Fremantle are not going to let go of their prized pick 21 lightly ahead of round two of the NAB AFL Draft, according to Executive General Manager of Football Peter Bell.
Freo’s next selection will open the second round on Thursday, allowing the Club almost 24 hours after the end of round one to assess their options and field trade offers from other clubs.
Bell said he was expecting a busy day looking at trade offers with Head of Player Personnel David Walls.
“Straight after the draft our list manager David Walls was in contact with a few clubs already, that was at 8.30 our time which was 11.30 over there,” Bell told TAB Radio.
“I know he was in the office very early this morning and I’ll check in with him after this call.
“I would expect there would have been a number of conversations with a number of clubs already, and a lot more to come over the course of the day.
“We’ll just sit back and listen to the offers.”
Bell said he was especially surprised at some of the players still available for selection after the first round.
“We’re really excited at the players that are still available to be drafted,” Bell said.
“We’ll listen to offers, we’ll be crazy if we didn’t, but they’d have to be really compelling to think about trading that pick or slide back in the draft order.
“Given the talent we think that’s there, we’ll be really comfortable to use that selection and bring in another high character and high talent player.”
Bell was asked about talented midfielder Matthew Johnson, who was at RAC Arena with Freo selections Jye Amiss and Neil Erasmus during the broadcast of the first round, with some draft analysists projecting the Subiaco product to go in the top 10.
“He’s one of the players that we think is really high talent and high character. There’s a few there but Matt’s definitely under serious conversation, for sure,” Bell said.
“We are (surprised he’s still available) but there are others as well that we’re surprised about.
“This year, perhaps, more than any other because of the circumstances of the lack of exposed form, that there could be more players that are still there in the clubs' eyes that they’re surprised at, more than any other draft, perhaps.”