MELBOURNE has filled the final spot on its list, signing former Casey Demons midfielder Jay Lockhart as a rookie to complete its squad for the 2019 season.
The Demons had the opportunity to recruit one player before the start of the home and away season next week and gave Lockhart the opportunity to join the club’s rookie list.
“The AFL introduced a Supplementary Selection Period for the first time this year. This allowed teams to add players to their rookie list up until todays date,” General Manager of Football Operations Josh Mahoney told Melbourne Media.
“By passing on our last pick in the rookie draft we had a spot available and today we have added Jay Lockhart to our rookie list for this season.”
The 23-year-old is Tasmanian-born but made the move to Victoria in 2018 in a bid to chase his AFL dream.
Lockhart signed with the Casey Demons last year to test himself against some of the best footballers in the country and proved his worth with a dominant season in the VFL.
“Jay had a terrific season at the Casey Demons last year and was unlucky not to get drafted at the time,” Mahoney said.
“To Jay’s credit, he took the disappointment of not getting drafted to fuel a really strong pre-season at Casey Demons.
“He came back in terrific condition and we are really happy that we have been able to reward his attitude with this spot.”
The club has been weighing up how to make best use of the final spot for 2019 and Mahoney said Lockhart ticked all the boxes.
“When we were considering how to use this position on our list, it made sense to add a player who knew our system and had played under our coaches,” he said.
“Jay was a perfect candidate and we are sure he will make the most of this opportunity.”