One of this season’s top draft prospects has made his desires clear for next week’s big nights.
Plus West Coast is ready to continue to meet its need for speed.
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Conti earns her comeuppance with MVP Award | 00:32
SOUTH AUSTRALIAN GUN ‘MADE FOR MELBOURNE’
South Australian youngster Mattaes Phillipou has stated he is “made for Melbourne”, with both Essendon and Hawthorn lurking as destinations for the 17-year-old.
Phillipou has moved into the top five in calculations after an impressive campaign in 2022, underlined by his confident confidence in his abilities.
His desire to be the center of the AFL spotlight has been communicated this week.
“I’m really excited and I’ve said to a number of clubs before, ‘I’m made for Melbourne if it’s Melbourne,'” he told The Advertiser.
“I’ve always wanted to be in the spotlight, play in front of a big crowd, play in all the big games, and the teams in Melbourne understand that.
“It would be great to play the ‘G of Etihad every two weeks.”
After meeting Hawthorn and coach Sam Mitchell, Essendon had Phillipou reschedule his flight back to South Australia so he could meet Brad Scott at the club.
“It would be great if I was called up by Essendon,” he said.
“Brad was excellent, I really enjoyed his philosophy and I think Essendon will do great things whether I end up there or not.”
Essendon currently has pick No. 4 (expected to move up to No. 5 once a bid for Will Ashcroft is matched by Brisbane), while Hawthorn has pick No. 6.
Jeremy Cameron’s advice for Cadman | 01:47
WATCHING EAGLES TO REINFORCE THE NEED FOR SPEED
West Coast is reportedly considering selecting Victorian speedster Coby Burgiel with one of its second-round picks in next week’s draft.
The Western Australian reports that Burgiel has piqued the interest of the Eagles after an impressive season at the NAB League level, in which he started 12.11 and averaged 21.6 disposals and 4.3 in 50s from nine games.
He also played well for Vic Country, averaging 17 disposals per appearance at the national championships.
Eagles roster boss Rohan O’Brien said the club would be open to drafting an interstate player like Burgiel, the son of former Hawthorn roster player and American college punter Hayden Burgiel.
“It’s always a factor (the Go Home fears) – if you think you have two players close in terms of talent and one in WA and one outside, you’re probably leaning towards the local one. But we will continue to support our club,” he said on AFL Draft Radio.
“If we think there is a player who is significantly better then we will make sure we keep that player.”
If selected, Burgiel would continue an off-season in which the Eagles have been desperately trying to add speed to their aging squad.
Jayden Hunt arrived at the Eagles this off-season via unrestricted free agency, with the fast halfback option coming over from Melbourne.
West Coast also hopes to snare local talent Reuben Ginbey in the draft with his top-10 pick, with Ginbey offering an impressive athletic profile to add to the squad as it undergoes a period of regeneration.
“Reuben is certainly a very talented player and he is definitely in our draft range,” said Eagles list boss Rohan O’Brien.
But the Gold Coast Suns love Ginbey too and this week flew to southwest WA to meet the talented midfielder and his family.
“We thought we wanted to add another midfielder to our roster and compliment the midfield we have,” Suns recruiting manager Kall Burns said on AFL Draft Radio.
“We drove quickly to Dunsborough (in southwest WA) on Tuesday.
“Reuben happened to be home – he had finished school in Wesley in Perth so he was back home with mum and dad so it was a great opportunity to see him back home in his natural environment.
“It was a great opportunity to get our welfare manager there and meet the family and discuss if it might look like that (moving to the suns) came out.
“He was great – the family was great too.
“They understand that it is a national competition. If it’s the Gold Coast he’s a crazy surfer so the lifestyle would suit him. They were very open to it.”
The Eagles are out of pick 8 selection after opting to move back down the pick 2 draft order in the four-club mega trade with Jason Horne-Francis landing at the Power and North Melbourne coughing up the first pick.
The Suns get the first shot at Ginbey if they want it as they hold pick 5.