s a terrific young man and we’re really happy to have him."
Our fifth and final selection of the national draft was Dandenong Stingrays versatile tall Bigoa Nyoun. A very athletic talent, another academy player and another solid addition to the Club.
"'Biggy' is a really good athlete. Really quick, good endurance, great vertical, he's got some great skill and mark of the footy. He’s played in all positions at Dandenong and a bit at Vic Country, forward, back and in the ruck. He’s got great scope, really excited to see Biggy come in."