28/02/2024

Harry Lemmey and Tom Scully. Photos: West Adelaide FC

Richmond enters the draft with its list in transition, but not much draft capital to play with.

An active Trade Period saw the Tigers part with their two selections in the first round of the draft this year and a future first selection in next year’s draft to secure both Tim Taranto and Jacob Hopper will see the Tigers only enter the draft late in proceedings on Tuesday night.

Starting at pick 53, the Tigers likely only take two selections in the National draft, using a final selection to upgrade Marlion Pickett to the Tigers’ senior list.

Re-loading but regeneration and transition continue

The flag heroes of Richmond’s recent success and steadily drawing their respective careers to a close as the next generation of Richmond stars is emerging.

Josh Caddy, Shane Edward, and Kane Lambert, all multiple premiership players in the most recent era hung up the boots this season after David Astbury retired at the end of 2021.

The Tigers started the replenishing of their young stocks last season, adding Josh Gibcus, Tom Brown, Tyler Sonsie, Sam Banks, and Judson Clarke to an already impressive core of young cubs including Jack Ross, Maurice Rioli Jr, Noah Cumberland, Shai Bolton and more.

The Tigers loaded up in the trade period, proving that their window is still well and truly open despite a nail-biting Elimination Finals exit this season. Trent Cotchin and Jack Riewoldt are going around again with the pair deep in the twilight of their decorated careers and Richmond is going all in to deliver two of thier all-time greats a send-off flag.

Who will be there when they enter?

It’s a legitimate question for the Tigers to ponder as they sit there waiting. The Tigers have indicated they want a young key forward to add to the list, to start their development under Riewoldt’s tutelage. South Australian pair Tom Scully and Harry Lemmey are two options that could still be available by the time they enter the draft with Cadman and Jefferson to be well off the board by then.

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The Tigers would also have an eye on mature-age prospect, Ethan Phillips as an intercept defender from Port Melbourne to give extra assistance and depth to the young key backs Noah Balta and Josh Gibcus already in the backline. Phillips is the recipient of this years Fothergill-Round-Mitchell Medal, the award given to the most promising young talent in VFL competition. Its winner has been drafted to an AFL list for 15 straight years.

At 23 years old, having starred for Port Melbourne this year, averaging over 5.1 intercept marks per game is AFL ready to slot into the backline almost immediately. With both Dylan Grimes and Robbie Tarrant both in the twilight of their careers too, the Tigers would have an eye on seeing if Philips gets through to snap him up.

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