The critical decision that shaped the career of Geelong Cat Tom Atkins

List manager Kinnear Beatson and recruiting manager Simon Dalrymple are among the best in the business when it comes to spotting talent having built a strong track record in the space over many years at several clubs but even they know the odds of landing premiership players improve if the pick is higher.

So, when the club’s senior recruiting analyst Chris Keane came to them with a crazy idea that just might work ahead of the 2018 national draft that was allowing the live trading of picks they jumped at the chance.

The Swans were smart enough to use a loophole to land the talented James RowbottomCredit:Getty Images

The plan was, as the most ingenious plans are, simple enough.

The club needed academy points to pay for likely top 10 pick Nick Blakey but they wanted their next pick to be as high as possible in the national draft. Keane devised an idea that saw Sydney catch everyone by surprise when they traded pick 26 to West Coast for a future third round pick just before the bid came for Blakey at pick 10.

They used the points that pick 34, 39 and 40 provided them to put Blakey in a Sydney jumper while their second round pick had a quiet drink around the corner out of sight and out of mind.

Once that deal was done the Swans traded back into the second round getting the Eagles pick 22 (which later became pick 25) for a future second round pick. It was like someone suddenly finding their credit card after you’ve paid for their cab fare.

With pick 25 the club picked up James Rowbottom, a key player along with Blakey in Saturday’s grand final, a hard tackling midfielder who would not have been available if it had not been for Keane’s idea.

A week later the AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan admitted Andrew Dillon would examine what happened. The next season the Keane Routine was disallowed.

“It was clearly legal and that’s what clever and industrious clubs do, they look at the rules and they take advantage of whatever stuff’s possible,” McLachlan said at the time.

Breaking up the Brownlow

Snap Shot congratulates Carlton skipper Patrick Cripps on his Brownlow Medal.

A great footballer, he showed his class during his acceptance speech, so we dip our lids to the Blue.

But we could not let the moment pass without re-configuring the awards to its rightful shape with the midfielders award a different battle to the one involving defenders, forwards, ruckmen and rising stars.

Here is a snapshot of who sat on the podium in categories designed to give everyone a better indication of their performance:

Midfielder’s Medal: Patrick Cripps (Carlton) 29, Lachie Neale (Brisbane) 28, Touk Miller (Gold Coast) 27

Defender’s Medal: Nick Daicos (Collingwood) 11, Tom Stewart (Geelong) 9 Sam Docherty (Carlton) 9

Forwards Medal: Jeremy Cameron (Geelong) 19 Taylor Walker (Adelaide) 14 Charlie Curnow (Carlton) 11

Rucks Medal: Max Gawn (Melbourne) 12, Tim English (Western Bulldogs) 6, Darcy Cameron (Collingwood) Jarrod Witts (Gold Coast) Paddy Ryder (St Kilda) Peter Ladhams (Sydney) 4

Rising Star: Nick Daicos (Collingwood), Jai Newcombe (Hawthorn) 11

Retirement award (BOG in final match): Josh Kennedy (West Coast) Dan Hannebery (St Kilda)


When you send out a tweet in 2014 you’d hardly expect it to be recalled eight years later … unless a free lunch was involved, of course.

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