The Western Bulldogs have secured their main targets on a frenetic first night of the 2023 AFL Draft.
As many predicted, Sanders was available to be snapped up by the Bulldogs with pick six, after Hawthorn took small forward Nick Watson with the previous selection.
Sanders was a prime focus of the Club’s recruiting team, having shown incredible consistency in a 2023 season which saw him win the Larke Medal for the best player in the Under 18 championships.
He also featured in the Sandringham Dragons’ premiership team in the Coates Talent League this year.
There was a bit more uncertainty about when Croft would be officially confirmed as a Bulldogs player, allowing him to follow in the footsteps of his father Matthew.
Bulldog supporters didn’t have to wait too long, with the Sydney Swans placing a bid for the 201cm key position prospect at pick 15.
The Dogs duly matched that bid, allowing Croft to become the latest in a long line of father-sons to wear the red, white and blue.
Draft class friends 🥰 pic.twitter.com/pUaOWmUS59— Western Bulldogs (@westernbulldogs) November 20, 2023
The 18-year-old from the Calder Cannons and Maribyrnong Park has shown great athleticism, endurance and competitiveness in his underage football, and was considered one of the standout talls in this year’s Draft pool.
Later in the first round of the Draft, the Bulldogs completed a trade with Sydney to improve their position, sending selections 48 and 61 to the Swans and receiving pick 43 in return.
The Draft continues at Marvel Stadium on Tuesday night with rounds two onwards, with the Bulldogs currently holding selections 45, 47, 58 and 87.