Melbourne were prepared to use their No.2 draft pick on highly-rated Sydney prospect Isaac Heeney.

Far from being upset at the AFL price they will have to pay for Isaac Heeney, Sydney say it shows their controversial academy system is working.

Melbourne were prepared to use their No.2 national draft pick to secure Heeney at Monday’s club academy bidding meeting.

That forced the Swans to match the bid with their own first-round draft selection at No.17.

Swans academy operations manager Chris Smith said it was no surprise the Demons were so interested in Heeney.

“I did notice Roosy (Melbourne coach Paul Roos) had Isaac as their second pick,” Smith said.

“Roosy knows Isaac as well as anyone and it probably didn’t surprise me that it was Melbourne who put their hand up. That’s what we want.

“We want other clubs to be interested in boys from our zone.

“It hasn’t happened in the past but now we’ve got everyone talking about the boys here.”

The AFL academies in the northern states have attracted some criticism, with figures such as Collingwood president Eddie McGuire arguing they give clubs such as Sydney an unfair advantage.

All three of Sydney’s academy nominations on Monday attracted bids from rival clubs.

Fremantle bid a second-round pick for Jack Hiscox, meaning Sydney must now use their No.37 selection to draft him.

And the Swans will draft Abaina Davis at pick No.74 after Geelong offered a round-four selection.

Smith said the drafting of the trio showed other young players in NSW what is possible.

“It says to other boys from this area that it is a reasonable expectation that if you apply yourself, there is an environment now in Sydney where you can aspire to make an AFL list,” he said.

North Melbourne also bid their round-one selection for Greater Western Sydney nomination Jack Steele, who will now join the Giants with their No.23 pick.

Liam Dawson will join Brisbane with the No.42 pick after Richmond were prepared to offer a round-two choice.

North’s round-two bid means the Lions must use the No.61 selection on Harris Andrews.