Last year, the Essendon Bombers kept the footy world on tenterhooks before selecting Andrew McGrath with the first pick of the 2016 national draft.
This year, it is Brisbane’s turn, although Brisbane got to the bottom of the ladder in the 2017 AFL Premiership competition with bad, honest play, rather than with having most of its list banned for illicit performance enhancing substance use.
Of late, it appeared that Luke Davies-Uniacke, Paddy Dow and Cameron Ryder were the top contenders for the honour of being selected by the Lions, but it now seems as though the Lions have homed in on five midfielders, with the recent inclusion of on-baller Andrew Brayshaw of the Sandringham Dragons, whose brother Angus plays for the Melbourne Demons.
Adam Cerra is also one of the five.
Lions’ Coach Chris Fagan seems to have a longing for Brayshaw, who was one of the better performers at the combine in such criteria as the yo-yo test and the 2 km time trial.
Ryan O’Connor, talent manager of the Dragons, told foxfooty.com.au that Brayshaw is, “A well-rounded” package in life on and off the field and that Brayshaw, “Comes across as being professional and passionate about what he does. The exciting thing is he can probably play in all areas of the ground if he goes to the next level, which is a good thing for clubs. Small back, small forward, midfielder — he can probably tick a number of boxes.”
Those seem like lofty expectations and many a youngster has collapsed under the weight of same, never really reaching his or her true potential because of the excess attention to which number one picks are subjected.
There is about a week until the draft and the Lions will have many meetings as they attempt to reverse their fortunes in the 2018 AFL season.
Some of the other contenders are dealing with injury issues, so that will undoubtedly figure into the Lions’ calculations.