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Recruits show strength of alignment

Matt Burgan  November 28, 2016 5:36 PM

I think it shows the strength of the connection and what a wonderful job [Casey coach] Justin Plapp is doing there

NATIONAL recruiting manager Jason Taylor says the fact that Melbourne drafted two of its three rookies from VFL affiliate side, the Casey Scorpions, highlights the strength of its partnership.

After selecting developing ruckman Lachlan Filipovic from the Sandringham Dragons – a young player who has worked closely with Max Gawn – Melbourne claimed Tim Smith and Declan Keilty, who were two key players for Casey in 2016.

Taylor said it was a credit to the Melbourne and Casey alignment, and to Scorpions coach Justin Plapp.

“I think it shows the strength of the connection and what a wonderful job [Casey coach] Justin Plapp is doing there,” he told Melbourne TV.

“The alignment is now really working strong and they’re coached the same way and we’re starting to see a few of those players blossom.

“We think even Declan doing a mini part of the pre-season with us this year – we saw some dramatic improvement in him in just a six-week period. At 21, we think he’s got some more improvement to come in a full-time environment.”

Taylor added that national recruiting officer Tim Lamb played a big part in helping recruit players to Casey.

“We’re trying to bring players in who we think are half a chance to progress,” he said.

In assessing the overall draft and trade period, Taylor said …

“I think we’ve got some real depth in most areas of the ground now,” he said.

“Hopefully we’ll stay healthy and attack the season and hope we see some improvement.”

But there was no

“Myself and Tim are off to Darwin for the NAB AFL Academy – they’re doing a training camp up there, so that’s for next year’s crop,” he said.

“We’re there for a week and then we’ll take the foot off the pedal a little bit.”