FORMER high-flying St Kilda forward Matt Parker has been thrown an AFL lifeline by reigning premiers Richmond.
Parker was picked by the Tigers in Wednesday night’s AFL’s mid-season rookie draft, after being cut by the Saints at the end of 2020.
The 25-year-old played 19 games at St Kilda, including 17 in 2019, but just two last year as the Saints made finals for the first time since 2011.
Parker has been playing in Western Australia with South Fremantle this year.
Richmond’s pick in the 2019 mid-season draft, Marlion Pickett, was also plucked from the same WAFL club and has played in the Tigers’ last two premierships.
But other former AFL players Tyson Stengle (Richmond, Adelaide) and Nathan Freeman (Collingwood, St Kilda) missed out on selection.
Cellar-dwellers North Melbourne bolstered their key position stocks by taking 202 cm ruck-forward Jacob Edwards from NAB League club Sandringham Dragons with the top pick in the draft.
The 18-year-old was overlooked in last year’s national draft but has been touted as a likely mid-season recruit for some time, even though he is still completing high-school.
“(Tuesday night) I had a Zoom call with North and (coach) David Noble and was lucky enough to say the good wishes that they will pick me up,” Edwards told AFL Media.
“These last couple of months have been pretty crazy, all these media calls and people texting me but it’s something I’ve got a handle on now.”
A number of clubs secured tall depth in the draft, with Gold Coast managing to fill the position of key ruckman Jarrod Witts, who is out for the rest of the season after rupturing his ACL, with Ned Moyle.
Carlton (Alex Mirkov), Sydney (Lachlan McAndrew) and Brisbane Lions (Kalin Lane) also picked up ruckmen.
(C) AAP 2021
2021 AFL MID-SEASON DRAFT
1. Jacob Edwards (North Melbourne)
2. Jai Newcombe (Hawthorn)
3. Ashley Johnson (Collingwood)
4. Patrick Parnell (Adelaide)
5. Ned Moyle (Gold Coast)
6. Alex Mirkov (Carlton)
7. Max Heath (St Kilda)
8. James Peatling (GWS)
9. Sam Durham (Essendon)
10. Matthew Parker (Richmond)
11. Will Collins (West Coast)
12. Lachlan McAndrew (Sydney)
13. Jed McEntee (Port Adelaide)
14. Kalin Lane (Brisbane Lions)
15. Kye Declase (Melbourne)
16. Charlie Ham (North Melbourne)
17. Jackson Callow (Hawthorn)
18. Aiden Begg (Collingwood)
19. Pass (Gold Coast)
20. Jordan Boyd (Carlton)
21. Cooper Sharman (St Kilda)
22. Pass (Essendon)
23. Connor West (West Coast)
24. Daniel Turner (Melbourne)