Fremantle are positioning to make a raid on one of the best 17-year-olds in the country when a rule, which has not applied for 15 years, is reintroduced in October.

The Dockers, who have rapidly rebuilt their team through shrewd draft selections, are believed to be targeting Dongara teenager Jaeger O’Meara when the Greater Western Sydney’s draft concessions come into play later this year.

Under the Giants’ concession guidelines, established clubs can trade them a player in exchange for the right to select a 17-year-old born between January 1 and April 30, 1994. Only four players can be drafted and the clubs will negotiate with the Giants to determine the selection order.

The trades will allow clubs to recruit a player 12 months before he is eligible for the draft.

The rule previously applied when Fremantle entered the competition. Essendon famously hit the jackpot by sending Todd Ridley, Dale Kickett and Tony Delaney to the Dockers so they could recruit Matthew Lloyd with the first pick in the special draft.

Former Geelong captain Steven King and West Coast defender David Wirrpanda also were picked under that law as compensation for losing Stephen O’Reilly and Tony Godden.

O’Meara is a dynamic midfielder who gained All-Australian selection as a 15-year-old and then was added to the AFL Academy after strong performances at last year’s under-16 national championship.

The Perth colt was best on ground for Railways in the Great Northern Football League senior grand final and tested superbly during the recent academy camp. His 2.8sec. over 20m would have placed him third at last year’s AFL Draft Combine.

The “Jaeger bomb” then showcased his endurance by reaching level 14.3 in the beep test.

O’Meara and Claremont wingman Shannon Taylor, who also qualifies for selection, spent the week training with Fremantle as part of the academy program.

Every club hosts academy players during the pre-season and nine of those youngsters qualify under the law.

Former academy coach Jason McCartney joined the Dockers at the end of last season and his detailed knowledge of the teenagers meant Fremantle were keen to see them close up.

Fremantle would have to trade a quality player to the Giants to get the priority pick, and other clubs have their eye on O’Meara, but the Dockers have the advantage of watching him at close range.

“He’s a special talent,” a source said. “It’s risky picking out kids who are 16 now because they still have a lot of developing to do but he looks like he’s going to be elite.

“The Dockers won’t be the only ones interested later in the year.”

West Coast will have one eligible player training with them next week when Trinity College wingman Chris Yarran and Swan Districts premiership hero Stephen Coniglio arrive.

Born in March 1994, Yarran was named as the best player at last year’s under-16 titles. No.1 draft picks Des Headland, Brendon Goddard, Brett Deledio and Tom Scully previously won that award.

Coniglio is eligible for this year’s draft and is almost certain to be recruited by GWS if he commits to football ahead of cricket.

He has just returned from helping WA win the national under-17 cricket title in Tasmania.

Coniglio’s drafting to GWS would continue the talent drain of WAFL players to interstate clubs.

The Gold Coast signed South Fremantle’s Brandon Matera as a pre-draft selection and then recruited East Fremantle midfielder David Swallow and Peel excitement machine Harley Bennell with their first two picks in the national draft.

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