I'm going to be flat-chat with work for the next few days so Collingwood has decided to jump the gun and make its final pick now.
Hopefully neither the Dogs nor the Eagles were keen on this bloke; I doubt they would have been given both clubs are well stocked for small forwards.
182cm / 77kg
The Crows will be filthy to see Newchurch taken in the main draft, as, by all accounts, they were hoping he'd slip into the rookie draft. However, the Pies have swooped here due to Newchurch's agility and forward craft. It's been a while since Collingwood has had a quality Indigenous small forward—Leon Davis and Andy Krakouer were probably the most recent—and we think Newchurch will thrill the supporters just like Neon Leon and Krak could. Speed and goal sense are Newchurch's best attributes, while a need to work on the defensive side of his game means he is likely to be a longer-term prospect. Expect Newchurch to hone his craft for at least a season in the reserves.
Collingwood's six picks in the famous PRE phantom draft are:
#16 Reef McInnes—big bodied inside midfielder (matched bid)
#19 Jackson Callow—sure handed, accurate-kicking full forward
#56 Lachlan Carrigan—tall outside mid/winger with speed to burn
#61 Brodie Lake—mid-sized forward with speed and smarts
#66 Malachy Carruthers—potential third tall defender with an excellent boot
#75 Tariek Newchurch—crafty small Indigenous forward with great goal sense
After a diabolical trade period, the Pies think they've salvaged something from the wreckage.
We think McInnes and Lake could be in the round one side, while, in time, Callow will straighten us up forward of the ball. Carrigan offers great outside speed and decision-making, which we desperately need, while Carruthers provides us with an important third tall defender but with excellent disposal, too. Newchurch adds flair and unpredictability around the goals.