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Freo adds skill, leadership at draft: Lloyd

Tom Fee   November 24, 2017 6:12 PM

Brad Lloyd spoke to Docker TV following the NAB AFL Draft on Friday.

With eight selections at the 2017 NAB AFL National Draft in Sydney, Fremantle has welcomed a highly-skilled group that boasts considerable leadership potential, according to general manager of list management Brad Lloyd.

Fremantle played a significant role in the early proceedings of the draft at the Sydney Showgrounds with picks two and five, taking a pair of elite midfielders in Andrew Brayshaw from the Sandringham Dragons and Adam Cerra from Eastern Ranges.

To complement their early picks, Fremantle also added midfield, forward and ruck depth in drafting Hugh Dixon with pick no.44, Mitch Crowden with pick no.59, Tom North with pick no.65, Lloyd Meek with pick no.69 and Sam Switkowski with pick no 73.

"We love the fact that we were able to get a balanced list," Lloyd said.

"We followed our draft order, but to get four midfielders in, to get a small forward in, a couple of ruckman and then a key forward as well is pleasing.

“It’s a really good crop, we love that they can all use the ball well, they’re good kicks and really good characters, so we really feel like we’ve added some leadership tonight."

Brayshaw has significant ties with WA, with his grandfather Ian Brayshaw a former WA Sheffield Shield captain and father Mark playing 110 games for Claremont before joining North Melbourne, where he played 32 games.

Draft pick 2 - Andrew Brayshaw

As an added bonus for the Brayshaws, Andrew’s brother Hamish was drafted to West Coast with pick no.68.

“Andrew’s a midfielder, he’s got great skills, he’s an elite runner and an outstanding character,” Lloyd said.

“That’s what we love about him. He's a great football character, he’s got some pedigree back in Western Australia which is nice, too.

"We love his football and we also love what he can bring to the club off-field with his leadership.”

Like Brayshaw, Lloyd says Cerra is an excellent character who has the ability to impact the scoreboard.

Draft pick 5 - Adam Cerra

“Adam’s a really balanced player, he uses the ball well and wins contested ball,” Lloyd said.

“He can also go forward and take a mark and kick goals.

“What we love about Adam and Andrew is they’re both outstanding people who have some leadership qualities to bring to our young group.”

Lloyd added that it was pleasing that Fremantle were also recruited two close friends in Cerra and North, who were teammates at Eastern Ranges.

“I’m sure Adam would have been happy with that pick,” Lloyd said.

“I was happy as well for us to call Tom’s name out and see one of Adam’s close friends come to the club.

“Tom's a midfielder, he has really good footy smarts and he’s a nice ball user as well and a great person.”

Fremantle also bolstered their ruck stocks behind Aaron Sandilands and Sean Darcy, with veteran Sandilands nearing the end of his career.

Draft pick 75 - Scott Jones

“We got Scott Jones in and Lloyd Meeks as ruckmen,” Lloyd said.

“Scott’s a ruckman who’s played some WAFL footy during the past few years at East Perth.

"Lloyd’s been playing or North Ballarat, so we’re really excited for those two guys to come onto our list and give us some ruck depth and now it’s their chance to develop at the club.” 

In Crowden, Fremantle added more midfield depth and also brought in some goalkicking ability in Hugh Dixon and Sam Switkowski.

“They’re all really good characters, we have another midfielder in Crowden and Switowski’s more of that half-forward who can kick goals.

“Dixon’s a key position forward who can take a contested mark and a good ball user.

"We see him being able to complement our current forwards in Shane Kersten and Cam McCarthy.”