Entering the 2022 draft, Kinnear Beatson and his team were open to discussing their plans to move about the draft board. Two nights later, the draft has been run and won, and the Swans followed their plan perfectly.
They caused havoc in the first round, perfectly timing bids just to trade away their pick, then followed it in the second round by taunting the team that traded with them. It was a masterclass on the technical side of things, and recruiting manager Simon Dalrymple was right in the thick of it.
The Swans entered the draft at pick 16 after being pushed down the order by Brisbane’s Father-Son bids and chose to bid on GWS Academy player Harry Rowston. The Swans gave the Giants three options; allow him to come to the Swans, trade a future first-rounder for the number 16 pick, or match the bid and lose pick 17.
To the disappointment of Dalrymple and the Swans, the Giants chose to match the bid and dissolve pick 17. The Swans’ war room was hoping the early bid may have scared off the Giants as they ranked Rowston as one of the pool’s best talents.
“We thought they probably would match it [the bid on Rowston],” Dalrymple said.
“But in the end, you never bid on a player unless you’re prepared to accept them.
“[He was] Around the top 12 for us this year. It’s disappointing that we didn’t get him because we did a lot of work on him and rated him really highly. He was there on our talent list and that’s why we made the choice to bid on him.”
After the bid of Harry Rowston, Sydney tried their luck again by bidding on Adelaide Father-Son prospect Max Michalanney. This bid however felt more like payback for the Jordan Dawson trade, which also happened to buy the recruiting team additional time to plan a pick swap.
The bid was matched with little hesitation by the Crows, however, it gave the Swans enough time to plan their trade with Hawthorn. They gave up their current pick (which was now pick 18) in order to receive pick 27 as well as a future second and third-rounder.
Their shenanigans continued into the second round where they used pick 27, acquired from Hawthorn, to select a Hawks NGA hopeful Cooper Vickery. Dalrymple believes it was one of the best moves of the draft.
“He was one of a group of players who would still be available [if we dropped back]. You don’t just have one option in these situations you have multiple, and he was one of them,” he said.
“We rated him really highly too. He was right in our mix at the 18 or 20 mark, so that validated our slide back to pick 27. He obviously wasn’t eligible to Hawthorn until after [pick] 40 or so. He was in the open market and we wanted him at the club.”
Also joining the club was livewire small forward Jacob Konstanty (who the Swans got at pick 20), and Caleb Mitchell, who was taken at pick 40. Despite only walking away with three players, Dalrymple was proud of how they’d validated the draft board.
“We’re very thrilled to pick up three boys that we had rated in the top 20, especially where we got them,” he said.
“It [the draft] was busy because we were organised, we may have got a little lucky that some things fell into line for us. But we were prepared for almost any obstacle.”
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