West Coast will go into Friday’s 2017 NAB AFL Draft with eight picks up its sleeve courtesy of some crafty work during October’s Trade Period. The Eagles will take picks 13, 21, 26, 32, 37, 69, 87 and 105 into the national ballot.
Let’s take a look at how the club and its rivals have used the aforementioned selections in previous drafts to snap up some of the game’s most revered stars and serviceable athletes.
The West Coast Eagles have used selection 69 on two occasions in the past, securing Gavin Cooney at the 1990 draft and Scott Bennett at the 1998 national ballot. Although those two players combined for just one game in blue and gold – Bennett represented the club against Melbourne at Etihad Stadium in round seven, 2000 – other teams have used the fourth-round pick to secure some talented players.
Fremantle landed former Bomber Kepler Bradley with pick 69 in the 2001 AFL Draft. The former West Perth product played 68 games for the harbour club and won the club’s leading goal-kicker crown in season 2011.
Hawthorn also made good use of its 69th selection in the 2009 draft upon recruiting crafty defender Taylor Duryea. The Murray Bushrangers product played in the Hawks’ 2014 and 2015 premiership sides and notched his 100th game for the club this year.
West Coast has a great affinity with pick No.37 given it has secured two star players with the selection in the past.
The Eagles landed versatile utility Brent Staker with selection 37 in the 2002 draft. The New South Welshman debuted the following year and proved his promise by securing an AFL Rising Star nomination for his three-goal effort against Melbourne in round seven, 2004. Staker played 110 games and kicked 84 goals for the club before requesting a trade to Brisbane during the 2009 off-season. He played 50 games and kicked 35 goals for the Lions.
The club’s other significant pick 37 steal occurred at the 2004 draft when the club took a punt on plucky small forward Mark LeCras. It’s fair to say he was more than worthy of the third-round selection. Now the club’s third most prolific goal-kicker of all time, LeCras has 196 games, 409 goals, two leading goal-kickers awards, the 2010 Club Champion Award and a 2010 all-Australian blazer to his name.
Other notable pick No.37s include St Kilda stalwart Leigh Montagna, Collingwood forward Jack Anthony, Fremantle ruckman Zac Clarke and long-time North Melbourne servants Scott Thompson and Todd Goldstein.