Top pick unlikely for Crows

Top pick unlikely for Crows

ADELAIDE list manager Justin Reid has all but given up hope of trading for the No.1 AFL draft pick in pursuit of red-hot South Australian talent Jason Horne-Francis.

Wooden spooners North Melbourne hold the first selection at November’s national draft, followed in order by GWS, Gold Coast and the Crows.

The Kangaroos could bid on Victorian father-son prospects Nick Daicos and Sam Darcy, who are tied to Collingwood and the Western Bulldogs respectively.

But the Magpies and Dogs are certain to match any rival bids on those two players.

Daicos and Darcy are widely considered the top talents of this year’s draft class, along with South Adelaide prodigy Horne-Francis, who appears ready set to slot straight into an AFL club’s midfield next season.

Horne-Francis underlined his potential in last Friday night’s SANFL preliminary final, kicking 3.3 from 24 disposals against Glenelg.

In a side that was well beaten, the 18-year-old had 18 contested possessions, 11 clearances and 10 score involvements.

Adelaide used four of their five picks at last year’s national draft on South Australian products and would love to add another young local star to boost their rebuild under coach Matthew Nicks.

But list manager Justin Reid doesn’t expect to be able to prise the top pick out of North Melbourne’s hands during the trade period, which begins on Monday.

“We’ve had conversations with every club, but certainly North Melbourne,” Reid told Trade Radio on Wednesday.

“We saw what Jason did last Friday night in that prelim for the Panthers … he’s a quality individual and I wouldn’t have thought North Melbourne are moving too much on their pick one.”

Adelaide is working with Sydney on a trade for skilful young star Jordan Dawson, while contracted Gold Coast pair Izak Rankine and Jack Lukosius are still on the Crows’ radar.

“We always keep an eye on all South Australian talent,” Reid said.

“(The Suns pair) are contracted, so they’ll see out that contract, and how things play out over the next 12 to 18 months, time will tell.”

Reid played a straight bat to questions about contracted Essendon defender Aaron Francis, who took mental health leave mid-season and spent time at home with family in South Australia.

Reid said contracted midfielder Matt Crouch “is part of our plans going forward” despite the 26-year-old being talked about as possible trade bait.

(C) AAP 2021