Cats keep it in the family, add to local talent in rookie draft

Oscar Murdoch (right) spoils Harry Sheezel at the state championship at Marvel Stadium in September.Credit:AFL Photos

Geelong have added to their bevy of homegrown talent, securing three locals including father-son Osca Riccardi through the AFL rookie system on Wednesday.

Having already added highly-rated Geelong Falcons midfielder Jhye Clark, mentored by Joel Selwood, with pick No.7 in the national draft earlier in the week, the Cats stuck to the template which has helped them remain a consistent force for 15 years.

This led to drafting Falcons captain Oscar Murdoch with their first pick in the rookie draft, No.18, and taking Riccardi, the son of 288-game club champion Peter, with their next selection, No.32.

They had already secured Ted Clohesy, whose mother is South African, as a category B rookie, for he fell under the Next Generation Academy program. Clohesy averaged 24 disposals and seven tackles in 10 matches with the Falcons, and 18 disposals in three matches for Vic Country.

Clohesy was one of 14 players drafted by clubs under northern and NGA rules as category B rookies.

Riccardi is a lightly bodied midfielder who can find the ball, and impressed at combine testing, where he won the two-kilometre time trial. He also played one VFL match for the Cats this year, producing13 touches and a goal against Sandringham.

Murdoch, a medium-sized defender, was considered unlucky to not have been taken in the national draft.

Meanwhile North Melbourne’s rebuild continued, this time with fresh and recycled faces in the rookie draft. The Kangaroos had the first pick, taking small forward Blake Drury from the Oakleigh Chargers. They also snared Perth ruckman Hamish Free, relisted Kayne Turner and added former Hawthorn tagger Daniel Howe, who will reunite with coach Alastair Clarkson.

Howe played 96 games for the Hawks, including nine this year, and will almost certainly join former teammate Liam Shiels, set to join the Kangaroos as a rookie signing via the pre-season supplemental selection period.

Shiels and Howe will provide the Kangaroos with experience and the robust attitude Clarkson is craving.

Carlton have relisted Ed Curnow, whose experience and training attitude remain important despite the 33-year-old midfielder not playing a senior game last season. He played all 22 in 2021.

Brisbane relisted Nakia Cockatoo and the Giants relisted Phil Davis, while the Crows have recalled Paul Seedsman, whose future remains unclear after he was concussed in a pre-season incident last year and has not played since.

Former Docker Connor Blakely, who did not play a senior game this year, has been given a second chance with Gold Coast.

2022 NAB AFL ROOKIE DRAFT

ROUND ONE
1. North Melbourne – Blake Drury (Oakleigh Chargers U18)
2. West Coast – Isiah Winder (West Coast, relisted)
3. GWS – Phil Davis (GWS, relisted)
4. Essendon – Rhett Montgomerie (Central District SANFL)
5. Adelaide – Andrew McPherson (Adelaide, relisted)
6. Hawthorn – Seamus Mitchell (Hawthorn, relisted)
7. Gold Coast – Connor Blakely (Fremantle)
8. Port Adelaide – Dylan Williams (Port Adelaide, relisted)
9. St Kilda – Pass
10. Carlton – Ed Curnow (Carlton, relisted)
11. Western Bulldogs – pass
12. Richmond – Seth Campbell (Tasmania Devils U18)
13. Fremantle – Liam Reidy (Frankston VFL)
14. Melbourne – Will Verrall (South Adelaide SANFL)
15. Brisbane – Ryan Lester (Brisbane, re-listed)
16. Collingwood – Cooper Murley (Collingwood, relisted)
17. Sydney – Cameron Owen (Tasmania Devils U18)
18. Geelong – Oscar Murdoch (Geelong Falcons U18)

ROUND TWO
19. North Melbourne – Hamish Free (South Fremantle WAFL)
20. West Coast – Zane Trew (West Coast, relisted)
21. Adelaide – Paul Seedsman (Adelaide, relisted)
22. Hawthorn – pass
23. Gold Coast – Jake Stein (GWS)
24. St Kilda – pass
25. Western Bulldogs – pass
26. Richmond – Tylar Young (Richmond VFL)
27. Fremantle – pass
28. Melbourne – Oliver Sestan (Xavier College/Mansfield)
29. Brisbane – Nakia Cockatoo (Brisbane, relisted)
30. Collingwood – pass
31. Sydney – Jaiden Magor (South Adelaide SANFL)
32. Geelong – Osca Riccardi (f/s, Geelong Falcons U18)

ROUND THREE
33. North Melbourne – Daniel Howe (Hawthorn)
34. Gold Coast – pass
35. Richmond – pass
36. Melbourne – pass
37. Brisbane – pass
38. Geelong – pass

ROUND FOUR
39. North Melbourne – Kayne Turner (North Melbourne, relisted)
40. Gold Coast – pass

ROUND FIVE
41. Gold Coast – pass

PRE-LISTED ROOKIE SELECTIONS
Lloyd Johnston (Gold Coast) – Northern Academy
Nick Madden (GWS) – Northern Academy
Will Edwards (Sydney) – Northern Academy
Anthony Mankura (Essendon) – NGA
Joshua Draper (Fremantle) – NGA
Conrad Williams (Fremantle) – NGA
Joshua Bennetts (Hawthorn) – NGA
Ted Clohesy (Geelong) – NGA
Nathan Barkla (Port Adelaide) – NGA
Angus McLennan (St Kilda) – NGA
Jordyn Baker (West Coast) – NGA
Tyrell Dewar (West Coast) – NGA
Shadeau Brain (Brisbane) – QLD zone
Jason Gillbee (GWS) – NSW zone

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