AFL Draft: Full wrap of Fremantle Dockers, West Coast Eagles and WA draftees from opening round

Chris Robinson & Ben SmithThe West Australian
Jye Amiss and Neil Erasmus are heading to Freo.
Camera IconJye Amiss and Neil Erasmus are heading to Freo. Credit: Ross Swanborough

Fremantle have put their faith in WA’s top local talent with their opening-round picks, poaching Jye Amiss and Neil Erasmus inside the AFL draft’s top 10.

It came as West Coast pulled a draft-night trade surprise, off-loading their top selection at Pick 12 for Pick 14 - used on Sandringham midfielder Campbell Chesser - and a future second-round pick.

The Dockers grabbed the first two Western Australian prospects, adding to their forward firepower with Busselton product Amiss and bolstering their on-ball stocks with Hale School and Subiaco leader Erasmus.

“It’s a surreal feeling. I don’t have words at the moment,” Amiss said.

“I’m so excited. Thanks to Freo for the opportunity.”


Jye Amiss.
Camera IconJye Amiss. Credit: Paul Kane/Getty Images

Erasmus said it was “unreal” to be able to remain close to home and join the Dockers.

Erasmus after being picked.
Camera IconErasmus after being picked. Credit: Will Russell/AFL Photos

“I’ve grown up an Eagles supporter - I’m not going to lie,” he said.

“But I’m so keen to get started at the Dockers. I’m so stoked.”

Neil Erasmus.
Camera IconNeil Erasmus. Credit: Michael Willson/AFL Photos

Chesser said it was the “best moment of my life” to get picked up by West Coast.

Campbell Chesser in action for Vic Country.
Camera IconCampbell Chesser in action for Vic Country. Credit: Dylan Burns/AFL Photos/AFL Photos via Getty Images

“I’m pumped,” he said.

“I’m quite ready to move interstate... I’m really well-equipped to adapt to a new environment.

“I’m stoked and I can’t wait to get over there.”

It came as North Melbourne earlier confirmed the worst-kept secret in football by selecting Jason Horne-Francis with the No.1 pick.

Horne-Francis was presented his Roos jumper by club legend Malcolm Blight while watching on in Adelaide.

Malcolm Blight presents a guernsey to number one draft pick Jason Horne-Francis.
Camera IconMalcolm Blight presents a guernsey to number one draft pick Jason Horne-Francis. Credit: James Elsby/AFL Photos/AFL Photos via Getty Images

Father-son prospects Sam Darcy (Pick 2, Western Bulldogs) and Nick Daicos (Pick 4, Collingwood) also went to their expected destinations inside the top four, sandwiched by Finn Callaghan heading to GWS with Pick 3.

WA had a surprise selection inside the first round with Claremont’s Angus Sheldrick heading to Sydney with Pick 18, while fellow local product Jacob van Rooyen was snapped up by Melbourne at 19.

1. Jason Horne-Francis (North Melbourne)

From: South Adelaide/Christie Beach FC Date of birth: 21/06/03 Height: 185cm Weight: 81kg Position: Midfielder

It was hardly a shock to see North pounce on the powerful South Australian midfielder. A special talent who has garnered comparisons to Nat Fyfe and Patrick Dangerfield and with a lot of senior footy already under his belt, should be good to go from day one. The sky’s the limit.

2. Sam Darcy (Western Bulldogs – father-son selection)

From: Oakleigh Chargers/Glen Iris FC/Scotch College Date of Birth: 19/07/03 Height: 204cm Weight: 73kg Position: Forward-ruck

A big-name father-son selection, Greater Western Sydney’s bid for Darcy was matched by the Bulldogs, meaning he will follow in the footsteps of father Luke and grandfather David in pulling the red, white and blue. Between Darcy, Aaron Naughton and last year’s first overall pick Jamarra Ugle-Hagan, the Bulldogs will have plenty of talented tall timber in their forward 50.

3. Finn Callaghan (Greater Western Sydney)

From: Sandringham Dragons/St. Bede’s College Date of birth: 24/04/03 Height: 191cm Weight: 86kg Position: Midfielder

The midfielder oozes class and physicality in equal measure, which prompted extreme interest from many clubs in ‘Baby Bont’. The Giants certainly believe in Callaghan’s talent – and with his high work ethic and silky skills, he might wind up being the pick of the bunch.

4. Nick Daicos (Collingwood – Father/son selection)

From: Oakleigh Chargers/Kew Rovers Date of birth: 03/01/03 Height: 182cm Weight: 73kg Position: midfielder

Gold Coast wanted the uber-talented Daicos, and Collingwood did not think twice in matching their bid for the talented small midfielder. A smooth mover and premium ball user, Nick will join father Peter and brother Josh as custodians of the black and white striped-jerseys.

5. Mac Andrew (Gold Coast)

From: Dandenong Stingrays/Berwick FC/St. Joseph’s Ferntree Gully Date of birth: 12/04/03 Height: 200cm Weight: 70kg Position: Forward-ruck

Will the Suns be supersized by the arrival of Big Mac? Andrew came up through the ranks of Melbourne’s Next Generation Academy, but was always going to be off the board before they could bid on him. His versatility and all-round game caught the eye of recruiters, but will need to bulk up.

6. Josh Rachele (Adelaide)

From: Murray Bushrangers Age: 18 Height: 179cm Weight: 81kg Position: Small forward

Rachele comes with a bag of tricks and the excitement machine’s all-round game has been likened to Toby Greene. Adelaide wasted no time to ensure Rachele remained in South Australia - time will tell if he becomes a hometown hero.

7. Josh Ward (Hawthorn)

From: Northern Knights Age: 18 Height: 181cm Weight: 74kg Position: Midfielder

Seen as a top-10 pick by many, there was talk Ward may slip outside it heading into the draft, but Hawthorn put a stop to that. Prized for his all-round ability and astounding aerobic capacity, he broke the six-minute barrier in the 2km time-trial at the draft combine. A self-confessed Hawthorn fan whose grandfather played for them, Ward is a nice complimentary piece to Tom Mitchell et al in the engine room.

8. Jye Amiss (Fremantle)

Club: East Perth/Bussleton Age: 18 Height: 196cm Weight: 83kg Position: Key forward

The south-western sharp-shooter was the favourite to be the first sandgroper off the board, and Fremantle obliged, keeping the talented forward in his home state. After a jaw-dropping colts season in which he snagged 51 goals, Amiss could end up as the best tall forward in this draft class. Justin Longmuir spoke glowingly of him, and Amiss should slot perfectly into the Dockers’ forward line.

9. Josh Gibcus (Richmond)

From: GWV Rebels Age: 18 Height: 196cm Weight: 87kg Position: Defender

The former WA resident possesses an eye-raising leap and entered the draft as the top key defender prospect. A great contested defender who can play off ball, he will bolster Richmond’s defensive stocks. Can he be the heir to the Alex Rance throne in Tigerland?

10. Neil Erasmus (Fremantle)

From: Subiaco/Sorrento-Duncraig JFC Age: 18 Height: 188cm Weight: 80kg Position: Midfielder

The second homegrown talent picked up by the Docker. May have slid down the board slightly after injuries late in the season cost him representative games, but the ball magnet still enjoyed a superb 2021. His ability to push forward and progress the ball will fit nicely in a promising Fremantle midfield.

11. Nasiah Wanganeen-Milera (St Kilda)

From: Glenelg Age: 18 Height: 187cm Weight: 71kg Position: Midfielder

The lanky outside midfielder is renowned for his elite kicking and composure, skills too hard for the Saints to pass up. Will need to add some muscle to his slender frame, but his ball usage is not in doubt.

12. Josh Sinn (Port Adelaide)

From: Sandringham Dragons Age: 18 Height: 186cm Weight: 78kg Position: Defender

Port moved up from 14 to 12, flipping a future second rounder to West Coast as well to secure the services of the explosive Sinn. Possessing blink and you’ll miss it speed, Sinn is a rebounding defender with a booming kick, combining pace and power to devastating effect.

13. Ben Hobbs (Essendon)

From: GWV Rebels Age: 18 Height: 183cm Weight: 79kg Position: Midfielder

A contested possession machine who thrives around the coalface, Hobbs’ best attribute is his ball-winning ability. He was spoken about as a potential top-10 pick ahead of the draft, so the Bombers will be delighted to pick him up at 13. Should provide a boost to Essendon’s inside midfield unit.

14. Campbell Chesser (West Coast)

From: Sandringham Dragons Age: 18 Height: 186cm Weight: 83kg Position: Midfielder

With the highly regarded Matt Johnson still on the board, the Eagles instead focused their attentions further afield, adding the Victorian to their chess board. A speed demon with an accurate kick who might end up finding a home as a rebounding defender.

15. Leek Aleer (Greater Western Sydney)

From: Central Districts Height: 195cm Weight: 81kg Age: 20 Position: Key defender

A slightly older, draft night bolter who was launched into the top 15. Born in Kenya, was moved into defence after two injury-plagued years, Aleer was a revelation down back. A surprise selection who is still honing his skills, the Giants must have valued his eye-popping physical abilities – he holds the South Australian Draft Combine record for the running vertical jump with a leap of 107cm.

16. Darcy Wilmot (Brisbane Lions)

From: Northern Knights Age: 17 Height: 183cm Weight: 75kg Position: Defender

A smart, capable defender who loves a contest and boasts an all-action game. Plays on the half-back flank and combines pace with toughness. The youngest player in the draft pool, but coaches have raved over his leadership and bravery.

17. Tom Brown (Richmond)

From: Murray Bushrangers Age: 18 Height: 186cm Weight: 77kg Position: Defender

Brown reads the play well, evidenced by promising intercept possessions and intercept marks stats over the past year. Composed with the ball in hand, could be a solid and safe bet. His dad Paul played 84 games for Geelong.

18. Angus Sheldrick (Sydney)

From: Claremont/Mosman Park JFC Age: 18 Height: 179cm Weight: 88kg Position: Midfielder

Another draft night shock, Sheldrick was not even invited to the draft night event at RAC Arena. He will join the Swans’ growing platoon of West Australians and the opportunity to learn off Luke Parker will be hugely beneficial for him.

19. Jacob van Rooyen (Melbourne)

From: Claremont/Wembley Downs JFC Age: 18 Height: 194cm Weight: 91kg Position: Key forward/defender

Versatility, thy name is van Rooyen. A true swingman who can get the job done at both ends of the field, the western suburbs product will be delighted to end up with the Dees. Considered a late first rounder, he kicked 24 goals in his final six colts games of the season.

20. Kai Lohmann (Brisbane)

From: GWV Rebels Age: 18 Height: 185cm Weight: 77kg Position: Forward

Draft night ended with a surprise, as the Lions opted for Lohmann with the final pick. A medium forward known for his speed and elusiveness, Lohmann also possesses above average aerobic ability (six minutes 19 seconds for the 2km time trial).

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