Lloyd: Draft focus on list model
Fremantle will go into Thursday’s NAB AFL National Draft as one of only three clubs with at least three picks in the first 30 selections.
While new club Greater Western Sydney has a monopoly on the early picks with eight of the first 10 and 11 overall inside 30, Freo will have picks 16, 20 and 29.
The Brisbane Lions were the other club to have at least three in the top 30 with picks eight, 12 and 30.
Fremantle general manager of player management Brad Lloyd said the club had turned its list over considerably over the past three years with 32 players being added in the National, Pre-season and Rookie drafts during that period.
But he added that there were still a number of list management positions that needed to be filled.
“We need some tall defenders and some key forwards but we also need to bolster our midfield as well,” he said.
“We’ll be taking the best players available and balancing that out with some shapes and sizes.”
Fremantle also has picks 58, 71 and 72, but Lloyd indicated that the club was likely to use five picks on the National Draft and keep one up its sleeve for the Pre-season Draft.
While all three players selected by Freo on draft day last year were Victorians, Lloyd said it was by no means an indication of the club’s draft strategy.
“It’s one of those things where it’s how the draft falls on the day,” he said.
“There are a lot of WA boys in our draft order every year.
“If it’s a close call, we’ll take the local boy but if there’s a clear difference in talent, we’ll take the best available player.
“We’ll just have to see how it pans out.”
Lloyd said the club would be sticking to its strategy of drafting for the long term, and this included picking up mature-age players.
“We’ll be drafting players who have the best chance of having long careers with the footy club, whether they’re teenagers or mature-age,” he said.
“We’ve taken a number of mature-age players in recent years, but we saw all of them as players that could have a real impact on our team over a long period of time.
“If we think they can have an impact, we’ll pick them.”
Lloyd said that, ultimately, for Fremantle to have a successful draft, the club had to stay focused on its list management model.
“A successful draft would see us filling a number of list management needs and getting some talent into the footy club to assist (Senior coach) Ross Lyon and the footy department in being successful,” he said.