THE LOWDOWN ON THE TIGERS’ 2008 RECRUITS
TRENT COTCHIN: Draft pick No 2
Recruited from: Northern Knights/Essendon Grammar
Could easily have been the No. 1 pick in this yearÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s National Draft, and the Tigers were absolutely delighted to grab him at No. 2. Exciting, versatile, medium-sized midfielder, capable of influencing games with his ball-winning ability, explosive pace and superb disposal. Has an excellent understanding of the game and is a quality decision-maker. A penetrating kick, who has rare ball skills on both sides of his body. Dominated with 37 possessions in the Northern KnightsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ 2007 qualifying final against Gippsland. Possesses fine composure and a maturity far beyond his years. An outstanding prospect, who seems set to thrill the Yellow and Black faithful for many years.
ALEX RANCE: Draft pick No 18
Recruited from: Swan Districts
Strong, hard-running, tall defender, noted for his dash out of the backline. His father, Murray, played 97 matches with the Western Bulldogs and West Coast from 1986-1990. Alex spent the majority of the Ã¢â‚¬â„¢07 season with Swan Districts Colts, but made an impressive senior WAFL debut in Round 10, gathering 22 possessions and taking eight marks against Perth. Was a standout for WA at the 2007 under-18 championships, leading the team in rebound 50s, averaging 17 possessions per game, and being rewarded with All-Australian honors. Rated as the best pure full-back in junior ranks Australia-wide. Is excellent overhead and can hold his own in a one-on-one contest.
DEAN PUTT: Draft pick No. 51
Recruited from: Calder Cannons
Athletic tall with good speed and endurance combination, highlighted by 2.93 seconds for 20 metres and a 14.1 beep test at the recent AFL State screening session. Showed significant improvement during the second half of the ’07 season and was the Cannons leading goalkicker. Proved very hard for opposition sides to match up on during the finals series because of his size, agility and skills.
JORDAN McMAHON: A trade period pick-up
Recruited from: Glenelg(SA)/Western Bulldogs
Guernsey No: 13
AFL debut: 2001
Fleet-footed runner, who joined Richmond during the recent AFL trade week after a seven-year, 114-game career at the Western Bulldogs. The Tigers won the race with Port Adelaide to secure his services when he opted to leave the BulldogsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ kennel (traded for pick 19). At 24, heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s in his prime, and looking forward to the fresh challenge at Tigerland and playing again under his original league coach Terry Wallace. Is the archetypal modern-day AFL player, with his ability to run and carry, as well as his quality disposal. Looks likely to play a key sweeping role in defence, much like another ex-Bulldog player in Leon Cameron did so successfully during his stint with the Tigers early this decade. He can also be used effectively in the midfield or up forward, making him a most valuable acquisition for the Club.
MITCH MORTON: A trade period pick-up
Recruited from: Claremont(WA)/West Coast
Guernsey No: 20
AFL debut: 2005
Talented, young, medium-size forward, who was originally taken by West Coast under the leagueÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s father-son rule. After only 12 games in three injury-riddled years with the Eagles, he decided to seek a transfer to a new club Ã¢â‚¬â€œ and Richmond swooped, snaring him during the trade period in exchange for pick 35. The Tigers believe that at 20, he is the right age to develop with the many other quality youngsters on their playing list, and they have a high regard for his skill level Ã¢â‚¬â€œ in particular, his kicking ability. Although predominantly a forward, the Club also feels he is equipped to play in the back half and, eventually, through the midfield.
PRE-SEASON and ROOKIE DRAFT PROFILES
DAVID GOURDIS: Pre-season Draft pick No. 1
Recruited from: Subiaco (WA)
Strongly built, powerful key-position player with excellent pace and vertical leap. Showed outstanding athletic ability at the 2007 Draft Camp, ranking first overall for the 20-metre sprint (2.83 seconds) and in the running vertical jump (101cm). He also ranked in the top eight percent in the six-by-30-metre repeat sprints. Represented the triumphant WA team at the AFL under-18 championships this year, kicking three goals in a forward role in the match against SA. Was a surprise non-selection in the November National Draft after being touted beforehand as a possible top-20 pick. The Tigers invited him to train with them in the lead-up to the Pre-season Draft and he made a distinct impression with his athleticism and attitude. Played mainly as a key forward in junior ranks, but has the necessary attributes to also develop into a key backman.
CLAYTON COLLARD: Rookie Draft pick No. 1
Recruited from: Fremantle/South Fremantle (WA)
Speedy, skilful forward, who represented WA in the 2006 under-18 championships and was an AIS-AFL Academy graduate. Was taken by Fremantle with its second-round selection (pick No. 31 overall) in the 2006 National Draft. Managed just the one AFL game with the Dockers during the Ã¢â‚¬â„¢07 season and was delisted by them at the end of the year. Was subsequently thrown a lifeline by the Tigers, who asked him to try out for one of their available spots in either the Pre-season or Rookie Drafts. Renowned for his silky skills and marking ability. Is a potential excitement machine.
JARROD SILVESTER: Rookie Draft pick No. 17
Recruited from: Coburg Tigers
Had an outstanding year at Coburg, which was reflected in his second placing in the clubÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Best and Fairest. Took the VFLÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s best spearheads on and was rarely beaten in one-on-one contests. His physical strength and movement skills enable him to play on a variety of opponents. He kept two of the competitionÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s best full-forwards in Nick Sautner (69 goals for the season) and James Podsiadly, goalless, in vital performances for Coburg during the season. Was rewarded for his fine overall efforts with selection in the VFLÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Team of the Year.
TRISTAN CARTLEDGE: Rookie Draft pick No. 33
Recruited from: North Ballarat/Essendon
Was cut from EssendonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s list at the end of 2006 after a four-game career with the Bombers. Spent the Ã¢â‚¬â„¢07 season with North Ballarat in the VFL and earned a reputation as one of the competitionÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s best ruckmen. The Tigers see him as ideal back-up for their big-man stocks, given heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s had a taste of football at the gameÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s highest level, but is still only relatively young.
CAM HOWAT: Rookie Draft pick No. 47
Recruited from: Richmond/Box Hill Hawks
Has been retained as a mature-age rookie by the Tigers. Was promoted to the ClubÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s senior list during the Ã¢â‚¬â„¢07 season and went on to play 15 games, to add to the five he managed in late 2006. The hard-running left-footer was delisted at seasonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s end, but continued to train impressively with the Club and was rewarded with one of the four rookie spots.