More than a quarter of Fremantle's team for today's western derby arrived at the club during one summer.
At the end of the 2008 season, the Dockers invested heavily in the national and rookie drafts, bringing in 14 players.
Six will line up at Patersons Stadium today and it could have been eight if not for an injury mishap at training this week for young ruckman Zac Clarke and the trading of Greg Broughton to Gold Coast at the end of last season.
But former Fremantle recruiting manager Phil Smart was understated as he looked back at the class of 2008.
"You get some right and you get some wrong and obviously that draft we got a few more right than we got wrong," Smart said.
Stephen Hill (pick No.3), Hayden Ballantyne (21), Nick Suban (24), Clarke (37) and Michael Walters (53) were all secured in the national draft.
Matt de Boer, Clancee Pearce and Broughton found their way to the club during the rookie draft.
National draftees Ben Bucovaz, Tim Ruffles and Chris Hall, and rookies Casey Sibosado, Hamish Shepheard and Jay van Berlo have left the club.
Smart stressed it was a team effort, but said it was one of his most successful drafts in his time at the club.
"We were starting to concentrate on rebuilding the club through the national draft under new management," he said.
"We had probably spent a lot of our draft picks trading them out and getting some senior players off club lists which didn't really work out as well as people would have liked."
It hasn't all been smooth sailing for a group that includes two of the competition's best small forwards in Walters and Ballantyne, one of the most exciting outside midfielders in Hill and a key-position player with potential to burn in Clarke. The impressive de Boer has been touted as a future captain.
Smart recalled the controversy surrounding the decision to pick Hill ahead of rising Brisbane star Daniel Rich.
"As a club we had to think long and hard over that and there was a lot of toing and froing, and we eventually decided to take Stephen," he said.
Smart, who is now football manager at Swan Districts, is also heartened by the two players who nearly left Fremantle when their careers reached flashpoint before the start of last season.
Pearce was de-listed before new coach Ross Lyon offered him a lifeline and Walters was banished to Swans to get his fitness to an acceptable standard.
A year on, the 22-year-olds shape as key players if the Dockers are to take the honours today.
"It's a credit to both of them to actually turn around their careers the way they have done it," Smart said.
He said the club's Victorian recruiters deserved credit for the acquisition of Clarke and Suban.
He hoped the pair could reach their potential in coming years.
"The club has gone down a path now of developing their list through the national draft and the rookie draft and I think that policy was well overdue," Smart said.
"I am very proud of that draft and the boys that we have got at the club, and I hope they do well this weekend. I can't wait for it."
Fellow 2008 draftees Luke Shuey and Ash Smith will line up for the Eagles today.
All-Australian ruckman Nic Naitanui will miss with injury, but was another success story of a golden draft for the WA clubs.Obviously that draft we got a few more right than we got wrong." Phil Smart
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