Peel Thunder’s league side could tower above others next season after alignment club Fremantle pursued plenty of tall timber in the national draft last Friday.
The Dockers identified a need to create depth at their key positions, drafting 193cm backman Griffin Logue (pick eight), 202cm ruckman Sean Darcy (pick 38) and 193cm forward Brennan Cox (pick 41).
While Logue looms as a possible walk-up starter for the Dockers, the remainder of draftees could begin their journeys playing for Peel, which would be a huge boost for the Thunder’s tall stocks.
A powerfully-built ruckman, Darcy’s game has been described as intelligent by Fremantle recruiters.
“I’m a tap ruckman with follow-up contested work around inside the contest,” Darcy told fremantlefc.com.au
“That’s probably where I work my best, in the air, in the tapping and then on the ground in the first two or three repeated efforts.”
It’s likely that Fremantle will look to Darcy as a successor to perennial ruckman Aaron Sandilands, making any time he spends developing in Peel crucial to the club’s aspirations.
Cox brings a slimmer frame and more versatile game across the Nullarbor with him.
The key forward was named an all-Australian at the national under 18s carnival this year and will likely line up for Peel.
Intercept marking defender Luke Ryan was the Dockers’ last choice in the draft with pick 66. Touted to go much higher, Ryan could provide a strong presence if he suits up for Peel.
Fremantle’s work in the trade period could also lead to a boost for the Thunder.
Their recruitment of Brad Hill, Cam McCarthy, Joel Hamling and Shane Kersten creates headaches – the good kind of headaches – for Fremantle selectors which could add to the buffet of talent on offer for Peel.
Hill, McCarthy and Hamling are likely round one starters, and Kersten isn’t far off the mark. If they all start, the Dockers may send fringe players like Hayden Crozier, Matt Taberner, Danyle Pearce and others to play for Peel.
Fremantle’s pursuit of youth in their effort to rebuild leaves players with veteran AFL experience on offer for the Thunder.
Of course, this is all based around health and availability. Like any alignment, if the Dockers should feel the pinch of injury, Peel will feel it too.