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5:02pm  Dec 11, 2017

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12:34pm  Dec 8, 2017

The Draft: A brief history of our '17 selections

Luke McManus  November 20, 2017 3:48 PM

Beatson previews the draft Head of Recruitment and List Strategy Kinnear Beatson provides us with an update on the where the coaches, recruiters and playing list sits ahead of the 2017 National Draft.
AFL 1999 Round 8 - Geelong v Sydney

Will Sangster managed two games for the Sydney Swans in 1999.

Brett O’Farrell and Will Sangster.

They’re not household names, for good reason, having combined for only 10 games across three seasons, but they once played for the Sydney Swans and for this reason remain an important part of the Club’s fabric.

We must flip through the history books to November of 1996 for when this wide-eyed pair arrived in Sydney ready to tackle the rigours of AFL football.

It was in that draft where the Swans last had picks 14 and 33 in the same pool.

With pick 4 already banked the Swans improved their say in the draft by securing the extra selections - plus Mark Orchard (41 games, 1997-98) and Ben Wilson (4 games in 1998) - from Collingwood in a huge play for Anthony Rocca.

An extremely homesick Rocca played 22 games in two seasons for the red and white before upping the ante over his desire to join his big brother, Saverio, at the Pies.

And, as the story goes, the younger brother would go on to enjoy a stellar career in black and white.

Mark Kinnear (6 games, 1997-98) was the Swans’ first selection, before O’Farrell and Sangster joined him in red and white.

Recruited from the Prahran Dragons’ under-18s (now Sandringham Dragons), O’Farrell bode his time in the Victorian State Football League reserves competition before breaking into the senior side in 1998.

Filling in for Greg Stafford, the 20-year-old ruckman kicked the first of his two goals of the game with his first kick in AFL football before finishing with 13 disposals and 12 hit-outs in the Round 13 match against Richmond.

It was form which held him in good stead for the rest of the season with O’Farrell going on to feature in the ensuing finals series.

But, there it stopped. After eight games, O’Farrell was traded to Hawthorn, for picks 4 (Ryan Fitzgerald) and 36 (Andrew Bomford), where the 197cm key added 13 more games to his career tally before retiring due to recurring injuries at the end of 2001.

Sangster saw even less game time. After stringing two games together in ’99, the ruckman retired later that season.

Fast forward nearly two decades and Sydney Swans will go into this week’s National Draft again armed with picks 14 and 33, plus 51. Picks 88 and 106 as well, but they will be used to upgrade rookies.

While they may not strike you as the most appealing selections, plenty of good players have been uncovered from every round in drafts of the past.

The annual gathering of the competition’s youngest and brightest offers clubs a genuine opportunity to improve its list no matter how early or late the selections come – the beauty and the art is in the research.

The draft is a lottery, so clubs have missed the mark previously brandishing a pick inside the first round and cashed in on a pick nearing the final selections. Headed by Kinnear Beatson, you can be sure the Sydney Swans’ recruiting team to leave no stone upturned.

The potential for the Swans to recruit a star of the future with their available selections is there.

Look no further than arguably the most successful pick 14 in the history of the game – Adam Simpson.

Simpson managed 306 games for North Melbourne between 1995 and 2009, winning two premierships, a best and fairest, All Australian honours before captaining the side for four seasons.

If you’re not sold on Simpson, try three-time premiership player and 273-gamer Shaun Hart who Brisbane snapped up at pick 33 in the 1989 National Draft.

When you also have in mind that Brownlow medallists Dane Swan (pick 58) and James Hird (pick 78) all went in the later rounds, or that Sydney dug deep in the bargain bin and plucked out the likes of Andrew Dunkley (56), Ryan O’Keefe (56), Nick Malceski (64), suddenly even Sydney’s last pick in Friday night’s draft is looking very attractive.

AFL 1998 - Sydney v Richmond
Brett O'Farrell played eight games in red and white in 1998.

History of picks 14, 33 and 51

1986
Pick 14 – Scott Adams (drafted to Brisbane, 0 career games)

Pick 33 – Malcolm Shippen (North Melbourne, 0)
Pick 51 – Andrew Herring (Carlton, 0)

1987
Pick 14 – Wayne Peters (Richmond, 5)

Pick 33 – Rod Gunn (Western Bulldogs, 0)
Pick 51 – Anthony Dissent (Hawthorn, 0)

1988
Pick 14 – Steven Byers (Hawthorn, 0)

Pick 33 – Bruce Lennon (Richmond, 28)
Pick 51 – Adrian Burns (Essendon, 15)

1989
Pick 14 – Ben Allen (Hawthorn, 14)

Pick 33 – Shaun Hart (Brisbane, 273)
Pick 51 – Joe Wilson (Brisbane, 0)

1990
Pick 14 – Andrew Hamer (Collingwood, 0)

Pick 33 – Mathew Kelly (North Melbourne, 0)
Pick 51 – Jarrod Carter (Essendon, 0)

1991
Pick 14 – Fabian Francis (Brisbane, 109)

Pick 33 – Paul Morrish (Essendon, 31)
Pick 51 – Shaun Brooker (Richmond, 0)

1992
Pick 14 – Nick Holland (Hawthorn, 179)

Pick 33 – Corey Robertson (Geelong, 0)
Pick 51 – Adam Williamson (Brisbane, 0)

1993
Pick 14 – Adam Simpson (North Melbourne, 306)

Pick 33 – Ben Robbins (West Coast, 92)
Pick 51 – Kristian Pascoe (St Kilda, 0)

1994
Pick 14 – Mick Martin (Western Bulldogs, 58)

Pick 33 – Mark Cullen (Carlton, 0)
Pick 51 – Clay Simpson (Melbourne, 64)

1995
Pick 14 – Luke Trew (West Coast, 0)

Pick 33 – Sam McFarlane (North Melbourne, 2)
Pick 51 – Kane Fraser (Hawthorn, 5)

1996
Pick 14 – Brett O’Farrell (Sydney, 21)

Pick 33 – Will Sangster (Sydney, 2)
Pick 51 – Robert McMahon (Hawthorn, 2)

1997
Pick 14 – Shannon Watt (North Melbourne, 155)

Pick 33 – James Thiessen (Adelaide, 51)
Pick 51 – Scott Ralph (Brisbane, 0)

1998
Pick 14 – Luke Penny (Western Bulldogs, 80)

Pick 33 – Craig Bolton (Brisbane, 199)
Pick 51 – David Loats (Hawthorn, 12)

1999
Pick 14 – Travis Gasper (West Coast, 28)

Pick 33 – Tim Clark (Hawthorn, 96)
Pick 51 – Ricky O’Loughlin (Adelaide, 9)

2000
Pick 14 – Daniel Harris (North Melbourne, 160)

Pick 33 – Martin Pyke (Brisbane, 247)
Pick 51 – Dion Woods (Fremantle, 59)

2001
Pick 14 – Ashley Watson (North Melbourne, 7)

Pick 33 – David Rodan (Richmond, 185)
Pick 51 – Not utilised (Brisbane)

2002
Pick 14 – Daniel Bell (Melbourne, 66)

Pick 33 – Brad Murphy (Western Bulldogs, 7)
Pick 51 – Tim Boyle (Hawthorn, 31)

2003
Pick 14 – Fergus Watts (Adelaide, 6)

Pick 33 – Jed Adcock (Brisbane, 213)
Pick 51 – Matthew Ball (Hawthorn, 17)

2004
Pick 14 – Angus Monfries (Essendon, 210)

Pick 33 – Cain Ackland (St Kilda, 74)
Pick 51 – Ben Eckermann (Port Adelaide, 4)

2005
Pick 14 – Grant Birchall (Hawthorn, 245*)

Pick 33 – Sam Gilbert (St Kilda, 179*)
Pick 51 – Matthew Laidlaw (Sydney, 1)

2006
Pick 14 – James Sellar (Adelaide, 44)

Pick 33 – Jarryd Marton (Hawthorn, 22)
Pick 51 – Clinton Benjamin (Carlton, 0)

2007
Pick 14 – Jack Grimes (Melbourne, 100)

Pick 33 – Matthew Westhoff (Port Adelaide, 6)
Pick 51 – Dean Putt (Richmond, 0)

2008
Pick 14 – Ayce Cordy (Western Bulldogs, 27)

Pick 33 – Tom Gillies (Geelong, 15)
Pick 51 – Neville Jetta (Melbourne, 116*)

2009
Pick 14 – Lewis Jetta (Sydney, 154*)

Pick 33 – Anthony Long (Essendon, 0)
Pick 51 – Troy Taylor (Richmond, 4)

2010
Pick 14 – Brodie Smith (Adelaide, 143*)

Pick 33 – Jeremy Howe (Melbourne, 141*)
Pick 51 – Dean MacDonald (Richmond, 0)

2011
Pick 14 – Devon Smith (GWS, 109*)

Pick 33 – Brad Hill (Hawthorn, 117*)
Pick 51 – Nathan Blee (Port Adelaide, 6)

2012
Pick 14 – Aidan Corr (GWS, 59*)

Pick 33 – Laim McBean (Richmond, 5)
Pick 51 – Dylan van Unen (Essendon, 1)

2013
Pick 14 – Cam McCarthy (GWS, 40)

Pick 33 – Tom Cutler (Brisbane, 45*)
Pick 51 – Nick Holman (Carlton, 9)

2014
Pick 14 – Jake Lever (Adelaide, 56*)

Pick 33 – Connor Menadue (Richmond, 28*)
Pick 51 – Jackson Nelson (West Coast, 32*)

2015
Pick 14 – Eric Hopwood (Brisbane, 30*)

Pick 33 – Mitch Hibberd (North Melbourne, 4*)
Pick 51 – Tyrone Leonardis (Sydney, 0)

2016
Pick 14 – Harry Perryman (GWS, 8*)

Pick 33 – Willem Drew (Port Adelaide, 0*)
Pick 51 – Elliot Himmelberg (Adelaide, 0*)