MELBOURNE has landed outstanding young defender Jake Lever via a trade with Adelaide on Thursday morning.
The 21-year-old, who recently nominated the red and blue as his destination club, was acquired through a deal, which saw Melbourne give up this year’s No.10 draft selection, plus two future picks, a first round selection and fourth round choice in 2018.
In return, Melbourne obtained Lever, selection No.35 in this year’s NAB AFL Draft and a future third round pick for 2018.
General manager of football operations Josh Mahoney said the trade progressed quickly after positive discussions on Monday morning, when the trade period officially opened.
"We’re very happy to complete the deal today with the Adelaide Crows to secure Jake Lever," he told melbournefc.com.au.
"Jake has been a player we’ve targeted as a priority during this trade period and this is a great outcome for us.
"Jake will have an immediate impact on our group – on field as an important member of our defence, but also off the field with his professionalism and competitiveness.
“With 56 games to his name, we see Jake as a long-term player at the Melbourne footy club.”
Mahoney said it was pleasing to also gain some selections as part of the deal.
“Given our position in the draft and the quality of the draft, this deal was always going to have to involve multiple picks and swaps,” he said.
“With our positon in the draft, which is mid to late first round picks, we were willing to trade pick No.10 and a future first round selection to add someone with such value as Jake.
“We were willing to do this under the proviso we had some picks coming back, which we gained and will help our position in the draft this year.
“To get a second round pick back is a good result, as we now have picks No.27, No.35 and No.45 in this year’s draft and we’re confident our recruiters will be able to find good players, as they have shown in previous drafts.”
Standing at 195 cm tall, Lever is a courageous defender, who puts his body on the line, and can play on talls and smalls.
Hailing from Romsey, north of Melbourne, he played with Calder Cannons in the TAC Cup, and was drafted at pick No.14 in the 2014 NAB AFL Draft.
In 2015, the year he made his AFL debut, Lever gained a NAB AFL Rising Star nomination.
Regarded as one of the best incept marks and spoilers in the game, he was named in this year’s All-Australian squad of 40.
Most recently, he played in Adelaide's 2017 AFL Grand Final loss to Richmond.
He looms as a decade player for Melbourne and an integral part of the club's future.
2017 Jake Lever stats: 17 games in 2017. 175 kicks, 107 marks, 100 handballs, averaging 10.3 kicks, 6.3 marks, 5.9 handballs. One goal, one behind. Two clearances, 30 inside 50m, 59 rebound 50m and 31 tackles.