Stack of talent, Tigers add rookie
New Tigers rookie Sydney Stack (right) in action for Western Australia at the 2018 under-18 championships.Credit:AAP
If drafting players were just a matter of talent, Sydney Stack would have been taken in the national draft last year.
But the investment in players is bigger than talent alone, so the national draft passed and then the rookie draft too, and Stack was left on the shelf.
Prodigiously talented with a good turn of speed, he was an under-18 All-Australian midfielder last year, but he was a bit too loose off the field, not committed enough in his approach and was a bit wayward late in the year for recruiters to call out his name.
Richmond was still drawn to his talent and wanted a closer look at him to know whether the concerns that dissuaded others were justified.
Three months later, and after he'd moved from Perth to Melbourne to train with the club before and after Christmas, the Tigers were satisfied.
On Monday they added him to their rookie list using the new AFL Pre-Season Supplemental Selection rule, which allows clubs to leave places open on their list after the drafts to add a player in the pre-season.
Clubs have until March 15 to finalise these places on their lists, but the Tigers decided to move now, for while Stack had been training with them they had no exclusive right to him – and with the form he was showing on the track, they couldn't risk another club approaching and taking him from under their nose.
Some at Richmond are privately very bullish about the midfielder, considering him a top-30 talent in last year's national draft.
He will most likely play senior football this year, and possibly early in the season. He has elite speed, is clean with his hands and was a standout in the under-18 competition.
"We're delighted to welcome Sydney to the Club, he's worked really hard to secure a spot on the list and we know he'll continue to work hard to develop his football," Richmond football manager Neil Balme said.
"Sydney's got great speed, skill, and competes really hard, so we're excited by what he'll bring to the team.
"We think that Richmond is a positive environment for him, and we're pleased with how he's settling into the club and our football program."
Richmond also added former Saint Maverick Weller during the supplemental selection period.
The Tigers are building steadily in the pre-season, with Balme saying they are in good shape.
Recruit Tom Lynch is still in recovery from the surgery late last year, but he is close to returning to full training and is expected to be fit for round one.
Jack Graham had a shoulder reconstruction but is back close to full contact training, while Ryan Garthwaite had an Achilles problem but is training again.
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