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2018 AFL Draft wrap

2018 Draft Wrap Steve Conole joins us to discuss our 2018 draft picks.

The Brisbane Lions are proud to welcome five new players into the Den, following a busy two days at the 2018 NAB AFL Draft at Marvel Stadium.

Last night Ely Smith from the Murray Bushrangers was the Lions’ first pick for the night (21 overall) and was proudly presented his guernsey by Club legend Jonathan Brown.

Smith stormed home in the second half of his draft year, catching the eyes of recruiters at the Under 18 National Championships as a late inclusion for Vic Country. He then went on to star at the AFL Draft Combine with his athletic ability. 

The Yarrawonga product is most often found in the midfield and is an explosive ball winner. 

Thomas Berry will join his older brother Jarrod at the Den in 2019, after the Lions selected him at Pick No. 36.

Berry played his junior football for the Greater Western Victoria Rebels but his 2018 campaign was interrupted because of injury.

However, Lions recruiters, who have followed Berry for the last few years, respected his competitiveness, tackling ability and attack on the ball.

For the Lions' Pick No. 39 they bid on Jarrod Cameron, brother of Charlie, which was matched by the West Coast Eagles, so with Pick No. 40 they selected West Australian Thomas Joyce.

The 18-year-old played his junior football for East Fremantle. He had a standout year as an underage player at the 2017 Under 18 National Championships but missed most of the 2018 season after requiring a hip operation. 

Joyce is found in the midfielder and his elite ball use sets him apart.

Richmond made a bid on Hyundai Help for Kids Lions Academy player Connor McFayden with Pick No. 42, which the Lions decided to match. 

McFayden has been a member of the Lions Academy since he was eleven years old and in 2018 he played five games for the NEAFL side kicking six goals and averaging nine disposals.

Standing at 190cm, the 18-year-old is an athletic, strong ball winner and can play in the midfield or forward pocket. He was named as an All Australian after an outstanding campaign for the Allies at the Under 18 National Championships this year. 

Following McFayden’s selec,tion the Lions traded out a future forth selection to North Melbourne for Pick No. 55.

With that pick the Lions selected Oakleigh Chargers junior Noah Answerth.

The 18-year-old captained the Chargers in the TAC Cup this year and represented Vic Metro at the Under 18 National Championships. His competitiveness and versatility, playing as a forward or shut down defender, caught the eye of Lions recruiters.

The Lions then passed on their final pick (72).

General Manager of Football David Noble said his recruiting and list team were pleased with the five players they have welcomed into the Club. 

“A lot of strategy has gone into this draft period, it was unusual because it was our first live trading one,” Noble said. 

“We are extremely happy with the players we’ve picked.

“We said from the beginning we would be focusing on midfield, which we have done.

“We wanted to build depth in that area and the players we selected have running capacity and versatility across the ground.”

The players will arrive in Brisbane for their first week of training next week.

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs