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Melbourne Football Club

Six players join the red and blue

AFL Draft: Jason Taylor We chat to Jason Taylor about Melbourne's five draftees selected at this years NAB AFL Draft

MELBOURNE have wrapped up a fruitful draft day, wih six players added to the list.

Tom Sparrow, James Jordon, Aaron Nietschke, mature-age recruit Marty Hore and Academy product Toby Bedford will all be a part of Melbourne's plans for 2019.

Later in the day, Melbourne added rookie Kyle Chandler.

Read on to find out about all six of the new Demons. 

Pick 27: Tom Sparrow

Position: Midfielder/half-back
Height:
182cm. Weight: 81kg. DOB: 31/5/2000
Recruited from:
South Adelaide U18 (SANFL)

> WATCH SPARROW'S HIGHLIGHTS

Melbourne's first pick moved back a place in the order after an unsuccesful bid on Rhylee West which was matched by the Western Bulldogs.

With their first pick, Melbourne have drafted Tom Sparrow.

The South Australian joins the Demons after an impressive Under 18s Championships where he showed an impressive defensive intent averaging five tackles per game.

“He played a fair bit of that footy off half-back where he showed that he’s got some traits in that area of the ground,” national recruiting manager Jason Taylor told Melbourne Media.

“But his better footy really, at his home club level, has been through the midfield.”

Sparrow is a courageous player and his versatility across the field is of great value.

“He just plays with a real ruthless nature,” Taylor said.

“His second and third efforts tackling are a real feature in his game.

“He’s a good all-round athlete – good speed, power and endurance.”

Sparrow will be an exciting addition for Melbourne, set to showcase his explosive pace off half-back.

Pick 33: James Jordon

Position: Midfielder
Height:
186cm. Weight: 84kg. DOB: 20/12/2000
Recruited from:
Oakleigh Chargers U18 (TAC Cup)

 > WATCH JORDON'S HIGHLIGHTS

James Jordon is Melbourne's second draft selection taken at pick 33.

Jordon, originally from Yarrawonga, boarded at Caulfield Grammar to help take his football to the next level.

“He had a really strong school year both with his football and his cricket, winning the best and fairest for Caufield Grammar playing in all areas of the ground,” national recruiting manager Jason Taylor told Melbourne Media.

“So he had some exposure as a rebound defender, a midfielder and a forward.”

The 186cm utility bolted into draft contention with his versatile skillset and earned his spot on the Melbourne list.

“He played some senior footy at Yarrawonga where he played as a forward and he was able to hit the scoreboard,” Taylor said.

“He came into Oakleigh Chargers later in the year … and he played a fair bit of footy [in defence], but also through the midfield.

“We think he’s got potential to really grow as a midfielder.”

Jordon is a thumping kick of the ball and is currently just 17-years-old.

“He has a late birthdate, so we think there’s enormous growth,” Taylor said.

Pick 53: Aaron Nietschke

Position: Half-back/midfielder
Height:
184cm. Weight: 77kg. DOB: 26/5/2000
Recruited from:
Central Districts U18 (SANFL)

> WATCH NITSCHKE'S HIGHLIGHTS

Aaron Nietschke has been selected at pick 53 by the red and blue.

Nietschke, recruited from South Australia, averaged 32 disposals to win the league best and fairest in the SANFL Under 18s, showing an ability to win the ball in the middle.

“At the start of the year he played at his peer group as a genuine midfielder and a really high possession winner,” national recruiting manager Jason Taylor told Melbourne Media.

“He’s also a South Australian Under 18 rep who played a fair bit of that footy at half-back and a little bit on the wing.”

At 184cm, Nietschke can cover the ground well and is a versatile option for the Demons.

“He’s nice and clean, makes sound decisions, really strong over head and really good endurance,” Taylor said.

“He played some senior footy later in the year and he played off half-back and was really strong again at that level.”

Pick 56: Marty Hore

Position: Defender
Height:
189cm. Weight: 89kg. DOB: 5/3/1996
Recruited from:
Collingwood (VFL)/Bendigo Pioneers U18 (TAC Cup)

> WATCH HORE'S HIGHLIGHTS

Mature age recruit Marty Hore has been taken at pick 56.

The 22-year-old makes his way onto an AFL list after winning the past two best and fairest awards for Collingwood’s VFL side.

“He’s a left footer, uses the ball really well and we’ve just been really happy with the way he just keeps turning up and presenting that he wants to be an AFL player,” national recruiting manager Jason Taylor told Melbourne Media.

The 189cm defender has had to take the long route to the AFL, but his commitment has never wavered, impressing Taylor and the Melbourne recruiters.

“He’s come through originally the Bendigo Pioneers, but Marty’s stuck at it well and improved his game every year playing as that intercept defender,” Taylor said.

“It’s great that he gets an opportunity.”

Pick 75: Toby Bedford

Position: Small forward
Height:
176cm. Weight: 69kg. DOB: 27/5/2000
Recruited from:
Dandenong Stingrays U18 (TAC Cup)

> WATCH BEDFORD'S HIGHLIGHTS

Melbourne has secured Academy player Toby Bedford with pick 75.

The club has watched Bedford develop into an exciting player in recent years and he is sure to be an asset for the Demons in the forward half of the ground.

“There’s just real speed and endurance in his game,” national recruiting manager Jason Taylor told Melbourne Media.

“He’s got a real appetite to put pressure on and tackle and comes with really good character in his footy and as a person.

“He really does hunt down the opposition.”

At 176cm, Bedford has a slight frame but plays with a flair that should see him haunt opposition defences.

“He’s got some stuff to work on in his game with his finish and his forward craft, but we know in the short period of time he spent with us last year we saw some quick growth,” Taylor said.

“We’re confident he can get better pretty quickly.”

Pick 78: Pass

Melbourne opted to pass on pick 78, ending their involvement in the National Draft.

All eyes will now turn to the Pre-Season and Rookie Draft later today.

Rookie Draft Pick 14: Kade Chandler

Position: Forward
Height:
173cm. Weight: 73kg. DOB: 13/1/2000
Recruited from:
Norwood U18 (TAC Cup)

>WATCH CHANDLER'S HIGHLIGHTS

Via the rookie draft, Melbourne has selected Kade Chandler.

The South Australian forward finished school in 2017 and developed his football well throughout last season.

“He had this year just playing at Norwood and working,” national recruiting manager Jason Taylor told Melbourne Media.

Chandler stands at just 173cm but he has a lot of attributes which make him a dangerous AFL player.

“He’s a high possession winner, really good leap for a small, very good over head for a small and really hard at the footy,” Taylor said.

“He’s clean, puts pressure on and tackles with intent.”

Chandler’s defensive pressure is a feature of his game, averaging six tackles per match in the Under 18s Championships.

But he’s just as dangerous offensively and could become a major threat for the Demons inside 50.

“We think his game can grow as that small forward, but he has a point of difference with his aerial ability as well as his ground level play,” Taylor said.