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Petracca snapped up by Dees

Pick 2 highlights: Christian Petracca The best highlights of Christian Petracca

MELBOURNE has claimed midfielder Christian Petracca with its first pick – No.2 – in this year’s NAB AFL Draft.

Petracca had been strongly linked to St Kilda’s No.1 draft pick for quite some time, before the Saints opted for Paddy McCartin. This allowed the star 18-year-old to be claimed by Melbourne.

National recruiting manager said Taylor said it was simply speculation that St Kilda had switched from Petracca to McCartin.

“Christian is a power athlete. He’s very good overhead. As a forward/mid, we asked him at the start of the year what he wanted to improve on and he wanted to improve his endurance, so he could play in the midfield. He ticked that box, but he’s got a long way to go in that area, as all young players do,” he told melbournefc.com.au.

“We thought it was a good indication that he was able to do that, because it showed his determination and it showed his work-ethic was good. He’s a competitive player who we think will play some good footy forward early and then run through the midfield as he develops.

“His body of work can’t be denied. He performed strongly as a bottom-ager last year and he continued that this year, when he won the Larke Medal for the best player in the under-18 championships. He also performed at Eastern Ranges on a consistent basis. He hasn’t performed badly this year, so that gives us confidence that there is evidence he’s going to take that in a week to week basis at AFL level.”

From Eastern Ranges, 186cm Petracca had an outstanding 2014. He is a damaging inside midfielder who is also proven up forward, where he initially shone as a player. Petracca is a dominant player with the ability to take strong overhead marks and break through packs.

He won this year’s Larke Medal for the best player in division one of the NAB AFL under 18 championships and was named Vic Metro’s most valuable player in 2014. He averaged 25 disposals, five marks and five clearances in five matches. Petracca was also named All-Australian.

Petraccca also ran a personal best 14.12 in the beep test at the NAB AFL Draft Combine.

He looks set to become an integral part of Melbourne’s future. 
 

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