Picks, results, Josh Carmichael Collingwood, Massimo D’Ambrosio, Sebit Kuek Fremantle

Seventeen players found AFL homes on Wednesday night during the 2022 mid-season draft.

After the first two picks went to plan, Essendon pulled the trigger with an eyebrow-raising suggestion that set the tone for the rest of the night.

Foxfooty.com.au analyzes the big shocks, snubs and party poopers from the mid-season draft.

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THE PICK THAT SET THE TONE

There were no surprises at Picks 1 and 2, with West Coast selecting big-bodied midfielder Jai Culley and North Melbourne opting for key defender Kallan Dawson.

But several clubs were keeping a close eye on who Essendon would go for at Pick 3.

And despite being linked to big-bodied midfielder Josh Carmichael and showing interest in Bendigo Pioneers on-baller Oskar Faulkhead, the Bombers opted for a crafty ball user off half-back.

Western Jets defender Massimo D’Ambrosio has impressed at every level he’s played so far this season with his pinpoint kicking and dash, subsequently attracting interest from as many as eight clubs.

Massimo D’Ambrosio of the Jets. Picture: Martin KeepSource: Supplied

But the Bombers pounced on D’Ambrosio after putting work into the left-footer in recent weeks. He suffered a shoulder injury playing for Richmond’s VFL side last week that’ll sideline him for four weeks, but the Bombers see D’Ambrosio as a long-term project.

D’Ambrosio attracted interest from the Giants – it’s understood they met with D’Ambrosio multiple times – Hawthorn, Collingwood, Richmond, Sydney and Geelong. Essendon’s selection may have forced a few clubs, particularly the Giants, to adjust their plans.

It meant the big man dominoes fell during the middle stages of the first round, with Wade Derksen (Giants), Max Ramsden (Hawthorn) and Brynn Teakle (Port Adelaide) all being snapped up.

THE SLIDER

West Adelaide’s Josh Carmichael had been linked to clubs as early in the draft as West Coast at Pick 1, but many rival clubs expected him to go to Essendon.

When the Bombers opted for D’Ambrosio, Adelaide was on the clock. Yet the Crows, who’d assessed Carmichael closely, were wedded to Brett Turner, selecting the mature-aged Glenelg midfielder at Pick 4.

And when the Giants, Hawks and Power opted for key-position players and ruckmen and the Suns snared Bendigo Pioneers on-baller Oskar Faulkhead, Carmichael was still on the board – weeks after being linked to the Eagles at Pick 1.

Collingwood had long been linked to a key-position defender at Pick 9, particularly after the retirement of Jordan Roughead last week and the array of injuries to tall players in both arcs.

West Adelaide footballer Josh Carmichael joins Collingwood. Picture: Naomi JellicoeSource: News Corp Australia

Instead, the Pies pounced on Carmichael.

A 189cm goalkicking midfielder with a great aerobic capacity, Carmichael booted eight goals and averaged 27.2 disposals, 5.2 clearances and 4.3 inside 50s from his past six SANFL games.

“Going into the draft we had five names on the board – a mixture of talls and mids – and we were really fortunate to have Josh there,” Collingwood recruiting manager Derek Hine told the club’s website.

“We’re really excited by what he can do and how he can develop into our midfield mix.”

THE PARTY POOPERS

There were some interesting calls made by some clubs later in the draft.

St Kilda had been very keen on hybrid forward Hugo Hall-Kahanparticularly after the club tried to nominate him as an NGA prospect as it discovered late in the picture he was eligible under rules – a request the AFL ultimately denied.

but Sydney Also had been strongly linked to Hall-Kahan – and the Swans were happy to pounce on the exciting goalkicker at Pick 11, which was four selections before St Kilda. The Saints, ultimately, passed at Pick 15, although it’s understood the Saints were always open to the prospect of passing.

Hugo Hall-Kahan joined Sydney Swans. Picture: Daniel PockettSource: Getty Images

While Hall-Kahan has made his name as a forward in recent years, recruiters believe his speed and endurance means he could fit in anywhere on an AFL field.

Then at Pick 12, geelong chose small forward Zane Williams from Woodville-West Torrens.

Williams had been closely linked to North Melbourne after it opened up a second list spot with the retirement of Tom Lynch.

But when Williams – a goalkicking forward-midfielder that’s kicked 13 goals from his seven SANFL – was snapped up by the Cats, the Kangaroos passed on their second pick.

Zane Williams was picked up by the Cats. Picture: David Mariuz (SANFL)Source: Supplied

“He’s played every game this year in the seniors and has been able to kick goals consistently and was rewarded with state selection against the WAFL a couple of weeks ago,” Cats list manager Stephen Wells said.

“We’re excited for Zane to be here, not just the short term, we think he’s got a pretty bright future.”

THE BIG SHOCK

Fremantle pulled the biggest surprise of the night with Pick 15, selecting local talent Sebit Kuek – a player that’d barely raised a mention among rival recruiters in recent weeks.

But Kuek has been a star for East Perth in the WAFL so far this season, booting 16.7 from five league games.

An athletic 21-year-old key forward with a terrific vertical leap yet terrific skills below his knees, Kuek has a heck of a highlights reel.

THE SNUBS

There were some great stories throughout the night, but some players that had high hopes were overlooked.

Ex-Lion turned star SANFL jerky forward Connor Ballenden was widely expected to be picked up, with the big man heavily linked to Hawthorn, as well as Adelaide and Carlton. In fact he was the only prospect to have nominated extra financial terms under the AFL’s rules.

But Ballenden wasn’t offered a lifeline on Wednesday night.

There were also high hopes for Northern Bullants intercept defenders Mutaz El Nour would get an opportunity after an excellent start to his 2022 VFL season. He’d been linked to Adelaide and Geelong, while Carlton had also monitored him.

Connor Ballenden missed out. Picture: Paul KaneSource: Getty Images

But El Nour was snubbed.

Some West Coast fans also had hopes of South Fremantle ball magnet Jake Florenca would be picked up by the Eagles with their second selection, especially after his cameo as a Covid contingency top-up player against Brisbane. But that didn’t come to fruition either.

Other players to miss out included Lachlan Carrigan, Ethan Grace, Kim Kantilla, Liam Reidy other Casey Voss.

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