AFL 3 years ago

Revisiting the 2009 AFL Draft

  • Revisiting the 2009 AFL Draft
  • Revisiting the 2009 AFL Draft
  • Revisiting the 2009 AFL Draft
  • Revisiting the 2009 AFL Draft
  • Revisiting the 2009 AFL Draft
  • Revisiting the 2009 AFL Draft
  • Revisiting the 2009 AFL Draft
AFL clubs and AFL fans were both blessed and cursed in the 2009 Draft.

If you are a Melbourne or Port Adelaide fan, you are still most likely feeling the curse. But if you don the sash, scream yellow and black or are looking for a three-peat, you can probably sleep well at night.

The 2009 redraft is the last of the 'Revisiting AFL Drafts' series, and as usual, rookie-drafted players will be omitted from the top ten. This rules out the likes of Michael Barlow, Ben Howlett, Stewart Crameri, Levi Casboult, Matthew Jaensch and James Podsiadly.

Like some of the other redrafts, the players in this top ten will be based on their first six years in the system, combined with their future stardom potential.

2009 Draft

Pick 1: Tom Scully (Melbourne)
Pick 2: Jack Trengrove (Melbourne)
Pick 3: Dustin Martin (Richmond)
Pick 4: Anthony Morabito (Fremantle)
Pick 5: Ben Cunnington (North Melbourne)
Pick 6: Gary Rohan (Sydney)
Pick 7: Brad Sheppard (West Coast)
Pick 8: John Butcher (Port Adelaide)
Pick 9: Andrew Moore (Port Adelaide)
Pick 10: Jake Melksham (Essendon)


Pick 1 (Melbourne) - Nathan Fyfe
Nat Fyfe is 90 kilograms and 190 centimeters of brilliance. He was astoundingly selected with pick 20 (let that sink in for a few seconds) by the Dockers in 2009.

Whilst it's been an excruciating ride for Freo's top draft pick (Anthony Morabito), the former low-profile Fyfe has had what some believe to be the best first 100-games in AFL history.

106 games (93 goals) in and he has arguably moved past Gary Ablett Jr. as the best player in the competition. He is the poster boy for the AFL and the prototype AFL footballer.

He is a superstar at just 23 years of age. He is almost unmatchable and unbeatable on the field. He is a ball-winner, match-winner and a highlight reel waiting to happen.

In just his sixth season, he's already won two best and fairest awards with Freo, he was named All-Australian in 2014 as well as the AFLPA's MVP, and, he came second in the Brownlow Medal last year. His trophy cabinet may need some re-modelling come the end of the year.

He's averaging ridiculous numbers over his career - 25 disposals, five marks, four tackles and almost a goal a game. Fyfe also leads the AFL in Total Clearances and Total Contested Possessions.

Pick 2 (Melbourne) - Dustin Martin
'Mr Don't Argue'. Martin was the third overall pick in this draft, drafted by the Tigers.

Martin has been a rising star ever since his debut season with Richmond. He's barely missed a game, playing 122 games and kicking 130 goals. He is a lively midfielder who bulldozes through packs and is a classy finisher with the ball.

He almost left the Tigers for GWS a couple seasons back, but since then, Martin has elevated himself to one of the most exciting, pulsating midfielders in the game.

He is a dynamic footballer who keeps getting better and better. He plays the uncontested, outside game well and is ranked 5th in the AFL for Total Uncontested Possessions.

23 disposals, four marks, three tackles and a goal a game are his career averages to date. He is averaging 27 touches a game this year, and there is no doubt that Martin will be one of the premier, elite midfielders in the game by the time he hits his 150th milestone.

Pick 3 (Richmond) - Daniel Talia
Let it be said, Richmond would be incredibly happy with their original selection and this is just a hypothetical (so don't get angry Richmond fans).

But, Daniel Talia, one of the best fullbacks in the game, was drafted with the 13th selection in the 2009 AFL Draft. Adelaide picked up an absolute gem, adding Talia, a young, raw defender to their aging back six (at the time).

Talia is a level-headed, poised fullback who does his job each week on the oppositions best forward. He spoils, he marks and in 2013 he conceded an average of only one goal per game. Adelaide would have to be thrilled with the seamless transition from Ben Rutten to Daniel Talia as the general of the Crows' defense.

You get the feeling Talia is a quiet achiever, so I'll sing his praises. Rising Star Winner in 2012. Adelaide B&F in 2014. All-Australian in 2014. And...he's done this all in only 88 games. Wow.

Pick 4 (Fremantle) - Jack Gunston
'Mr Set Shot'? Adelaide selected Gunston with the 29th pick in the 2009 AFL Draft. Perhaps 'Mr Bargain' is more of a suited nickname for Gunston?

After just 14 games and some homesickness up in Adelaide, Gunston requested a trade and was moved to the Hawks in 2012. And hasn't he just thrived since moving back home. In 93 career games, Gunston has kicked 190 goals, with 170 of those being kicked in the brown and gold.

Gunston is a smart footballer; he reads the play incredibly well and he always seems to find space in the forward line. He is deceivingly quick, but his trademark is his accuracy in front of goal (although this year he hasn't showcased his best work in front of goal).

At Hawthorn, he's averaged two goals a game, which is pretty impressive considering he has been a second-third string forward for the majority of his time with the club. In 2015, he is ranked 5th in the competition for Total Goal Assists, adding 27 goals on the board as well.

Gunston would be the ambassador for requesting a trade in the AFL. Life hasn't been too bad for him since the move home - he's  just a double premiership player and could be an All-Australian in a couple years time.

Pick 5 (North Melbourne) - Ben Cunnington
Ben Cunnington was drafted by North Melbourne with the fifth pick in the 2009 AFL Draft. Kudos to North, as Cunnington is my fifth overall draft pick in this redraft.

Cunnington has been a steady performer for the Roos since his debut, but he has only just made himself known in the past two seasons.

Cunnington isn't flamboyant by any means, but he is a hard-working, inside mid who will scrap and try win the ball first for his team. He is a machine around the stoppages, with winning clearances and applying tackling pressure his forte.

Cunnington has now played 112 games and has transformed himself into one of North's most important players. His numbers aren't overwhelming, but he's averaged 19 touches and five tackles a game over his career.

He is ranked 2nd in the competition for both Total Clearances and Total Contested Possessions. I wonder who sits above him in first place... (HINT: Check number one pick of this redraft)

Like many others in this draft, Cunnington has only just hit his prime and his name will be one that we keep hearing for many years to come. Last season was his breakout year after he won the Kangaroos' best and fairest honours.

Pick 6 (Sydney) - Mitch Duncan
Mitch Duncan was drafted by Geelong with the 28th pick in the 2009 AFL Draft. Duncan was a sensational junior talent and played school football in Perth with fellow '09 draftees, Kane Lucas and Travis Colyer.

After featuring in only eight senior games in his debut season, Duncan has gone on to play in over 20 games a season over the past four years, improving immensely each year.

His 2013 and 2014 campaigns were terrific; he averaged 21 and 23 disposals respectively, six marks and three tackles a game. He also finished third in their B&F last season.

Duncan is a hard-working, hard-running, goal-kicking midfielder who has won over his Geelong teammates with his professionalism and leadership at just 24 years of age.

His sizzling start to the 2015 season and his 107-game career was halted when he broke his foot against Sydney earlier this year.

Before the injury, Duncan had a 29-disposal, 2-goal performance against Richmond, as well as destroying Collingwood with a career-best 38 possession game in round 6.

Duncan has developed into an integral link-up player for Geelong and he has contributed a worthy 91 goals over his young, yet bright career.

Pick 7 (West Coast) - Ben Stratton
Hawthorn drafted Ben Stratton with the 46th selection in the 2009 AFL Draft. After playing in the WAFL for three years, the Hawks took a punt on the mature-aged defender; in a move that has turned out to be a great selection for one of the best, if not the best, recruiting AFL clubs in the country.

Stratton has played 106 games with the Hawks, slotting in nicely and performing very well in what is the best back six in the competition.

Like his counterparts, Stratton's ability to read the player, take contested and courageous marks and play selfless football is what has his name circled in amongst the best 22 Hawks each week.

Various injuries have robbed him of another 30 odd AFL games, but his two premiership medallions would surely make up for it.

Stratton is fairly underrated outside of Hawthorn, but the fact that he is ranked 12th in the AFL for Total One Percenters exhibits his importance and value to the elite outfit that is, the Hawthorn Football Club.

Pick 8 (Port Adelaide) - Tom Scully

The buzz around a number one draft pick will always be loud, and to date, Tom Scully hasn't quite fulfilled the prestigious title that was placed upon him in the 2009 AFL draft.

But in saying that, based on 2015 alone, I do truly believe that Tom Scully can be a quality midfielder in this competition.

He controversially switched to GWS in 2012, leaving Melbourne fans in a rage. He's on a $6 million, 6-year contract but he hasn't quite played like it...yet.

GWS are clearly on way up and Scully will have a pivital role to play in their rise. He's a run and carry player with speed, composure and a potent and at times, devastating left foot.

He's been the club vice-captain for a few seasons now and Scully will finally play his 100th game next week. Though adversity and injuries have trumped his career so far, he has still managed to average 20 disposals, four tackles and three marks a game over his career.

Scully has a lot of unfulfilled, untapped potential to work with; some of which we have only started to see glimpses of this season. There will be good times ahead for the Giants and for Tom Scully.

Pick 9 (Port Adelaide) - Jake Carlisle
Essendon drafted Carlisle with the 24th pick in this draft. He's only played 79 games to date, but if Carlisle truly applies himself, he could become one of the AFL's most dynamic and versatile key position players.

2015 has been a year to forget for him. He has played forward when he wants to be back in defense. He was even put in the ruck for a game. But now, Carlisle is out with an ankle injury for a few weeks. This could possibly be a blessing in disguise for Carlisle, as before the injury, he looked like a player in limbo.

Despite this, 2012 and 2013 were great seasons for him. He took over from Fletcher as the number one defender for the Bombers, and he forged a solid defensive partnership with Cale Hooker. He was consistent and reliable on the last line of defense for Essendon.

However, in 2014, Bomber Thompson flicked the switch and Carlisle became a permanent forward after small cameos in previous games. It was an up and down season for him as he adjusted to his new role, but Carlisle showed glimpses of brilliance and dominance in 2014. He kicked a respectable 27 goals for the season, including an eight-goal day out against the Bulldogs.

Carlisle, still very young, needs to assert himself in the forward line like he did in defense. He's a great mark, and I think if he embraces his role as a forward, he could forge a dynamic duo with Joe Daniher in the forward 50, just like he did with Hooker in defense.

It's all about attitude and application for Carlisle. I can think of three or four other clubs who could use his services at either end of the ground next season. Will he be lured away from Tullamarine?

Pick 10 (Essendon) - Lewis Jetta
Sydney selected Lewis Jetta with the 14th draft pick in 2009. When Jetta is on, he is on. But when is he off, (and it has been an occurrence throughout his career), well, he is power outage off.

His inconsistency over his 116 games has played a role in him being redrafted at pick 10, and not pick 5 for example.

Jetta is a live-wire, a crowd favourite and he provides Sydney with their run and carry, speed and skill when moving the ball forward. When firing, Jetta will break open a game with his electrifying dash down the wing and finish with his damaging (at times) right boot, whether it be to hit a teammate on the chest or to kick an inspiring goal with an even better celebration.

2012 was a great year for him; he led Sydney's goal kicking (45 goals) and won a premiership, but since then he has sort of plateaued. 2015 has been better for him, he is averaging 19 touches, four marks and three tackles, but, he has only hit the scoreboard with 8 goals for the season.

There was a time when Jetta was as exciting as Rioli, Betts and Isaac Smith all at the same time. He's still only 26, but he needs to dig deep and bring the excitement back. Or, have we seen the best of Lewis Jetta?

My next three redrafted picks:
Pick 11: Sam Reid (originally pick 38)
Pick 12: Allen Christensen (originally pick 40)
Pick 13: Jake Melksham (originally pick 10)

Final Words
Before giving my final thoughts on the 2009 draft class, it's important to touch on the horrendous injury curse that has crippled many of the young stars of the 2009 draft.

Jack Trengrove: Pick 2...81 games
Anthony Morabito: Pick 4...26 games
Gary Rohan: Pick 6...56 games

And Geelong's luckless trio...
Daniel Menzel: Pick 17...21 games
Nathan Vardy: Pick 42...21 games
Josh Cowan: Pick 56...4 games

Sorry to say it (again), but if you are a Melbourne supporter, you would have to be filthy knowing that Nat Fyfe and Dustin Martin could be wearing the red and navy this season.

Port Adelaide has seemingly 'butchered' their two top ten picks, but the likes of Hawthorn, Fremantle, Adelaide, Sydney, Geelong and Essendon did very well in 2009.

But, Fremantle take the chocolates for the 2009 draft, adding Michael Barlow, Anthony Morabito (?) and Nat Fyfe to their stocks in one drafting year.

In two years, lets reassess this draft again. Here are a few more names to come out of 2009: Brad Sheppard from the Eagles, Dylan Roberton from the Saints (originally Freo), Koby Stevens from the Bulldogs (originally WCE), Jasper Pittard, Travis Colyer and Taylor Duryea.

So, did I get this right? Who would you redraft with the top ten picks in the 2009 AFL Draft?
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