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2021 AFL Draft

Polec Marks (Catches the Ball)

The AFL Draft was held during our Thanksgiving holiday period. The Western Bulldogs kicked things off with a trade of draft selections to better their chances of snaring Sam Darcy, son of former champ Luke. They gave Geelong their first selection (number 23) to Geelong in exchange for the Cats' selections 32 and 34. GWS was interested in Darcy so the Dogs needed a strong draft hand to match the bid. During the trade period, several clubs tried to coax a deal with North Melbourne for the number one selection, but the Kangaroos turned down all offers. The Bulldogs and North also flipped picks for next year's draft. The Bulldogs were not the only club busy trading, with Port Adelaide moving up two spots by giving West Coast their selection 14 and a future round two pick. The Roos were also involved in a trade with Collingwood and received the Pies' second round pick of number 36, giving up a third round pick (No.38) and a future third round selection.

As in years past, it is club by club. The number in front is the draft selection followed by player name, (junior or club of origin), age, height, weight and position. The Rookie and Preseason drafts were held just after the national draft, so those selections are included here.

ADELAIDE

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Gold Coast Quartet Bid Farewell

Harbrow Handballs Under Pressure

Gold Coast quartet Jack Hombsch, Jordan Murdoch, Jarrod Harbrow and Zac Smith have all announced their retirements. Hombsch and Murdoch played for the Suns for three seasons. Hombsch played just 18 games for the Suns after stints with GWS and Port Adelaide. Hombsch said, “It’s something that’s been in the works a little bit this season, but I feel pretty comfortable with the decision. Playing for three clubs I’m pretty grateful for because you just meet so many good people along the way ... I’ll certainly miss the footy club and I’ll miss playing AFL because it’s one of the best jobs going around.”

Murdoch started with Geelong before joining Gold Coast and played 110 games across 10 seasons. Murdoch said, “I feel I’m ready to begin the next step in my life. My wife Emma has followed me for 10 years and I think it’s time I take a back seat and let her follow her dreams. She’s been right there and incredible support for me throughout my career ... My highlights have been to see the development of the young guys at the club and chip in with bits and pieces that I’ve learned along the way and just try to help them.”

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Tigers Solve Suns In Cairns

Brook “Boris” Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA

Richmond headed north to Cairns in preparation for their third - and surely final - attempt to defeat the Gold Coast Suns at Cazaly Stadium. The ill-fated deal by Richmond CEO Brendan Gale to sell three home games to play in Cairns had backfired on the club which had lost both previous encounters in the tropical climes and incurred the wrath of the supporter group in the process. The stakes were even higher for the Round 16 clash with an improved Suns lining up against a chastened Richmond group, coming off a big loss to the Kangaroos the previous round. A win would not only get “Benny” Gale off the hook for his unpopular decision to pad the club coffers, it would also solidify the Tigers’ position in the Top Eight. For the Gold Coast, a win would give them a realistic chance of challenging for their first Finals appearance in just their third season in the AFL competition. Gold Coast received a boost in the lead up to the game with the magnificent Gary Ablett Jr. being declared fit after missing a week with a calf injury. Richmond was also boosted by the return of number one ruckman Ivan Maric who had missed time due to a nagging groin complaint.

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