Round 1 Draft Recap – AFL NSW/ACT

The GIANTS welcomed two top 10 selections on the first night of the 2019 NAB AFL Draft in Melbourne on Wednesday, with the Sydney Swans selecting midfielder Dylan Stephens with pick five.

Defender Lachie Ash was taken with pick four before the GIANTS matched a bit on Academy product Tom Green at pick 10.

Ash was outstanding as Vic Country co-captain at the 2019 NAB Under-18 Championships and was named in the Under-18 All Australian team.

Known for his clean disposal by foot and dash from defence, Ash played primarily in the backline in 2019 but has shown potential as a midfielder while playing for the Murray Bushrangers in the NAB League.

GIANTS National Recruiting Manager Adrian Caruso said, “Lachie stands out for his run and carry off half-back.

“He performed strongly at all levels over the last three years and co-captained Vic Country in 2019.

“We feel like his ability to attack and use his speed to create is important in the modern game which is why we are delighted to bring him in.

“While Lachie has played most of his football down back, we think down the track there might be some scope for him to play other roles.

“His competitive nature and drive gives us confidence he will become a key member of our side.”

GIANTS Academy graduate Green was bid on by Carlton at pick 10, but the GIANTS matched the bid, ensuring the Canberran will be pulling on the orange and charcoal in 2020.

A big-bodied midfielder, Green is an outstanding prospect with clean hands and great vision, and was named alongside Ash in the Under-18 All Australian team.

“Tom has been a member of the GIANTS Academy for a number of years, so we are thrilled to officially add him onto our list,” Caruso said.

“As a strongly-built midfielder, size and craft around stoppage is his asset and we believe that given his determination and character we had to prioritise bringing him in.

“Tom captained the Allies in 2019 and has shown great improvement in the last 18 months so we believe that in a full-time environment he will continue to grow.”

Meanwhile, Sydney sprung the first surprise of the draft, selecting South Australian midfielder Dylan Stephens with the fifth overall pick.

The outside runner, who has been compared to West Coast star Andrew Gaff, played senior football this year with Norwood in the SANFL.

Sydney Swans General Manager of Recruiting and List Strategy Kinnear Beatson said, “We’ve watched him closely for a couple of years now.

“He can play both inside and outside.

“He’s played a lot of senior footy at Norwood and played with distinction there.

“He will really add to our midfield and that was a focus with us for that selection.”

Sydney now hold picks 27, 34, 45, 65 and 68 ahead of the second day of the 2019 NAB AFL Draft with the GIANTS holding picks 73, 85, 87, 89 and 90.