K rock Football

Cats improve draft hand

GEELONG has moved its second pick up of the National Draft up the board following a trade of selections with the Western Bulldogs.

To have enough points to match a bid for father-son selection Sam Darcy – which came from the GWS Giants at pick two – the Dogs gave up pick 23 in exchange for the Cats picks at 32 and 34.

The swap happened just as North Melbourne announced it was selecting South Australian Jason Horne-Francis with pick No.1.

Geelong recruiting and list boss Stephen Wells says the club is happy to have two picks – which have become selections 24 and 25 – early in the second round.

“It was a deal that we’d worked on for a long time, and in the end, we thought it was a good deal for us to consolidate our position,” he said.

“It cost us a spot in the 30s to move up to 23, but we hope to make good use of that tomorrow night.”

Wells viewed the first round, in which 20 selections were made, as “quite predictable”.

However, the Cats will use tomorrow to fine-tune their strategy for the five selections at 24, 25, 32, 50 and somewhere in the 60s.

“There were no real surprises there,” Wells said.

“We’ll go and do some work on the players that are left and try and do what we can with our draft hand.”

For the first time since 2016, no Geelong Falcons product found a home in the opening round of the National Draft.

However, ruckman Toby Conway and tall midfielder Mitch Knevitt are unlikely to be around come pick 30, which could see one or both land at GMHBA Stadium.

Fremantle has a priority pick to start Round 2, with North Melbourne and Hawthorn to follow before Geelong makes its first selection.

The Hawks are understood to be keen on Knevitt, where he would join fellow former Falcon James Worpel.

Twitter: @tom_king79