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Trade & Draft: Mission Accomplished

December 2, 2016 2:00 PM

AFL 2016 Media - NAB AFL Draft

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 25: Lions Coaching and Recruitment staff are seen during the 2016 NAB AFL Draft at the Hordern Pavilion on November 25, 2016 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/Pool Photo/AFL Media) (Editors Note: This image is free for editorial use only)

The Brisbane Lions went into the 2016 off season with new faces and a new philosophy. It was about being strategic, maximising picks for the draft, and having a holistic approach to the Trade & Draft period.   

Each move was to be a stepping stone towards the end goal - becoming relevant in the Competition again.  

Brisbane Lions General Manager of Football David Noble believes that the Club has been true to their word, and certainly delivered on what the Club said they would do, saying that the Trade and Draft period ticked two important boxes in the Club’s overall strategy.  

“The trade and draft period tie together your capacity to strategically position yourself in the trade period. It allowed us to get a higher group of picks to potentially block those picks together and align some strategic thinking in the draft,” Noble said.  

“I think we’ve been true to our word executing that strategy, and now the focus will be the amount of time that we now put into the development part of that strategy.   

“The playing list will continue to evolve, but we’re really happy with the start we’ve made.“  

The Lions have brought in 12 new names to the Den over the off season. Big man Matt Eagles, was recruited from ‘The Recruit,’ former Collingwood defender Jack Frost was picked up in the Trade Period and the Club drafted ten players during the NAB AFL National Draft and Rookie Draft.  

READ: 2016 Draft Wrap

The Brisbane Lions focused on maximising top picks in the Trade period and maximising talent in the Draft and they were certainly able to do that, allowing the Club to receive four picks in the top 22.  

The Lions were able to pick up Hugh McCluggage (pick 3), Jarrod Berry (pick 17) and Cedric Cox (pick 24), all recruited from North Ballarat Football Club - a strategic move according to Noble.  

“It is (a strategic move) because ultimately guys that are best mates have some comfort in moving together, and the understanding of having three guys that have played together certainly made sense to us, not so much from a retention perspective, but I think more in the way that they play together,” Noble said.   

“That was an element that they provided us with, scope in the midfield and balance across positions. 

Pie graph showing where the players on the Lions' list come from.

Looking at the List, the Club is now made up of 29% Queenslanders and 25% Victorian Country players - with some media commentators saying that it is easier to move from the Victorian Country to Brisbane, than it is from Melbourne.  

READ: Academy produces three draftees

“I don’t think it’s necessarily strategic exclusivity that we go Vic country, but we do know that the country guys offer a broader skill set. They’ve had exposure to more sports, they’ve been exposed to higher level of footy at times and typically they’ve got some characteristics that we really like and suits the profile of Brisbane,” he said.  

The Lions now have the talent, but in an evolving strategy, the next step is development. It’s just another important step on the Lions’ quest towards becoming relevant again and building their next Premiership side. 

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