The departure of Brett Peake from Fremantle to St Kilda could yet pay an unexpected dividend in the form of a late third-round draft bonus.
Tasmanian Jesse Crichton, the player chosen with the 48th pick the Saints surrendered for Peake, has been labelled the "gift of the draft" by leading recruiter Scott Clayton.
Analysing the draft for a Melbourne newspaper, Clayton praised the selection of the former AIS scholarship holder, who has represented Tasmania at the past two under-18 national titles.
Crichton is considered a tackling machine and has modelled his game on Lenny Hayes, his favourite player in, ironically, his favourite team, St Kilda.
Crichton drifted in draft reckoning after what was, by his own description, a mixed under-18 carnival this season when he was asked to play a couple of unfamiliar roles.
But he was still highly regarded by many observers who now believe the Dockers have snared a bargain.
"I didn't really know where I was going to go because no one had really promised me or said anything," Crichton said yesterday. "I was just really happy to get picked up."
Crichton had idolised the Saints but it is his parents, Brett and Fiona, he credits with being the biggest influence on his career.
"I live about an hour and a half from Launceston. I have lived in Launceston the last two years but from under-12s until the last two years I had to be taken into town twice a week for training," he said.
Crichton and Fremantle's two other interstate draftees, Victorian Dylan Roberton and South Australian Justin Bollenhagen, will travel to Perth tomorrow for a tour of Fremantle's facilities.
Crichton joked he was looking forward to "getting a bit of a tan" after Tasmania's chilly climate.
He also is looking to putting some muscle on his 72kg frame to prepare for laying some of his trademark tackles on the bigger bodies in the AFL.
"I like to do the team things like tackling and other one percenters," he said. "I had better put a bit more weight on before I start trying to tackle men."
South Adelaide's Bollenhagen was always a likely draftee, despite missing selection in the State under-18 team, according to the club's junior football manager, Alex Burrowes.
"He has really come on in leaps and bounds this year, playing predominantly off half-back, with the occasional burst on ball," Burrowes said.
"He is an outstanding athlete, quick, a beautiful left-foot penetrating kick and he is good in traffic.
"We saw a fair bit of interest in him from a lot of clubs and we are just rapt he has been given the opportunity."
Asked what Bollenhagen's greatest attribute is, Burrowes was unequivocal. "It is his ability to break lines and carry the ball, and the fact he is a beautiful kick," he said.
"He was one of 12 or 13 South Australians invited to the draft camp and he excelled in the new Nathan Buckley kicking test. His other testing was pretty solid as well. He had a 3.01sec. 20m sprint and I think his beep test was mid-13s, which was solid."
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