Rookies have been dire this pre-season but a number of forward line rookies are beginning to spring up.
The announcements began last week when Port Adelaide forward rookies Brett Eddy and Dan Houston were elevated to the senior list.
Ken Hinkley stated it was hard not to like mature age rookie Brett Eddy’s story, proclaiming “at every point I’ve spoken to him he’s the opportunity and the chance to prove himself… to the point that he’s an upgraded rookie and a chance to debut Round 1.”
Eddy booted an emphatic 5.4 against Hawthorn in his third JLT game, making him a very strong chance to enter the Port Adelaide lineup. At $102k, he is a must-have cash cow. His teammate Dan Houston is perhaps less of a certainty to play, but is worth a look after averaging around 60 points throughout the JLT, showing encouraging signs off half-back.
Days later on Friday, Richmond Jack Riewoldt revealed that 20-year-old Dan Butler will pull on the yellow and black guernsey against Carlton on Thursday.
The small-forward impressed with his speed and run and carry throughout the JLT series, and has been locked in for a Round 1 appearance. He managed a solid average of 59 points, and Richmond’s pace is just what they need in the forward half of the ground.
Up in Sydney yesterday, prized recruit Tim Taranto was handed his jersey by coach Leon Cameron. The #2 selection in last year’s draft averaged 88.7 points per game during the pre-season competition, with his explosiveness and goal-sense a feature. Taranto is at a far more expensive price tag ($207,300) than other forward line rookies, but he looks to be a worthy investment.
Heading further east of the Giants’ home, Oliver Florent has been touted as a likely inclusion for his first game of AFL footy for the Swans. Like his former Sandringham teammate Taranto, Florent comes in at a slightly higher bargaining price ($166,800) but remains a solid option. Florent oozes class and should see some midfield time if he makes his debut on the weekend.
These names add to the likes of Jack Bowes (Gold Coast), Brandon Parfitt (Geelong) and Jarrod Pickett (Carlton) who should debut on the weekend.
Maybe we aren’t so starved of rookie options, after all!