On a busy second day of the 2018 NAB AFL Draft at Marvel Stadium on Friday afternoon, the GIANTS selected Ian Hill with pick 24, Kieren Briggs with pick 34 and rounded out their draft haul by trading up to pick 61 to secure Connor Idun.
It didn’t take long on the second day of the revamped draft for the GIANTS to get into the action with a pick swap moving the GIANTS into position to secure exciting small forward Ian Hill from Western Australia.
The cousin of Fremantle’s Bradley and Stephen, Ian played his junior football at the Perth Football Club.
View this post on Instagram
Affectionately known as 'Bobby' due to a childhood love of Bob the Builder, Hill’s pace is one of the highlights of his game (he has run the 20m sprint in 2.82 seconds), while his incredible leap allows him to take big marks.
GIANTS National Recruiting Manager Adrian Caruso said:
“We’ve followed Ian’s journey and given the quality and types of players we brought in last night, we prioritised trading up to get Ian based on where we ranked him in our talent order.
“It’s rare to find a player with the special qualities Ian possesses, hence why we moved up.”
The GIANTS were forced to match West Coast’s bid for big man Kieren Briggs later in the second round with the Western Sydney product secured with selection 34.
Following in the footsteps of Nick Shipley in 2017, the Pennant Hills Demon will complement the GIANTS current ruckmen Dawson Simpson and Matthew Flynn.
The 200cm Under-18s All Australian ruck is an imposing figure who showed he can also play in the backline and as a marking target up forward in games for the Allies and the GIANTS’ NEAFL side.
“He was the All Australian ruckman and he’s from Western Sydney, so it was a pretty easy decision for us,” Caruso said.
“A super competitor who we believe will develop significantly once in our program full-time.”
After sitting out the third round, the GIANTS did a deal with St Kilda to move up 21 positions to secure defender Connor Idun at pick 61.
The 18-year old, born in England and of African descent, is a developing key defender who thrives in one-on-one contests.
While he stands at 190cm, Idun is a versatile player and thanks to his speed is able to play tall or small.
Clean and quick with disposal by hand, Idun played forward at times during 2018 kicking 10 goals in 14 games for the Geelong Falcons in the TAC Cup.
Later in the 2018 season, Idun showed he is also capable of playing in the ruck.
Caruso said the club is thrilled to welcome Idun.
“Connor is a versatile tall who is a real competitor,” he said.
“He has athleticism and is a point of difference on our list.
“We traded up for him as it balanced our draft out with a key position player to mix in with the other types of players we brought in.”
Reflecting on the 2018 NAB AFL Draft, Caruso said:
“We're very happy with our return, we were rapt with what we got last night," he said.
"We got three mids and that gave us the flexibility to sit there this morning and reflect on what we got, and work on a strategy for today."
The GIANTS used the new live trading twice across to strengthen their draft hand and secure both Hill and Idun.
"I think having it over two days helped us actually assess the first round, come back in the morning and work out what your plans were going forward, which allowed us to get Ian Hill," Caruso said.
"Live trading made it more exciting and busier but I think it just gave us the flexibility to do a lot more."
The six players selected by the GIANTS in the 2018 NAB AFL Draft, along with Irish recruit Callum Brown, will begin at the club on Monday.
Pick 11 - Jye Caldwell
From: Bendigo Pioneers/Vic Country
Pick 14 - Jackson Hately
From: Central District/South Australia
Pick 22 - Xavier O’Halloran
From: Vic Metro/Western Jets
Pick 24 - Ian Hill
From: Perth/Western Australia
Pick 34 - Kieren Briggs
From: GIANTS Academy/Allies
Pick 61 - Connor Idun
From: Geelong Falcons/Vic Country