Freo s giant draft coup
Freo's giant draft coup

Fremantle are perfectly positioned to attack this year's draft after signing one of the nation's most talented young ruckmen with the knowledge they could also trade him for a coveted pick in the Greater Western Sydney mini-draft.

The Dockers have been developing 203cm, 84kg Craig Moller under the NSW scholarship scheme since he was just 14.

The dreadlocked youngster was also part of basketball's national junior development program and considered a future NBL player capable of representing Australia.

An exceptional athlete whose 20m sprint times are comparable to Eagle Nic Naitanui at the same age, Moller recently agreed to a two-year contract to join Fremantle in 2013.

He will start on the rookie list so the Dockers can have an extra pick in the national draft.

But he could also become a blue-chip trade commodity in October when clubs chase the two picks available in the GWS mini-draft.

WA midfielder Jack Martin and key forward Jesse Hogan are leading the mini-draft race after starring last weekend against Vic Country in the under-18s national titles.

The Giants, who cannot keep the mini-draft picks, are keen to bolster their ruck stocks. Moller is part of their academy and has played in the under-18s and State league for the club. He was discussed last year when Fremantle attempted to recruit Perth midfielder Jaeger O'Meara.

Moller's manager Peter Blucher said the ruckman was desperate to play AFL and signed with Fremantle because they had supported him brilliantly for three years.

But he said Moller understood he could still be traded.

"There's nothing to prohibit that from happening. Fremantle are now in the driver's seat because he's their player," Blucher said.

"He understands Fremantle have been good to him and his family for three years.

"That's a starting point.

"He's pretty open-minded about things after that."

Having Moller - New South Wales' best player at the under-16s national titles - on their list would give the Dockers enviable ruck depth.

It would also guard against further injuries to All-Australian Aaron Sandilands, or the prospect of losing the out-of-contract Jon Griffin.

But the opportunity to recruit a 17-year-old who could be the No. 1 draft pick in 2013 would also be a significant recruiting bonus.

Fremantle are chasing quick and skilled midfielders and Martin has exquisite skills, pace and athleticism.

Hogan is a power forward who has monstered opponents and could fill the hole in attack when Matthew Pavlich retires.

They were WA's best players against Vic Country.

Martin's 23 disposals included 13 contested possessions. He laid nine tackles and kicked goals off both feet in the first term.

Hogan kicked three goals and four of his six marks were contested. That performance followed 20 possessions, nine marks and 2.3 against NSW. He is 193cm and 91kg.

With an AFL contract assured, Moller has been advised not to play again this year because of knee and hip injuries.

He will travel to Perth during the school holidays to get assessed by Fremantle, then return to NSW to complete Year 12.

Meanwhile, West Coast's future draft hopes received a boost when Chris Waterman's son Alec was picked in the State's 25-man under-16s team. The midfielder/half-forward will be eligible to join the Eagles under the father-son rule if he develops into an AFL prospect. Chris Waterman played 177 games for West Coast and is Subiaco's coach.

The under-16s national titles will be played in NSW next month.

The West Australian

Popular videos

Compare & Save

Our Picks

Compare & Save

Follow Us

More from The West