Collingwood will have a potentially major hand in the mid-season draft after choosing not to top up their list with a pre-season recruit before the Tuesday deadline.
The Magpies will have the option of picking two players in the mid-season draft, which some clubs believe will have more talent available due to the players who were overlooked in a COVID-19 compromised 2020 draft.
Oscar McDonald has been signed by Carlton.Credit:Getty Images
The Magpies had been considering Jack Briskey, a key position prospect from Queensland who had trained with them, under the supplentary selection rule, before deciding to hold two spots on the playing list.
Melbourne were expected to place ex-North defender Majak Daw on their list by the 5pm deadline, which would still leave the Demons with at least one spot on their list. They also have scope for further mid-season selections given that Marty Hore and Aaron Nietschke are recovering from knee reconstructions and teams can replace players who are placed on the long-term injured list.
Carlton confirmed on Tuesday that they were signing ex-Demon Oscar McDonald as a supplentary list recruit.
Known as a key defender, McDonald has predominantly trained in the backline for the Blues, although he impressed when swung forward against St Kilda on Thursday night and combined six marks with two goals.
Carlton head of list management said McDonald, who was delisted by Melbourne at the end of the last season, will add flexibility to the Blues’ key-position stocks.
PRE-SEASON RECRUITS SO FAR
- Essendon: Alec Waterman (West Coast); Kaine Baldwin (Glenelg)
- St Kilda: Mason Wood (North Melbourne); Paul Hunter (Adelaide)
- Carlton: Oscar McDonald (Melbourne)
- Richmond: Rhyan Mansell (Woodville-West Torrens, North Launceston)
- Hawthorn: Lachie Bramble (Box Hill, Williamstown VFL)
- Western Bulldogs: Anthony Scott (Footscray VFL)
- Adelaide: Nicholas Murray (Williamstown VFL)
“Oscar has fit in really well with our backline group over the pre-season and we look forward to seeing him continue to strengthen those connections as the year evolves,” Austin said.
“Also we saw on Thursday night, Oscar is able to play other roles across the ground which gives us some flexibility across the board.”
McDonald beat Callum Moore, Ben Crocker and Zavier Maher for the final spot on Carlton’s list.
As it stood early on Tuesday afternoon, nine players had been signed as pre-season recruits in 2021, with Essendon and St Kilda having added two players – Alec Waterman (ex-West Coast) and South Australian forward Kaine Baldwin joining the Bombers, the Saints signing Mason Wood, the former Kangaroo forward, and ex-Crows ruckman Paul Hunter.
Richmond have signed Rhyan Mansell, a Tasmanian, to their list, the Bulldogs have added Footscray VFL player Anthony Scott and Hawthorn also have given a list spot to a VFL player under their direction in Box Hill’s Lachie Bramble.
The Crows have signed Nicholas Murray, the brother of Collingwood’s ex-defender Sam Murray, who had been playing for Williamstown.
Sidebottom in doubt for round one
Meanwhile, Collingwood’s gun midfielder and vice-captain Steele Sidebottom suffered minor damage to his calf in last Friday’s pre-season game against Richmond and is in doubt for round one.
Collingwood sources said scans on Saturday had shown Sidebottom had incurred slight damage to the calf, which put him in some doubt for the Pies’ season opener against the Bulldogs, with the veteran midfielder, 30, rated a 50-50 chance to play on Friday next week.
Steele Sidebottom (left) is in doubt for round one.Credit:Getty Images
Sidebottom has played with similar issues in the past without incident, but the decision on whether he plays – it would be a two week recovery for a small nick to the calf – will be based on medical advice and how he progresses. Collingwood also have to consider that they face a six-day break between that March 19 Friday night game versus the Dogs and the next game against Carlton, on the following Thursday night.
But Taylor Adams, Collingwood’s 2020 best and fairest, has recovered from a hamstring injury and, unless there is a mishap, the Magpies expect their tough vice-captain to return and play in the round one game at the MCG against the Bulldogs, who will have ex-Magpie Adam Treloar suiting up against his old side.
Adams is set to join in full training on Tuesday.
In other injury news, Lion Cam Rayner will head for scans today after the 2017 No.1 pick appeared to rupture his ACL on Monday night.
A distressed Rayner clutched at his right knee after an awkward landing while attempting to intercept a handball during Brisbane’s pre-season win over Gold Coast.
An ACL tear would put an early end to Rayner’s 2021 campaign, with recovery from a knee reconstruction typically taking 12 months.
The emerging talent has played 63 games for the Lions since debuting in 2018 and was set for more midfield minutes this season.
Post-match, Lions coach Chris Fagan said it was “a bit of a sad night”.
“It’s not great, he’s a fine young man Cam Rayner,” he said. “When I saw what happened, I thought, I think that’s an ACL. That’s what our physios think. Obviously, we have to get scans and all that done, but that’s the way it’s looking.
“It’s a real pity, I reckon he was about to take off, he was having such a good pre-season. It’s disappointing for him that this has happened [but] it will build his character.”
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