A Night at the Draft

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A Night at the Draft

Post by Lee on Wed Nov 25, 2015 12:59 pm

Footy's wonderful, isn't it, but sometimes you really wonder why you're doing something.

"Do you want to attend the draft", they said and I replied "of course".

So there I was in the foyer of the Convention Centre, right in front of Rowie and Bicks doing their radio show.

Unfortunately, so were a thousand others, scrunched up (one for you, S Very Happy ), not moving, hot, bothered and gasping for air. Well, not quite the last, but not happy, Jan. The only reasonable pursuit was 'spot the personality' or the TFSA poster. When the personalities are AFL recruiting officers, you start to wonder whether you should get a life.

"Too late", she cried, I was already there, but the doors were to open at 5.30. Shouldn't be much longer, after all it was nearly 20 to 6.

We eventually pile in. In front of us, lots of seats and closer to the stage, several tables. The favoured and important and draftees friends walked straight ahead to these seats. I turned left and up the 'grandstand'. I know I'm not small (OK, enough of that), but why do bulk seat makers presume we're all tiny?

Anyway, I thought I'd better stop whinging and just settle in to watch proceedings.

Nothing much happened, except the Fox people were set up to the side for their telecast and their pre-draft show.

Time to start the draft. A new system, with all the clubs in little Siberian Gulag rooms at the back, but we were kept up to date by watching the screens, which did a good job of letting us know when picks were made. We applauded loudly when the No 1 pick was announced, despite having known who it was for weeks now. Things moved slowly, except for the addition of three latecomers, 3 young lads who decided to sit right behind me and give those within 10 metres in every direction the benefit of their football and draft knowledge. Loudly. Constantly. Annoyingly.

Did I say knowledge? I couldn't believe how ignorant they were about football. Then I did, when they eventually left after Port's first pick, saying "that's us done for the night". They didn't return for Port's following picks, blissfully unaware, but certain in their knowledge that football started about 10 years ago.

Anyway, you can tell that I was having a good time. Aaron Francis got picked at 6 by Essendon, so I put that on Facebook. Some were kind enough to ignore my spelling of Essendon with 1 S and 2 D's. Thanks to those kind souls.

First round ends. Fox keep talking, 2nd round picks go up on the screens, totally ignored, Fox stop talking, nothing happens, a slow clap starts up and they switch to a radio (SEN)? stream.

Things improve from there, despite the experts behind me and the rest of the draft goes pretty well, until a 'smokey' is picked up in the 50's. Bugger, we'd been talking to him, had him here, but suddenly he's gone. Oh well, he's a great lad, so good luck to him.

Then we think there's no more selections, until Geelong, with the last gasp of the night, choose Matthew Hayball, "West Adelaide Football Club", "Roxby Downs". Anyone who had read the Roxby paper knew he was a certainty, the rest of Australia said 'who"?

Bugger again. Great for Matty, but he was my 'smokey' for the Bloods next year. Big X Factor. If I ever see Steven Wells, Geelong's recruiter, I'll tell him what for, the so and so. Mark my words, he'll deserve a spray.

End of draft. Out of the original thousand who'd crammed the foyer, about a hundred desperate souls, including me, departed, pleased they'd seen what it was all about, but already practising their excuses if they're asked to go again.

So we leave and head across the road for a late meal, seeing the draft had gone for 8 hours. Oh, only 3 or so, really, felt like 8.

At least we could then relax. Me and 2 mates (yes, I've doubled up recently) and our Football Manager, Mr Andrew Marks, who joined us later from his reserved seat and several radio interviews. Am I jealous of him, certainly not.

Well, whad'y'know. in walks the Geelong recruiting team. As we leave we say hello. Somehow, Steven Wells remembers me from days long gone. Naturally, I congratulate him on his wise choice of Matthew Hayball.

I eventually get home.

"Did you have a nice time", says Jenny.

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Re: A Night at the Draft

Post by Gingernuts on Wed Nov 25, 2015 1:49 pm

Haha. Great write up.

I was curious, but after reading that I'm glad I wasn't curious enough to get a ticket. Laughing
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Re: A Night at the Draft

Post by Booney on Wed Nov 25, 2015 2:09 pm

Nice one, Lee. Gee, the seats must have been small.

I was curious, nearly took up the offer of a couple of free tickets from some Facebook buddies but declined at pretty much the last minute as a train ride to and from town on a Tuesday night didn't all that much appeal to me.

I listened on and off to AA whilst cooking my signature spag bol ( it is very good,I might add ) and I tired of listening in by around pick 12. After that I figured I'd read up on it today.

Heard a funny one which, Lee, you might be able to sniff around of me. Francis, among other recruits taken into Victoria were expected at training today!?!?! Wonder if you could check or get in touch with young Aaron to see if that's the case mate.?
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Re: A Night at the Draft

Post by Lee on Wed Nov 25, 2015 2:34 pm

I'll see what I can find out.

I do know Essendon were at Westies for an hour and a half a couple of days ago, not their first visit.

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Re: A Night at the Draft

Post by Flag No.10 on Wed Nov 25, 2015 3:04 pm

Lee wrote:
I do know Essendon were at Westies for an hour and a half a couple of days ago, not their first visit.

Enquiring about how we achieved our improved fitness base without the use of syringes.

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Re: A Night at the Draft

Post by Scrunch on Wed Nov 25, 2015 5:35 pm

Thanks for the shout out mate Wink
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Re: A Night at the Draft

Post by bayman on Wed Nov 25, 2015 8:34 pm

Flag No.10 wrote:
Lee wrote:
I do know Essendon were at Westies for an hour and a half a couple of days ago, not their first visit.

Enquiring about how we achieved our improved fitness base without the use of syringes.


Laughing Laughing Laughing Laughing

i don't think they've ever used syringes but i think Westies' have the players on tablets like most if not all teams & i do mean salt tablets Laughing Laughing
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Re: A Night at the Draft

Post by bayman on Wed Nov 25, 2015 8:36 pm

Gingernuts wrote:Haha. Great write up.

I was curious, but after reading that I'm glad I wasn't curious enough to get a ticket. Laughing

they sold tickets to it ffs, no longer a game of the people FOR THE PEOPLE is it ?
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Re: A Night at the Draft

Post by Lee on Wed Nov 25, 2015 8:38 pm

Tickets were free.

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Re: A Night at the Draft

Post by bayman on Wed Nov 25, 2015 8:44 pm

Lee wrote:Tickets were free.

well so it should be, thanks for that, i read gingernuts post as you had to pay, apologies to gingernuts too
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Re: A Night at the Draft

Post by Brucetiki on Thu Nov 26, 2015 10:03 pm

Lee pretty summed up the night. The start of the second round descended into farce as picks were taking place, but no one in the main room knew about them, until eventually we got one of the Fox Footy feeds piped into the room.

By the time the third round started there was barely a soul in the room, and my mate and I were somewhat egging Gil on to announce a club had passed, along with running jokes about Richmond picks being matched by the northern clubs and Father/Son clubs.

In the end, it was 4 hours of my life I'll never get back. Next time it comes to town, think I might spray tan the cat that night.

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