By Emma Quayle
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Extra resources for Draft, The: Inside the AFL's Search for Talent
He also had more instinctive talents. Most animals didn’t like to be moved on their own, but Ben could head out on a horse and bring a single cow home, no problem. ‘He’s got this philosophy, that you’ve got to make it attractive for the cow to go to a certain place,’ said John. ‘And he’ll get it there. ’ Growing up on a farm, you know that you will one day have to leave – at least for a little while. Ben’s sister, Kate, worked as a physiotherapist in Stawell and his brother Matt had begun an osteopathy course in Melbourne.
At 26 and after 112 games he crossed to West Adelaide for three final, unburdened seasons, and therein sat the final twist. Craig finished on 172 games and had he reached 200, the draft would barely have been on his family’s mind. indd 44 10/7/08 12:03:19 PM BRAD draftee and his wait would almost be over. Isn’t it funny, Craig often thought. Brad was 12 months old when Craig accepted that he was losing his place in the Westies team too, and retired. He had no idea his son would play football, he had less idea he’d be good at it, and he had played for as long as he could.
The first, three-year phase would include the 2005, 2006 and 2007 draft and trade periods; by the end of phase two, in 2010, he believed the Hawks would be in genuine premiership contention. He nominated kicking as one of two key qualities of any potential recruit, given the club’s poor kicking statistics compared to past premiership teams. As a rule, every draftee also needed to have strong character or, more particularly, on-field intelligence and a ‘team-first’ attitude. Pelchen had never subscribed to the theory that clubs should simply pick the ‘best available player’ at each selection in a draft: if the best player available at each pick was a ruckman, or a small midfielder, a list would have no balance.
Draft, The: Inside the AFL's Search for Talent by Emma Quayle