We are just a few weeks out from the 2018 AFL draft, and the annual meat market is set to be bigger than ever as the AFL ramps up the hype over a bunch of unproven teenagers.
Everyone involved with the game, from players and coaches to fans and journalists, seems to be having their say about which clubs should draft which players, acting as though the whole thing isn’t just some luck-based lottery.
This keeps alive a tradition that dates back to the early drafts of the 1980s, but has really become part of the fabric of the game in recent years.
As usual, all most of the attention is being showered upon the likely first round picks, with the AFL community salivating over the impact that the likes of Sam Walsh, Jack Lukosius and the King twins will have on the clubs that draft them.
However, as part of the tradition, absolutely everybody in the game has already convinced themselves that all of them are guaranteed to become superstars, with not even a mention of the possibility that some of these kids might end up being duds.
‘Oh mate, we’ve got picks 2,3 and 6 – we could get the King Twins and Connor Rozee and we’ll be unstoppable in a few years,’ said one deluded Suns fan.
Blues fans have similarly already anointed Walsh as the saviour of their club, despite the fact they’ve already had four Number One picks over the past 13 years and haven’t even looked like winning a comp.
Onlookers are also completely ignoring the value of late round picks, despite Brownlow Medallists such as Gary Ablett, Adam Goodes, James Hird and Dane Swan all being selected after pick 40.
So as we get closer to the big day, the big question for AFL fans is this: will your club get a Buddy Franklin or a Richard Tambling?
According to experts leading up to the 2004 draft, it doesn’t matter – they’re both awesome!