AFL national talent manager Kevin Sheehan has included just two West Australians in his top 30 for the national draft later this month, a further indication that 2012 shapes as a lean year for WA.
Swan Districts forward Dayle Garlett and East Fremantle's Josh Simpson are the only WA players Sheehan included on his list, which has become an annual guide to the draft.
But WA Academy manager Raff Guadagnino said he was still confident of strong WA numbers in the draft and pointed out that Jaeger O'Meara, traded to Gold Coast in last year's GWS mini draft, should have been a top-three pick this season.
Guadagnino said he was not surprised by Sheehan's assessment.
"It is about where we think it is at," he said. "We still think that we are going to have similar draft numbers compared to recent years.
"Previously a number of round one and top-30 picks have been seen almost as a given. This year it is looking more like strong numbers in round two or round three."
Guadagnino said exciting young South Fremantle forward Mason Shaw, who appears to have slipped from round one calculations after an interrupted season following a broken jaw from a collision with Eagle Mitch Brown pre-season, remained a solid second-round prospect.
East Fremantle's Marco Paparone could yet climb into the top 30 after testing and interviewing well recently and Guadagnino also held high hopes for Peel tall Kamdyn McIntosh to be drafted before pick 50.
Victorian teens dominated Sheehan's selections. Ten of the top 30 came from the Vic Metro team, nine from Vic Country. South Australia had seven players whose prospects Sheehan liked and Tasmania two.
"This year my top 30 takes into account performances in both State leagues and at the NAB AFL under-16 and 18 championships over the last three years, along with the extra insight gained at the draft combine," Sheehan told the AFL website in the lead-up to the November 22 draft.
"They all have excellent chances of having exciting careers."Meanwhile, St Kilda have extended the contracts of WA pair Beau Wilkes and Tom Ledger for a further season.
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