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Lions to target midfielders at draft

Callum Twomey, AFL.com.au  July 26, 2017 9:24 AM

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Brisbane Lions recruiting manager Stephen Conole says there are still up to six contenders for the No.1 pick at this year's NAB AFL Draft, where the club expects to target midfielders. 

Conole said whoever has the No.1 pick will have a few options with no clear standout at this stage of the season.

"It's even. We're looking for some midfielders and I think the midfield group is strong and there's lots of depth in that area," Conole told the AFL’s Road to the Draft podcast. 

"There's been a bit of media about who's going to be No.1 and I think there's not a real standout. It's one of those years where probably the back end of the year people will be watching eagerly to see who's standing up.

"We're really excited about a lot of those boys at the top end and the different skill sets they offer and what they can bring to our footy club."

Western Jets half-forward/midfielder Cameron Rayner and Dandenong Stingrays ball-winner Luke Davies-Uniacke have been touted as the leading contenders for the first pick.

However, the likes of classy midfielder Adam Cerra, Jarrod Brander and Darcy Fogarty are others who have been discussed as early selections when names are called in Sydney on November 24.

"There's probably four, five or six… in that mix [for No.1]. There's some boys who had some really good carnivals and there's also some of those other midfielders in the mix who will probably push up," Conole said.

"I think there's a couple of players above and beyond that who could push in."

Having drafted impressive tall prospects Eric Hipwood, Harris Andrews and Josh Schache in the past three years, the Lions look set to boost their midfield with their picks this season. The Lions also hold Port Adelaide's first-round pick (currently No.14) after a trade last year. 

"For us, we still need to get a bit more depth around our midfield," Conole said.

"We need talent, obviously, and that's the first key. But in terms of that midfield build it's still a goal for us that we keep adding to that.”

Listen to the full interview above, where Conole also touches on:

- Why did the Lions rate Alex Witherden and when did they settle on Hugh McCluggage? Conole discusses the club's recent batch of draftees  
- Conole gives an update on the Lions' academy prospects
- And how is one of the Lions' possible father-son picks tracking?

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