Cameron Rayner has been all the rage among the draft experts, but the Western Jets reckon they have another gem in the ranks in Lachlan Fogarty.
Fogarty is rated eighth on the Champion Data rankings and has been slotted into phantom drafts anywhere from the middle of the first round to the second round.
The Spotswood product has enjoyed a stellar junior career, one that has run parallel with Rayner, the potential No. 1 pick.
“With Cam and Fogs, they’ve always been at the very highest level in terms of their competitiveness and that’s what has put them in good stead since I’ve watched them as 14 or 15 year olds,” Western Jets coach Torin Baker said.
“They’re at the top of the tree in terms of their competitiveness, they’ve been good listeners and really diligent with their footy.
“Clearly they’ve got some real natural talent and they both have some strengths that are high end.”
Fogarty is a different type of player to Rayner, not as flashy, but just as effective. The 18-year-old has tremendous endurance and finds a way to impact every contest as a midfielder, be it in an attacking sense or defensively.
“It’s that intensity around the ball and that willingness to tackle and repeat efforts,” Baker said.
“When you’ve got a couple of elite qualities about you, it stands out at any level.”
Three could be the magic number for the Jets. They could have a draft smokey in impressive ruck-forward Tristan Xerri.
Xerri has made nearly every post a winner this season to bolt into draft contention.
“He’s certainly attracted some interest and deservedly so with the way that he played in the back half of the year,” Baker said.
“He had a couple of strong performances in the national championships, went to Werribee and competed against some really good opponents at VFL level and came back to us in the last game of the year and had his best game. He played in the Young Guns game and was really good there as well.”
Xerri is your typical modern day big. He can be a marking option in the forward line and then rotate into the ruck. That second string to his bow could be what sways an AFL recruiter in this draft, rather than risk missing out on him in 12 months time. Either way, the options are good for Xerri.
“It’s a bit hard to know where some of the big boys will go because there is a tendency to draft bigger boys at an older age, but he’s given himself a good shot,” Baker said.
“Sometimes the bigger boys take a little bit longer and he’s someone who’s had his injury troubles a little bit early in the year with an ankle injury, but he’s had a good run at it, got some games under his belt.
“If he’s not drafted, he’ll be a 19 year old with us and will play some VFL football next year.”