Fremantle complete pick swap with Adelaide in effort to retain Next Generation priority
Fremantle has completed a pick swap with Adelaide in an effort to protect their Next Generation Academy prospects heading into December’s AFL draft.
The Dockers have sent a future fourth round selection to the Crows in exchange for a third and fourth round selection this year.
Prospects Joel Western and Brandon Walker have been part of the club’s development program and while Freo hold priority, additional picks provide flexibility if a rival club attempts to select a youngster in the Dockers’ sights.
“Our trade with Adelaide essentially means we have secured a third and a fourth round selection in exchange for a future fourth round selection,” General manager of football Peter Bell said.
“The trade gives us further pick flexibility and point value should we decide to match any bid on our Next Generation Academy players.”
Fremantle forecast their off-season plan prior to this year’s trade period, choosing to continue to build through the draft rather than trading for senior talent.
18-year-old Walker is a classy ball user and a switch to half-back in round two by East Fremantle colts coach Adrian Ricciardello was the catalyst for his stunning form spike and grabbed the attention of AFL recruiters.
Walker is expected to draw the highest rival bid out of Fremantle’s NGA talent, but Western shouldn’t be far behind.
The Claremont speedster is one of the most exciting players in the WAFL colts competition when he’s up and running, with pace to burn and a long, penetrating kick.
The Dockers were forced to protect a highly touted NGA prospect at last year’s draft when Carlton bid for Claremont product Liam Henry at pick nine.
The Blues’ move on Henry, who played three games this season, meant the Dockers ended up with three-straight selections in the top 10, including Hayden Young and Caleb Serong.
This year's AFL Draft will be held as a virtual event on Wednesday 9 December.
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