Bulldogs’ AFLW Head of List Management and Recruiting Mick Sandry says he is not concerned about entering this year’s draft without a first-round pick.
The draft is less than a fortnight away, with the Bulldogs to enter with three early second-round selections in picks 22, 25 and 27, and 43 overall (13, 15, 17 and 26 in the Victorian draft pool) following the 2021 Sign and Trade period.
“We had a really clear strategy for the sign and trade period, and where we wanted to end up,” Sandry told AFLW Media’s Credit to the Girlspodcast.
“It’s an interesting draft from a Victorian sense this year – we sort of feel that after that pick 5 range it’s fairly even for probably the next 15 picks.
“At one point we had (Victorian) pick 4, and then some compensation came in and our pick 4 in moved back to 6, and then another trade went down and we went from 6 to 7, so we felt that having three second-round picks was a much stronger hand than having that pick 7.
“Moving our pick 7 back six spots to gain the other two second round picks was a fantastic result, and we think we’re going to get some really good players at those picks.”
Sandry said the lack of footy in a COVID-interrupted season last year didn’t hinder the players as much as he expected either.
“I probably would’ve thought it’d have more of an impact than what we’ve seen - I expected there may be a bit of a drop in the first half of the (AFLW) season, but we certainly didn’t see that,” he said.
“It just shows the resilience of all of these young women and women in AFLW, that they were able to keep pushing through and working on their games through that lockdown period in Victoria.
“For the group (coming through this year), I don’t think it’s really impacted them at all – obviously they weren’t able to play as many games last year, but having a full season this year was terrific.”
The 2021 NAB AFLW Draft will be held on Tuesday 27 July at 6.45pm AEST.