The AFL’s top pick at the national draft, Tom Boyd, says he can live up to the hype.
The AFL’s most-coveted youngster, Tom Boyd, says he’s ready to live up to the hype of being the top selection at this year’s national draft.
Boyd was snapped up with the No.1 selection by Greater Western Sydney at Thursday night’s draft on the Gold Coast, with the Giants using pick two on midfielder Josh Kelly.
Reigning premiers Hawthorn threw a lifeline to troubled Dayle Garlett, who has pledged a new-found maturity after burning clubs in the past.
The Hawks used pick 38 on Garlett, rated a top 10 prospect last year but was overlooked after missing meetings with clubs amid a spate of boozy nights out.
But Hawthorn recruiting manager Graham Wright said the 19-year-old had since turned his life around.
“He has certainly been able to put a lot of controls around his life,” Wright said.
“Dayle should come in with a clean slate … he has got that history, but we trust our players to give him every opportunity.”
Garlett’s future was far less certain than top pick Boyd, who was touted pre-draft as a certain No.1 selection.
The 18-year-old forward, at 201cm-tall and weighing 102kg, said he would thrive in the pressure associated with being the first selection.
“I’m still a bit dizzy from the experience,” Boyd said.
Asked if he was ready for AFL ranks, Boyd said: “I feel like it … but you can never be fully prepared without actually ever experiencing.
“I’m not naive enough to think that it’s going to be easy.”
St Kilda claimed half-forward Jack Billings with pick three while the Western Bulldogs used pick four on midfielder Marcus Bontempelli.
Gold Coast took Tasmanian Kade Kolodjashnij with pick five. He will be separated from his twin bother Jake, who went to Geelong with pick 41.
But two other sets of brothers will be reunited – Adelaide claimed Matt Crouch, brother of Brad, while Essendon took Zach Merrett, brother of Jackson.
Adelaide’s sanctions for the Kurt Tippett controversy ended after the draft – they were banned from the opening two rounds last year and again this year, but traded back into the second round and secure Matt Crouch.
“It was an awkward, difficult situation that we had to cope with,” Adelaide’s list manager David Noble said.
Essendon were also trying to overcome draft penalties for the supplements saga – they lost round one and two picks this year, and next.
“This year, we had a few weeks to get our house in order – got out of it okay in the end,” Essendon’s list manager Adrian Dodoro said.