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2013 Draft: Power Rankings

Written By Unknown on Kamis, 14 November 2013 | 16.42

SuperFooty draft experts Jay Clark and Sam Landsberger discuss the top 30 prospects.

THE AFL's official number crunchers select the top 30 players from across the country based on their performances in recent years.

If Champion Data was picking from a schoolyard this is how next week's national draft order would look.

It only includes players who appeared at the national Under-18 championships.

Our own draft experts Jay Clark and Sam Landsberger also run their eye over the rankings and how they might compare to the actual draft.

COLLINGWOOD is set to steal a top-three draft talent for the second year in a row.

After welcoming boom ruckman Brodie Grundy at No. 18 last year they are again shaping as the big winners of the first round with dual All-Australian defender Matthew Scharenberg firming as the Pies' No. 6 selection.

The 190cm backman was this week flown to Melbourne by the Demons in the hope he could slip to their No. 9 pick.

In a Herald Sun exclusive, Champion Data ranked Scharenberg the third-best player in the pool.

But the Dees hopes of landing the rebound king appear dashed with the Pies closing on a ready-made Heath Shaw replacement.

Greater Western Sydney is set to take Tom Boyd with pick no.1 in the national draft. Picture: Michael Klein Source: Supplied


No opponent has been able to compete against Boyd in a contest. The most powerful junior forward since Tom Hawkins. Accurate set-shot.

WE SAY: The Giants will forget about missing out on Buddy Franklin when this bloke blossoms.

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The best midfielder in the country. Kelly is a ball magnet able to win inside and outside ball and has exceptional skills on both sides.

WE SAY: Melbourne may rue giving this running machine away. Looks a 200-game star.




Elite intercept player and ball-winning defender. Has the capacity to push into the midfield. Reads the play exceptionally well.

WE SAY: Sliding down the draft order, making him one of the steals of the draft. Queries on feet issues scaring some clubs.



The No. 1 ranked midfielder at the national carnival. A stoppage player who breaks away from congested situations and kicks goals.

WE SAY: Eagles should get Sheed at 11, but Lions thinking long and hard.

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A creative and dangerous half-forward, earning back-to-back All-Australian honours. Creative by foot and clever overhead.

WE SAY: Can amaze up forward but potential lies in the midfield. Saints looking to pull trigger at No. 3.


Brent Harvey-clone dominated his two seasons in the TAC Cup. Taylor's ability to distribute the ball by foot on either side of his body is supreme.

WE SAY: Only 173cm but as a pure footballer he's top five. GWS, armed with pick 14, watching closely.


Rebounds from defence with penetrating left foot. Wins own ball and is smart going forward.

WE SAY: It will be a sexy halfback line when McDonald and Shaun Atley are breaking lines next year.

James Aish could head to the Dogs. Source: Supplied


Like Andrew Gaff a wingman with exceptional skills. But if the ball doesn't find him he may struggle.

WE SAY: A surprise to see him so low. Dogs salivating with pick 4, but can get tagged.


Creative rebounding defender likened to Grant Birchall. Run-and-carry specialist who will push into the midfield.

WE SAY: Athletic backman is beautiful to watch. Suns in love with his rebound game.

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Overhead marking supreme but top strength is his booming right foot. Best suited as a third tall forward.

WE SAY: Tigers praying he slips to 12. Not a genuine midfielder but a weapon on the flanks.


A stoppage beast who thrives in traffic. Ball-winning machine averaging 38 disposals in TAC Cup. Knocks on his kick.

WE SAY: Queries over his running ability could see him slide to join brother Brad.


A big-bodied strong midfielder whose No. 1 strength is his stoppage work. Ranked elite for clearances at championships.

WE SAY: Looks a cheap get in the 20s. Could emulate Ollie Wines' impact.

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Classy midfielder is silky on his left side. Doesn't need huge numbers to cut apart teams due to high efficiency.

WE SAY: Averaged 145 SuperCoach points, justifying interest from Lions, Dees and Pies.


Contested marking machine with a big tank. Could be a unique key forward who pushes up to the wing.

WE SAY: Shades of Matthew Richardson. Lions (pick 7) could pip the Pies.


Damaging midfielder hits the scoreboard. The only TAC Cup player to average more than 20 disposals and two goals a game.

WE SAY: Clubs have him far lower but shapes as a value pick. Dogs keen at 42.


A clearance specialist who averaged 118 SuperCoach points, 23 disposals and five tackles across 41 matches. Hit the scoreboard, booting 31 goals.

WE SAY: A shock given clubs expected Gibbons to be a late-round chance.

Nathan Freeman in action. Picture: Wayne Ludbey Source: News Limited


Unique ability to win clearances and contested footy but can also breakaway with super pace. Hasn't kicked a lot of goals.

WE SAY: Luke Shuey-type would add much-needed speed to Lions onball division.


Consistency the big issue. Struggled for Vic Metro but dominated some TAC Cup games onball. His size and skill allow him to play as a midfielder or forward.

WE SAY: Finds time like Scott Pendlebury, but Pies going cold. One for Mick.


Doesn't win huge numbers but Dumont's class and poise under pressure a highlight. High disposal efficiency.

WE SAY: All-rounder who hurts the opposition. Could sneak into the first round.


Big man from a rugby background who plays forward/ruck like David Hale. Hasn't played much footy but takes a strong grab.

WE SAY: One of the few big men in the draft but ACL recovery a worry for some.


Mid-sized forward who thrives in marking contest and is elite at ground level. A proven goalkicker, averaging almost two a game across 51 matches.

WE SAY: Strong like Jack Darling. Had bumper carnival before SANFL form fizzled.


Weapons include elite ball use and a huge tank. Can burn sides with speed up the wing and wins most of his possessions uncontested.

WE SAY: Saints have done a lot of work but late mail could see him slide into the 20s.


Ready-made ruckman overlooked at last year's draft. Wins the ball, pushes forward and produced similar numbers to Brodie Grundy last year.

WE SAY: Nankervis and Rory Lobb are the two best genuine rucks. Dons might pounce.


Plays like brother Nathan (Melbourne) but with more pace. Contested ball winner is aggressive through the backline and midfield.

WE SAY: In the frame for Tigers at 12 and Cats at 16 but won't get past the Suns at 20.

PICK ME: Exclusive videos, analysis and interviews of leading 2013 draft prospects


Injury-hit utility kept to 11 games this year. Classy ball use and at 189cm can play anywhere. Strong overhead.

WE SAY: Clubs are divided but he fits Geelong's mould. Dockers watching.


Lethal left foot does damage across half-forward, like brother Jackson at Essendon. Has midfield potential but best suited kicking inside 50.

WE SAY: Hawks love their sharp left-foot kicking. Strong talk they'll go Dayle Garlett at 24.


Pressure king who excels at stoppages. Dominated every competition this year, including a 128-point TAC Cup SuperCoach average.

WE SAY: Bit of a surprise this high but Tsitas runs both ways and is a big team man.

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Best small forward in the draft who wins ball inside 50 and creates scoring opportunities. Showed in the TAC Cup he's now got midfield capabilities.

WE SAY: Think Jake Neade. Excellent tackler who can defy height (173cm).


Was WA's second-leading goalkicker at the carnival. In-between size makes for a tough match-up on lead or overhead.

WE SAY: Booming right foot is a weapon outside 50. Later pick.

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Clearly the best key defender of the draft and when involved in a one-on-one contest rarely gets beaten. More of a lockdown stopper than a creative backman.

WE SAY: Linked to GWS at 14 but will slide to Saints or Lions.


1.Greater Western Sydney Tom Boyd (KF)

2. Greater Western Sydney Josh Kelly (Mid)

3. St Kilda Jack Billings (Fwd/Mid)

4. Western Bulldogs James Aish (Mid)

5. Gold Coast Kade Kolodashnij (Def)

6. Collingwood Matthew Scharenberg (Def)

7. Brisbane Nathan Freeman (Mid)

8. North Melbourne Luke McDonald (Def/Mid)

9. Melbourne Christian Salem (Mid)

10. Collingwood Cameron McCarthy (KF)

11. West Coast Dom Sheed (Mid)

12. Richmond Ben Lennon (Fwd-Mid)

13. Carlton Marcus Bontempelli (Mid)

14. Greater Western Sydney Lewis Taylor (Mid)

15. Sydney Rory Lobb (Ruck)

16. Geelong Blake Acres (Mid)

17. Fremantle Michael Apeness (KF)

18. St Kilda Billy Hartung (Mid)

19. St Kilda Darcy Gardiner (KD)

20. Gold Coast Zak Jones (Def/Mid)

21. Port Adelaide Jarman Impey (Fwd)

22. Brisbane Trent Dumont (Mid)

23. Adelaide Matthew Crouch (Mid)

24 Hawthorn Zach Merrett (Fwd/Mid)

25. Brisbane Daniel McStay (KD)

26. Essendon Patrick Cripps (Mid)

27. Gold Coast Jake Kolodjashnij (KD)

28. Brisbane Luke Dunstan (Mid)

29. Greater Western Sydney Tom Cutler (Def)

30. North Melbourne Jay Kennedy-Harris (Fwd)

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Muirhead buys Pietersen prize

SInvitational XI spinner James Muirhead is congratulated after taking the wicket of England's Ian Bell at the SCG. Picture: Getty Images Source: Mark Nolan / Getty Images

JAMES Muirhead couldn't wait for his opportunity to bowl to Kevin Pietersen and was rewarded with the South African-born Englishman's prized wicket as England ended day two of their match against the Invitational XI at 5/302.

Pietersen brushed off any concerns about his knee injury and raced to a half-century at the SCG on Thursday before he was caught by substitute fielder Dan Hughes off Muirhead's bowling.

Pietersen's knock of 57 included seven fours and two sixes and came off just 68 balls.

"Before the game I said to the boys I really want to bowl to Pietersen - he's the one batsman I want to bowl to," 20-year-old Muirhead said.

"Obviously he plays spin really well and I knew he'd come really hard at me so to get him out -I know I got hit for a few sixes - but I was just enjoying the moment. To get him out was really satisfying."

Muirhead, who was advised by Shane Warne to keep mentally strong bowling to Pietersen, admitting it was a daunting task.

"It was pretty daunting, but as a leg-spin bowler you've just got to accept you get hit for sixes and you've just got to stick at it, be confident in what you do and sometimes you get the rewards, like I did today."

Jonathan Trott, who top-scored for England with 83, said Pietersen didn't complain about any niggles and looks in good form.

"For me it's important to get some form, but I think Kev's pretty unique in the way he goes about his game and the way he thinks about it," Trott said.

"But it's always nice to see him at full flow and being confident even in warm up games."

Aside from Michael Carberry, who was dismissed for four, England's batsmen all cashed in on the runs and Trott says spending time at the crease in a match situation provides perfect mental preparation.

"Everyone has got a few runs, but you're not going to know what sort of knick you're in until you're in front of 40000 people at Brisbane," he said.

"So it's more about getting prepared mentally for that than the actual time in the nets. Time in the middle is important, but so is being ready mentally for the challenge."

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England, NSW and Victoria cruising

Kevin Pietersen hits on to the leg side in England's tour game versus a Cricket Australia's Invitational XI. Source: Rob Griffith / AP

Kevin Pietersen proved his fitness for next week's Ashes opener with a breezy half-century as England closed on the Cricket Australia Invitational XI's first-innings total in their tour game Thursday.

Pietersen, who had a cortisone injection for a troublesome knee earlier this week, cracked 57 runs off 71 balls as he tuned up for his 100th Test, starting in Brisbane on November 21.

Jonathan Trott (83) and skipper Alastair Cook (81) also spent valuable batting time in the middle, as England's top order fine-tuned for the first Test at the Gabba, reaching 5-302 at the close on the second day of the four-day tour match in Sydney.

At stumps, Joe Root was 26 not out and Jonny Bairstow was unbeaten on 11. England trailed by just two runs on the first innings after Steven Finn earlier staked his claim for the first Test fast bowling vacancy, finishing with five wickets for 103 to help dismiss the home side for 304 midway through the first session.


In Brisbane, Nathan Lyon made a late but impressive entrance at Allan Border Field as NSW took control of their Sheffield Shield clash with Queensland.

Lyon was kept away from the attack until the 50th over of Queensland's innings as the Bulls finished the day 9-216 in reply to NSW's 368.

The 25-year-old tweaker bowled well when given his chance, claiming the scalps of Bulls Chris Hartley (11) and Cameron Boyce (0) as he ended with figures of 2-10 from eight overs.

Former Test bowler Trent Copeland (5-49) was the main destroyer for the Blues, picking up his 10th first-class five-wicket haul to rip through the Bulls' top order.

In Adelaide, half-centuries to South Australia opening batsmen Michael Klinger and Phil Hughes wasn't enough to overshadow Ashton Agar's class with the bat for Western Australia at Adelaide Oval.

The 20-year-old Agar who made a shock Test debut in the Ashes opener at Trent Bridge in June, reminded selectors of his precocious talent as he fell heartbreakingly short of a maiden first-class century with a well-crafted 93 in the Warriors' total of 434. The left-arm spinner salvaged his side's innings along with Sam Whiteman (65) in a record 147-run seventh-wicket partnership after the visitors had sunk to 6-200 on day one.

Seamer Nathan Coulter-Nile then chipped in with quickfire 41 that included four sixes and three fours to take the visitors past the 400 mark.

But the Redbacks responsed well to see out the day at 0-148 - trailing by 286 runs - thanks to Hughes (63no) and Klinger (76no).

In Hobart, Test allrounder James Faulkner has been instructed to bowl a limited number of overs in Tasmania's Sheffield Shield match against Victoria.

Faulkner surprised by delivering just seven overs on Wednesday and 10 on day two for figures of 1-50.

But the left-armer has revealed he is being managed through the match by Cricket Australia after he was named in the squad for the first Ashes Test beginning next week.

Faulkner's limited work for the Tigers came as Victoria reached a formidable first innings 6-339 after two rain-disrupted days. Former Test gloveman Matthew Wade cracked an unbeaten 107, bringing up his seventh first-class ton with a pull shot for six over mid-wicket.

Another former Test batsman, Rob Quiney, made 82, while night watchman Scott Boland stuck around for more than four hours to make 51 from 213 balls.

Spinner Xavier Doherty was the best of the Tasmanian bowlers with 2-42 from 26 overs.

Relive all the action with updates from our reporters on the ground in our blog below.

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Warner, Smith lead way for NSW

Written By Unknown on Rabu, 13 November 2013 | 16.42

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Contrasting half-centuries by Test batsmen David Warner and Steven Smith helped NSW move to 8-368 at stumps on day one of their Sheffield Shield clash with Queensland in Brisbane on Wednesday despite a late stumble.

Cruising at 2-247 at tea, the Blues lost 5-41 at one stage as part of six wickets tumbling in the final session late at Allan Border Field before bad light stopped play.

In an ominous sign ahead of next week's Ashes opener, Warner (52 off 62 balls) came out swinging after the Blues won the toss, bringing up his whirlwind half-century by hitting leg-spinner Cameron Boyce out of the ground.

But next ball Warner tried to repeat the feat, only to send it down the throat of Usman Khawaja on the white picket fence boundary at deep mid-wicket.

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In all, Warner thrashed six fours and a six before chancing his arm once too often on the small suburban ground before lunch.

Smith (69) opted for a more patient approach in his two-and-a-half hour knock - a stay 60 minutes longer than Warner. However, he still crunched nine fours and two sixes in a classy innings before top-edging Ben Cutting (2-66) to fine leg to spark the final-session collapse.

Earlier, opener Nic Maddinson (87) tried to pick up where Warner left off, hitting 11 fours and a six but he fell short of a Shield century.

Left-hander Scott Henry (60) also looked set before being bowled by James Hopes, as the disciplined Bulls' attack tried to apply pressure on the flat deck.

Boyce (2-96) took his Shield season tally to 12 wickets - five more than Victoria's Fawad Ahmed, who threatened Test spinner Nathan Lyon's position - to become the competition's leading leg-spinner.

Young quick Alister McDermott (2-89) also impressed with the ball.

New South Wales 1st Innings

Nic Maddinson c Hartley b Neser 87 (108)

David Warner c Khawaja b Boyce 52 (62)

Scott Henry b Hopes 60 (162)

Steve Smith c Neser b Cutting 69 (111)

Moises Henriques c Burns b Cutting 18 (31)

Brad Haddin c Hartley b McDermott 18 (25)

Trent Copeland c Forrest b McDermott 10 (15)

Sean Abbott c Hartley b Boyce 4 (4)

Steve O'Keefe not out 21 (28)

Nathan Lyon not out 11 (26)

Sundries: (2b, 9lb, 1w, 6nb) 18

Total: Eight wickets for 368

Fall: 95 (Warner), 171 (Maddinson), 255 (Henry), 292 (Smith), 304 (Henriques), 322 (Copeland), 329 (Haddin), 333 (Abbott).

Bowling: Ben Cutting 16-1-66-2 (2nb), Michael Neser 19-4-67-1 (1w), Alister McDermott 23-5-89-2 (4nb), James Hopes 15-2-39-1, Cameron Boyce 21-2-96-2.

Overs: 94.

Umpires: Paul Wilson, Geoff Joshua.

Match Referee: Bob Stratford.

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Dons look to win back respect

Mark Thompson is the new coach at Essendon. Source: Scott Barbour / Getty Images

MARK Thompson is far from the first coach to play down his club's premiership aspirations on the first day of pre-season training.

Still, he might have broken new ground yesterday by ­declaring winning back respect for his club was more important than climbing the premiership dais.

PICK ME: Exclusive videos of the next wave of AFL superstars

Essendon triedattempted to blaze a bright path to the futureas new coach Thompson turned up for work and the club signed Fujitsu as a co-major sponsor at its new Tullamarine home.

Yet the dramatic events of this past season, along and all that goes with it - ­potential infraction notices for players, a ­tarnished brand and a confused supporter base is still plaguing tugging at the club's duffel coat.

Which is why Thompson's admission about a brand-new beginning future with a better respect for the AFL's rules was so welcome yesterday.

It won't mean Essendon isn't trying to win the 2014 flag - above all else Thompson, after all, is a masterful premiership-winning coach.

But "Whatever It Takes", the slogan that proved darkly ironiccomical this year, has been ­replaced by yesterday's "We Are Proudly Essendon" in every way.

Thompson says he has professed to have moved on from the anger and bitterness of the club's penalties and was determined to see Essendon again become "Australia's favourite football club" again, as president Paul Little ­described it.

Dons confident of no infraction notices

"We are going to do a lot of things right," Thompson said with that determined stare.

"We aren't putting limitations (on the year). We are going to be the best we can be, but more importantly, we are going to try to do things right.

"We have to make (the ­supporters) and make them proud of our club.

"We won't have many closed sessions, we are going to invite members in and restore some faith back in us, and give them a better experience than they have had in the past."

The ribbon will be cut at the Bombers' Tullamarine headquarters on Monday, but Thompson would be aware it is the people inside that club that make it, not flash new facilities.

Luckily he has the likes of veteran Dustin Fletcher, - football's Benjamin Button - who was running laps early yesterday in driving rain, and well ahead of his pre-season return date.

Thompson did give a few hints; the club is determined to recruit a young ruckman rather than WA's Dayle Garlett and hopeful of playing Michael Hurley back,in defence if he can convince the Bombers match committee.

If Essendon's intention yesterday may have been present to trumpet its sponsors and ­facilities, but the questions kept coming about the infraction notices, about the absent James Hird, and about the club's difficult 2013.

No one can truly say the infraction notices won't happenrear their heads.

All we know is that all of the AFL, the AFL Players Association and the Federal Government all believe they aren't coming.

World Anti-Doping AgencyAnd while we are at it, WADA boss John Fahey made no sense in his comments to the ABC last week, speaking He spoke of ­Essendon still being punished under the AFL's code of conduct in a story that didn't rule out Hird being punished under retrospective legislation.

Yet Essendon and its coaches have already been hitpunished by the AFL - double jeopardy simply can't and won't be applied by City Hallthe AFL.

And legal eagles would have a field day if WADA tried to backdate legislation punishing coaches for their players using banned substances.

Still, until ASADA's review is complete and we find out either way, those dark clouds evident yesterday will still be lurking.

For the time being, Essendon has a new home, a new start, a new coach and a new determination to win the respect of the competition.

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Richardson set for Saints top job

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ALAN Richardson's bold game of brinkmanship has paid off with St Kilda certain to appoint him as its new coach.

The former Collingwood player and long-time assistant coach last night met St Kilda's selection committee under the belief he would be appointed.

St Kilda's selection committee contains two board members, including former player Andrew Thompson, and the club did not rule out ratifying him immediately on Wednesday night.


The Saints could announce his appointment as early as Thursday morning after board approval, an amazing development after Richardson officially told the club on Tuesday night he would not be interviewed.

That forced St Kilda's hand, with the coaching panel effectively luring him to Melbourne with the promise of being appointed.

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Mark Williams would be the beaten favourite after he made it clear he needed a five-season contract.

That demand was made in Friday's interview, and was believed to have disconcerted several Saints officials who were not won over by the forceful premiership coach.

Williams was a dominant presence at Port Adelaide and Greater Western Sydney, not ideal at a club replacing an autocratic coach in Scott Watters.

Richmond late yesterday had not been told Williams had missed out and was preparing for him to again lead their development team next year.

Richardson had made it clear he would not reapply for St Kilda's job after narrowly missing out in 2011 to Watters, who was sacked a fortnight ago.

Despite his reluctance, St Kilda made it apparent how desperate it was to lure him, arguing its coaching selection panel was dramatically different to the one that appointed Watters.

He resisted privately and publicly, forcing the Saints give him assurances before he was interviewed.

Richardson, who agonisingly missed the 1990 premiership for Collingwood with injury, has forged an elite reputation at Collingwood, Carlton, Essendon and the Western Bulldogs.

He was in the last three candidates for the Richmond job won by Damien Hardwick and after so many near-misses was determined not to develop a reputation as an also-ran.

St Kilda has been desperate to appoint a new coach by Monday, with the Saints to take picks 3, 18 and 19 at next Thursday's national draft.

Richardson is one of the pioneers of player development after being the head of Collingwood's player development academy under Mick Malthouse.

He eventually moved to Carlton after a strained relationship with Malthouse, then moved on to Port Adelaide last year.

But while he and Ken Hinkley were overlooked by St Kilda in 2011, they united as Port Adelaide made a rampaging run to last season's semi-finals.

Simon McPhee and Adam Kingsley, who were interviewed after the strong endorsement of the players, have been told they will not be the senior coach.

The expected appointment of Richardson mirrors Port Adelaide's appointment last year of Hinkley, who was initially resistant to the interview process.

It again underlines the weakness of the coaching appointment process given Melbourne too was surprised candidates did not come forward for its succession plan.

Too many assistants fear they will be tainted by repeatedly being interviewed for senior roles, so the best candidates do not always get appointed.

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GWS-bound Kelly could haunt the Dees

Written By Unknown on Selasa, 12 November 2013 | 16.42

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JOSH Kelly is the man who could haunt Melbourne.

The Demons rejected the best midfielder at this year's draft twice despite some recruiting experts tipping Kelly as a future Brownlow medallist.


The Brighton Grammar star with razor sharp skills on both sides is certain to follow spearhead Tom Boyd to GWS with pick No. 2 at next week's AFL draft.

Recruiters rate Kelly's kicking in the top five in the draft and combined with his gut running he's set to join Lachie Whitfield, Tom Scully and potentially Jono O'Rourke and Will Hoskin-Elliott as the outside silk feeding the Giants' fearsome attack.

Some clubs were surprised the Dees offloaded rights to Kelly, who ran a 15.1 beep test and won the 3km time trial for the second-straight year, in a trade for Dom Tyson and No. 9 from GWS.

The Dees also overlooked Kelly last year when they picked Jesse Hogan instead at the mini-draft.

Pick Me: The Dees want the next Luke Shuey at No. 9

GWS list manager Stephen Silvagni was known to be a huge fan of Kelly and the Giants took little time accepting Melbourne's trade, desperate to add Kelly to their growing band of powerful midfield runners.

So professional is Kelly, after last year's draft camp he sourced ex-Melbourne Victory strength and conditioning coach and current St Kilda high performance manager Adam Basil as his sprints coach.


Josh Kelly shone for Vic Metro. Source: News Limited

Kelly cut his 20m sprint time to 3.02s at this year's draft camp and soared into the top five at the repeated sprints, highlighting his drastic improvement on the back of Basil's technique training and advice in the gym.

"Last year I would've viewed myself as an outside player but I've tried to improve my contested footy. That's something I still have a lot of room for improvement in, as well as my run and carry,'' said Kelly.

Only five clubs spoke to the son of North's Phil Kelly _ who fell 39 games short of qualifying under the father-son rule _ at the draft combine with the rest certain he would be gone by their first pick.

"I'd be extremely excited,'' Kelly said of the prospect of heading to the Giants.

"They've got a young list that looks extremely exciting. With the draft picks they've had and the list they're developing I'd be stoked to head up there.''

Kelly's pinpoint skills are so elite his mates tell him he was originally a right footer before emulating others and becoming a leftie.

"Being a skinny kid in juniors I couldn't go in and win the ball as much, so I kept working on skills.''

"His composure is advanced well beyond his years,'' one recruiter said.

"It's beautiful to watch him take his time to find the best option and then nail it by foot and he's also got the ability to finish from 50m out.''


Club: Sandringham Dragons

Age: 18

Height: 187cm

Weight: 79kg

Position: Midfield

SuperCoach avg.: 154 pts (TAC Cup)

Draft range: 2

In the mix: GWS (2)

Plays like: Jarrad McVeigh

Tomorrow: St Kilda's next poster boy

Josh Kelly is headed to the Giants. Source: News Limited

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Jack be nimble, Jack be quick

Victoria's Jack Wilson is drawn in the same group as Adam Scott and his fellow US PGA Tour star Marc Leishman in Thursday's marquee match at Royal Melbourne. Picture: AFP Source: KHALID REDZA / AFP

SWEET-swinging, smooth-talking Victorian Jack Wilson's rise to golfing prominence is about to go into overdrive.

Wilson, the Kingswood Golf Club trainee pro who won the WA PGA Championship in October, leapt into the national spotlight on Sunday when he ran a hard-charging third behind Adam Scott and Rickie Fowler in the Australian PGA Championship.

Scott gave him high praise afterwards, suggesting he could be "one of the next great players".

And Wilson, 23, is about to get the chance to prove it.

Wilson was today drawn in the same group with Scott and his fellow US PGA Tour star Marc Leishman in Thursday's marquee match at Royal Melbourne.

The trio will hit off the 10th tee at 8am, surrounded by a host of the sport's biggest names.

American world No.8 Matt Kuchar will be in the following group alongside Richard Green and India's World Cup representative Gaganjeet Bhullar.

Jack Wilson hits out of the bunker on the 14th hole during the final day of the Australian PGA at Royal Pines. Picture: Getty Images Source: Getty Images

The afternoon's groups are highlighted by comeback hero Jarrod Lyle playing alongside fellow Victorian Geoff Ogilvy and Zimabwean Presidents Cup star Brendon De Jonge at 12.30 off the first tee.

Melbourne's Jin Jeong has also been rewarded for his superb recent form, grouped with former world No.1 Vijay Singh and the red-hot Scott Hend in the preceding match.

See australianmasters.com.au for complete draw details.

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Sydney's new $18m carnival

Trainer Murray Baker is likely to target Sydney's $4 million race with superstar It's A Dundeel. Source: Wayne Ludbey / News Limited

MURRAY Baker was one of the first trainers to confirm his superstar It's A Dundeel would target the new $4 million Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) at Royal Randwick.

"We'll be going for it,'' said Baker, who will definitely have no shortage of rivals in town next autumn after officials unveiled arguably the biggest Sydney carnival shake-up ever.

Dubbed The Championships, the two Saturday meetings - to be run on April 12 and April 19 at Randwick - will feature eight Group 1s, headed by the Queen Elizabeth, with a staggering $18.2 million prizemoney up for grabs.

But one question punters will be asking this morning is why the Queen Elizabeth - and not the time-honoured Doncaster Mile - was given top billing?

While the Doncaster jumps from $2 million to $3 million in prizemoney, the Queen Elizabeth rocketed from what now seems a paltry $500,000 to $4 million.

Racing NSW chairman John Messara said it wasn't an easy decision to promote the Queen Elizabeth ahead of the Doncaster, which was first run in 1866.

The Daily Telegraph can reveal there was even discussion of going higher with a $5 million purse for the Queen Elizabeth.

"It wasn't an easy decision because the Doncaster is a time-honoured race, but the 2000m is a world-accepted distance,'' Messara said.

"The Doncaster, being a handicap, mitigates against the international horses coming here, and while I think we'll get some for the race, I think they'll be nervous about what weight they'll be allocated.

"It's the richest race over that distance on any ground in the world.

"And it's one race that will produce the most competitive field over time - it will produce an international field over time.''

Other key carnival factors from yesterday's huge announcement include:

PRIZEMONEY for the Sydney Cup will be raised from $500,000 to $1 million;

THE Queen Of The Turf is being transferred from the Golden Slipper meeting to be run two weeks later, with the distanced increased by 100m to 1600m;

THE Australian Oaks will also carry a $1 million purse;

RANDWICK'S Group 1 TJ Smith Stakes (1200m), which Black Caviar won in her last-ever race start last April, will receive a bumper rise in prizemoney from $1 million to $2.5 million.

BIG lead-up races, including the George Ryder Stakes, will be worth $1 million, the Chipping Norton Stakes ($500,000), and the Randwick Guineas $600,000; and

MINIMUM prizemoney for black-type races in the metropolitan area from February 1 to April 30 will carry a minimum $125,000 prizemoney for Listed races, $150,000 for Group 3 races, and $175,000 for Group 2 features.

The first day of The Championships will be held the week after Sydney's previous richest race, the Group 1 $3.5 million Golden Slipper (1200m) at Rosehill Gardens, while the second day falls on Easter Saturday.
NSW racing minister George Souris said the $18.2 million two-weekend spectacular will help inject $41 million‎ into the local economy.

The Daily Telegraph can also reveal if an international does travel Down Under, they'll be quarantined 1000km away at Werribee, not at Canterbury.

"Canterbury is off-limits because it will take a lot of capital expenditure to get it up to scratch for new quarantine protocols,'' Messara said.

"We've made arrangements with Racing Victoria to make Werribee available to us. In the next couple of years we'll build a quarantine facility adjoining one of our provincial tracks, which we're working on that at moment.''

Owner Neil Werrett made a beeline for trainer Chris Waller at yesterday's launch and made sure he put the Queen Elizabeth at he the top of the autumn agenda for Foreteller.

Waller, who won this year's Doncaster and Queen Elizabeth with Sacred Falls and Reliable Man, agreed with the decision to pump up the latter race. He added the Doncaster winner had the chance to run in the Queen Elizabeth a week later.


Saturday, April 12, 2014 - BMW Derby Day

Group 1 The Star Doncaster Mile (1600m) $3,000,000

Group 1 Darley TJ Smith Stakes (1200m) $2,500,000

Group 1 BMW Australian Derby (2400m) $2,000,000

Group 1 Sires' Produce Stakes (1400m) $1,000,000

Group 2 Schweppes Chairman's Quality (2600m) $300,000

Group 3 TAB Adrian Knox Stakes (GR3) $200,000

Group 3 Ticketek Kindergarten Stakes (1100m) $200,000

Group 3 PJ Bell Stakes (1200m) $200,000

Group 3 Bacardi Together Carbine Club Stakes (1600m) $200,000

Saturday total: $9,600,000

Saturday, April 19, 2014 - Schweppes Sydney Cup Day

Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) $4,000,000

Group 1 Schweppes Sydney Cup (3200m) $1,000,000

Group 1 Australian Oaks (2400m) $1,000,000

Group 1 Queen of the Turf Stakes (1600m) $1,000,000

Group 2 Royal Sovereign Stakes (1200m) $500,000

Group 3 Princess Stakes (1200m) $500,000

Group 2 Drummond Golf Sapphire Stakes (1200m) $300,000

Listed South Pacific Classic (1400m) $150,000

Listed Toga Fernhill Handicap (1600m) $150,000

Saturday total: $8,600,000

TOTAL PRIZEMONEY: $18.2 million


Group 1 Melbourne Cup $6.2m, Melbourne

Group 1 Queen Elizabeth $4m, Sydney

Group 1 Golden Slipper $3.5m, Sydney

Group 1 W.S Cox Plate $3m, Melbourne

Group 1 The Doncaster $3m, Sydney

Group 1 Caulfield Cup $2.5m, Melbourne

Group 1 T.J Smith $2.5m, Sydney

Group 1 Australian Derby $2m, Sydney

Group 1 Magic Millions 2YO $2m, Gold Coast


Treve (Fr)

Novellist (Ire)

Toronado (Ire)

Magician( Ire)

Mull Of Killough (Ire)

Orfevre (Jap)

Side Glance (GB)

Mucho Macho Man (USA)

Wise Dan (USA)

Shamus Award (rail), Happy Trails (outside) and Fiorente, who filling the placings in the Cox Plate, are all expected to make their presence felt at Sydney's autumn carnival. Picture: Michael Klein Source: News Limited




Happy Trails

Salon Soldier

It's A Dundeel

Super Cool

Jet Away


Royal Descent





Shamus Award


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Pies, Tiges join queue for Lennon

Written By Unknown on Senin, 11 November 2013 | 16.42

Ben Lennon is a little bit like Robert Murphy. Source: News Limited

BEN Lennon needs only a ­moment to shape a game.

Whether taking a gutsy mark running back with the flight of the ball, or slicing the field open with a 50m pass, the 187cm utility's skills are dazzling.


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The Northern Knight this year averaged the third most contested marks and score involvements in the national under-18 championships and registered the third best kicking efficiency in the top-20 ball ­winners in the TAC Cup, according to Champion Data.

PICK ME: Watch highlights and analysis of the hottest talent available at this year's draft

"He just has the right technique in any situation and, if you have got right technique, you can make things look good, but he can make it look really good," former Knights coach Marco Bello said.

The problem, though, with being such a "show-stopper", as one recruiter put it, is proving you can also roll up your sleeves and whack away in and under to get the ball. Busting your gut doing the less glamorous work.

If there was a query over Lennon's ability in this area, the All-Australian dismissed it late this season, putting him on Richmond's draft radar at pick No.12 or higher at pick 7, which belongs to Brisbane Lions.

He spent time at Punt Rd this year as part of the AIS/AFL squad, where one message from straight-shooting development coach Mark Williams was "shave your beard off, you look like a d---head".

Under-18 AFL Championships at Skilled Stadium Geelong,28th June 2013, Vic Metro v South Australia, Vic's Ben Lennon in action Source: News Limited

After dominating games with his penetrating right-foot kicking on a back and forward flank, Lennon moved onto the ball late in the season to show he could win contested possessions in the midfield, and averaged 28 touches in his last five games.

It rounded out his game, proving the Vic Metro star, like Brendon Goddard, shapes as the ultimate utility.

"I think I did prove that I can play midfield, which taught me a lot and helped my confidence," Lennon said. "I hope I answered a few critics if there were any, but I've still got lot of stuff I have to work on."

His brilliant overhead marking, which proves a constant threat especially when isolated in the forward 50m, has its roots in cricket, playing for Macleod in the northern suburbs.

"The boys always put me in the slips cordon because they thought I had a pretty good eye," Lennon said.

Likewise, his kicking was painstakingly crafted alongside his sister, Grace, who spent long hours honing her golf skills on the driving range.

She is an amateur, hoping to turn pro next year.

Lennon has been invited to the draft on the Gold Coast on November 21,is looking for a similar career breakthrough.

"Having that role model helped instil in me that dedication and work ethic," he said.

"That (kicking) is my trade and I knew I had to work at it.''


Northern Knights

Age: 18

Height: 187cm

Weight: 79kg

Position: Utility

SuperCoach avg: 124 pts (TAC Cup)

Draft range: 7-12

In the mix: Brisbane (7), Collingwood (10), Richmond (12)

Plays like: Brendon Goddard

Tomorrow: The man who could haunt Melbourne

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Video: Quade, BOD turn on the style

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QUADE Cooper, Brian O'Driscoll and Charles Piutau may be at different stages of their international careers but they all had one thing in common at the weekend - outrageous exhibitions of individual skill.

After England and Australia played out a dour beginning to the November series, Test rugby roared into life at the weekend as some of the game's best turned on the style, and showmanship, across Europe.

The Wallabies kicked off the weekend's action with an improved effort against Italy, despite a poor start where they found themselves 10-0 down early on.

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After recovering from a shaky start Ewen McKenzie's side piled on 50 points with playmaker Cooper throwing more dummies than a teething one-year-old to set up the second of Nick Cummins's two tries.

Just a couple of hours later it was the grand old man of the Emerald Isle, O'Driscoll, who turned on the trickery as Ireland began life under Joe Schmidt with a 40-9 hammering of Samoa.

Starting his farewell international season in superb fashion, the four-time Lions tourist looped a little pass between his legs in the lead-up to Sean O'Brien's five-pointer.

Just hours after O'Driscoll walked from Aviva Stadium to a standing ovation - no doubt the first of many over the coming few months - one of the rising stars of world rugby announced himself on the world stage.

Piutau had a night to remember in Paris. Source: AFP

Playing just his second Test, All Blacks flyer Piutau showed teammates Cory Jane and Julian Savea won't be automatic selections on the flanks in the lead-up to the 2015 World Cup.

And if All Blacks coach Steve Hansen hadn't seen enough when Piutau produced a determined chase for the game's opening try, then his incredible flick pass to release Kieran Read must have raised a smile on the usually stone-faced Kiwi.

What about the forwards you ask? Well, there was one man who managed to squeak his way into our highlights reel - Wallabies hooker Stephen Moore.

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And it may have even been the inspiration for Piutau's effort too, with Moore flicking a sneaky ball to replacement winger Joe Tomane for another Wallabies try.

The skills are on show this November - be sure to tune in this weekend.

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Paper Talk: Barton at it again

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IT was another massive weekend in football around the world, with Joey Barton back in the headlines, RVP haunting his old club and Leo Messi showing off his other sporting talents. It's all in <i>Paper Talk: Weekend Washup</i>.


English football's most notorious bad boy Joey Barton is back in the headlines, this time for a bizarre off the ball incident with former Newcastle teamate Danny Guthrie.

Playing for QPR against Reading at the weekend, Barton literally stuck the boot in when Guthrie went to ground in the closing stages of their 1-1 draw.

In an incident that was missed by the referee but captured by TV cameras, the Hoops midfielder took the chance to throw a water bottle towards Guthrie's groin area, before planting his studs on his old pal.

In different circumstances Barton's actions could have caused a blow up between the two sides but Guthrie appeared to see the funny side of Barton's antics and was soon back on his feet.

The pair spent three years together on Tyneside and were part of the side which won promotion from the Championship in 2009.

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Manchester United's win over Arsenal has Fleet Street reassessing the Premier League's true contenders this season, and the widely held belief has become that without January reinforcements up front, the Gunners won't be in the conversation in April and May next year.

While Arsenal top the table after 11 rounds, and have taken some big scalps along the way, they've done it on the back of an incredible (and probably unsustainable) goal scoring run from midfielder Aaron Ramsey as well as a high quality contribution from Olivier Giroud.

When there's no Giroud, it's often the much-criticised Nicklas Bendtner who fills the breach.

Compare that to Liverpool's SAS, Manchester City's Sergio Aguero backed up by the excellent Alvaro Negredo and Eden Djeko, Chelsea's Samuel Eto'o and Fernando Torres or Manchester United's incredible stable of Robin van Persie, Wayne Rooney, Danny Welbeck and Javier Hernandez and you start to see why Gunners fans might be concerned.


He's the best football player in the world but in a video captured at Barcelona training, Lionel Messi has shown his skills don't end with the beautiful game.

Watch this clip to see how Messi might fare on a basketball court, albeit using his head, not his hands.

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Ashley Young was left out of Manchester United's squad in their 1-0 win over Arsenal and it appears it may have come as punishment for his dive that won United a penalty in their Champions League fixture last week.

United manager David Moyes has been a vocal critic of acting in football and has previously pulled Young into line when he was yellow carded for a dive earlier this season.

While Moyes last week defended his winger, it's been reported that he was privately fuming with Young's conduct.

And with the emergence of precocious talent Adnan Januzaj pushing Young to the periphery, it could be that the former Villa man is on his way out of Old Trafford.

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When Robin van Persie gave Manchester United the lead in the 27th minute against Arsenal he turned and celebrated like he had played for them his entire career.

It was a marked change of attitude since he last scored against his former club, and perhaps indicated the star striker was rankled by Arsene Wenger's claims that the flying Dutchman was a Gunners man through and through.

In the lead-up to Sunday's game Wenger said he "still sees Van Persie as an Arsenal player" and that was reflected in a comment Van Persie made after scoring against the club at which he spent eight years last November.

"I played there eight years and had a fantastic time there," Van Persie said at the time.

"I have respect for the fans, the players, the manager and the whole club."

Perhaps less so now.


Wayne Rooney was at a crossroads in the off-season, even asking for a transfer when he was constantly played out of position towards the end of Sir Alex Ferguson's tenure.

Fast forward a few months, and according to Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher, the England striker is the only reason United have stayed in the hunt for the title.

"Rooney is the reason why they're only five points behind this season because United have been poor," Carragher said after the superstar's superb performance against Arsenal.

"It's not the vintage United we've seen of old and there are a lot of players who haven't performed, but he's the one who's dragged Man United up there, virtually single-handedly at times.

"You look at the technical players in the opposition - Ozil and Ramsey - but Rooney brings that power and endurance, he's a typical Premier League player and that's why he is one of the top players in our league and with Manchester United.

"We've spoken a lot this season about partnerships and top strikers but I think United have got some of the best strikers in European football and Rooney's right up there with the best of them. "His performance today with some of the players on show - he was the best player by a mile."


There's been plenty of hype around the film showcasing six of Manchester United's stars from its famed Class of 92, and here's a little preview to show just what it will be all about...

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Jose Mourinho has never been much of a David Luiz fan, and after giving the Brazilian stopper a chance to win him over to start this season, the Portugese manager is ready to cut him loose.

The Blues twice turned down bids from Barcelona in the summer - even though the second offer moved to Pound35million.

At the time, Jose Mourinho wanted to fully assess the squad he was taking over but his initial thoughts that the Brazilian was too flashy and a defensive risk have now been confirmed in the manager's mind.

Barca are likely to come again for Luiz in January, and this time there will be no resistance from Mourinho.

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been in hot form of late, and he was at it again at the weekend, with a superb hat-trick against the hapless Nice.

Ibra's contribution, highlights of which you can see here, helped PSG to a 3-1 win over their Ligue 1 opponents.

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They're sitting pretty in third on the Premier League table and are the pride of the league but Southampton have left plenty of commentators with egg on their face.

While Argentinian manager Mauricio Pochettino has been the success story of the season, it wasn't long ago that he faced a huge amount of resistance by critics who believed that his installment, along with Southampton's sale to foreign owners, had stripped the club of its very English DNA.

This was Rob Draper, writing for The Mail on Sunday: "They're the poster club for the FA commission and ironically they're owned by foreigners and managed by foreigners.

"There was a huge outcry when just over a year ago an English coach lost his job and an Argentine was transposed in there and you felt like they were losing the DNA of the club.

"People were saying 'it's changing and it's not going to be English anymore', but actually Pochettino and Nicola Cortese the owner are very strong in saying that they want English players in here. But they've stuck to their word and I think one of the key things that the commission will look at is, 'how do you give game time to young English players?' And that's what Southampton are doing.

"They're giving Premier League game to time to some talented English players and that's allowing them to get to the level that they can get in to the England squad, whereas some of their counterparts at the bigger clubs can't get the game time and have fallen off the radar."


Juventus stars Andrea Pirlo and Paul Pogba have taught Napoli a lesson as they starred in the Old Lady's 3-0 league win at the weekend.

Typically, Pirlo was in everything, and capped his performance with a stunning goal from a free kick, while Pogba sealed the game with a blistering volley.

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Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas accused Saint-Etienne goalkeeper Stephane Ruffier of hitting him in the back at the end of an explosive French Ligue 1 derby on Sunday.

Lyon won the 107th Rhone clash between the two sides, 2-1 thanks to an injury time winner from Jimmy Briand but the game was overshadowed by a series of unsavoury incidents.

"Stephane Ruffier hit me violently in the back at the end of the match," Aulas told French TV.

"One of our medical staff made a remark on the way to the changing rooms. Fabrice Grange, who is a former Lyon man, saw fit to clash with our doctor," claimed Aulas.

"When I tried to separate them, Stephane Ruffier dealt me a blow in the back."

The atmosphere at the Geoffroy-Guichard ground was already tense before kick-off.

Lyon's goalkeeper coach Joel Bats tied a Lyon scarf to one of the goals which riled Saint-Etienne fans, some of whom spilled onto the pitch.

"Joel was right to do that," insisted Aulas who believed it was correct following a ban on Lyon supporters travelling to the game.

"We should have tied a black armband," he added.



Italy has had its fair share of football scandal in recent years and on the weekend another bizarre incident caused a match to be abandoned in farcical circumstances.

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After getting death threats from their own fans in the lead-up to a local derby with Salernitana, third-tier side Nocerina at first refused to start the game, delaying kick-off for two hours, before enough players feigned injury in the opening 20 minutes to cause the side to be reduced to six men - an automatic forfeit.

"This is a terrible page in the history of football," said Salernitana coach Carlo Perrone.

"We need to ask ourselves how this could've happened. I am a man of sport and right now feel terribly disappointed."

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