How Carlton deal-maker stole the AFL Draft show
ON A night when the AFL's recruiters played strictly by the rules, Steve Silvagni went down swinging.
Silvagni's chiselled jaw stole the majority of TV time available on a night he didn't deny was his last in charge of the Blues' list.
Like a wheeling, dealing Wall Street stockbroker, Silvagni was in on everything, moving and shaking, and cutting deals as he kept his phone permanently attached to his ear.
What any of it means - as Carlton fans struggled to keep up with the dizzying array of aborted deals to trade up, and two-for-one swaps for Carlton's No.11 pick - might only be known long after he is gone.
When the dust had settled the sum total of Silvagni's night was a trade nipped in the bud, two picks for academy talents, a trade that doubled Carlton's first-round involvement, a trade from 22 back into 20 and then an eyebrow-raising selection for a kid not selected for the national championships.
Silvagni will exit stage left after securing Jack Martin for nothing in Friday's rookie-draft, but after five drafts and moments like Wednesday night and last year's Liam Stocker deal, at least it has been a hell of a ride.
The rumours had swept the room pre-draft that Carlton might put an exclamation point on the Stocker trade by getting their No.6 pick back in a subsequent trade with the Crows.
In the end, Adelaide baulked, but Silvagni was only warming up.
Eventually the Blues' first pick became Bendigo's July ACL victim, Brodie Kemp (pick 17), who will only ease into the season.
The second was a bolter in every sense, lightning quick Northern Knights midfielder Sam Philp at pick 20 (after another pick swap), who wasn't even selected in the national championships.
AFL talent pathway manager Mick Ablett wondered aloud if he was a late second-round pick but post-draft most recruiters rated him a late-20s pick.
Silvagni, with that trademark grin, reckoned he would easily prove worth a pick well inside the 20s.
We selected a midfielder, a forward and a defender on the opening night of the draft... and that was just pick No.17. 😏— Carlton FC (@CarltonFC) November 27, 2019
Brodie Kemp's highlights package is definitely one we can get used to! 🔥#BoundByBlue pic.twitter.com/kej71Y4wDA
If Carlton brought the drama, Gold Coast cleaned up with a hand that ended up as strong any in recent memory.
Last night they emerged not only with two midfielders considered bulletproof in draft parlance - Matt Rowell and Noah Anderson - they found a way to secure a trade into Carlton's pick 11 for another junior onball prodigy in Sam Flanders.