Some classy midfielders with athleticism and a couple of versatile types that can play a variety of positions – that’s the upshot from Essendon’s historic 2016 National Draft.
For the first time in the Club’s history it held the first pick and with the coveted selection chose the Canadian born Andrew McGrath.
With their two second round selections the Bombers chose Jordan Ridley – who has kicked a bag of six goals in the TAC goals but has also shown promise as a defender – and Josh Begley who wasn’t even on a TAC Cup list at the start of the season.
Essendon added two more midfielders, Kobe Mutch and Dylan Clarke with its final two selections.
“It was a satisfying night. To get the number one pick in the land is a great experience to go through but I hope we never have to do it again,” List and Recruiting Manager Adrian Dodoro said.
“Hopefully we’re an exciting list, hopefully we’ll give ourselves an opportunity to win some respect back in the competition next year and I think that’s the most important thing for us.
“We’ve got a nice balance with the ten boys coming back, getting a good haul of young players here tonight – hopefully it sets the foundations for some success in the future.”
The Bombers top pick Andrew McGrath will begin training with the Club on Monday.
Dodoro said it was McGrath all round game that separated him from the rest of the draft pool.
“It’s a great result and to see the jubilation of the family – he (McGrath) conducts himself so well. He will be a great Essendon person. I’m really confident that in the years to come he’ll be up there with a lot of the Essendon greats,” Dodoro said.
“He’s just got that constitution about him, he’s a winner. Everything he does is about winning, he’s such a determined young man, he’ll give it his best shot and he won’t let anyone down.
“The thing that probably separated him from the pack was that he can play in the midfield and be such a devastating attacking player but he also really values defence.
“He’s one of those guys that if the game isn’t going so well in the midfield he can go back. If he’s playing in the back half he can give you a lot of transition out of there.
“We’ve drafted this kid to be in our midfield for many years to come.”
The List and Recruiting team now turns its attention to the Rookie Draft where the Club holds the top pick.
The Bombers have committed to selecting Shaun McKernan and will also consider Yestin Eades.