One of the easiest comments to make in review of the 2012 season is how disappointing the year was for Melbourne.
After four wins – three of them comfortably over the two expansion teams, in Gold Coast and Greater Western Sydney – they’ll be looking towards the draft, once again, in the hope of re-energising their stocks to lift them in 2013 and beyond.
One of those players to do so will be Jack Viney.
The son of former Melbourne captain Todd, who played 233 games with the Demons and currently works as an assistant coach, has registered for this year’s draft and, having trained and done work experience with Melbourne and played senior footy for VFL affiliate Casey Scorpions, him going to Melbourne is all but sealed.
The midfielder, resembling his father as a tough, contested ball-winner, would be tipped to go inside the first round of picks in a standard draft, ignoring the father-son eligibility he possesses.
That brings a dilemma, as Melbourne have, outside the compensation which cannot be used for father-son picks, picks 3 and 26 that can be used based on bids made by other clubs.
Those bids will be made on October 8, and will determine which pick Melbourne is to use on him, by forcing them to use their pick subsequent to the highest overall draft pick used to bid.
For example, if the Suns choose to nominate their pick 2 as their bid for Viney’s services, and that stands as the highest one, the Demons will then be forced to use pick 3 on Viney.
If the highest bid instead comes from the Bulldogs with pick 5 or another side with a pick before the Demons’ second-round pick, but after their first, then Viney will be guaranteed to go to them with pick 26.
Whichever way it swings, it’s going to end up as Melbourne being forced to pay massive unders or massive overs to secure him, given his worth.
Melbourne will entirely hope that the former occurs, but it appears as if the latter is growing in likelihood
With it all but guaranteed that Melbourne will take Viney comes the opportunity for s near-risk-free bid from the Giants and the Suns.
The Giants have reason to do so with the added incentive of mini-draft picks. The Demons appear to be one of many clubs interesting in securing one to lock away a talented 17-year-old, which will cost a hefty price – the Suns paid pick 4 last year to ensure Jaeger O’Meara at their club in 2013.
With a high pick from Melbourne, the Western Bulldogs or any other team with a top pick likely to go to Greater Western Sydney, pick 3 being taken out of the scenario increases the value of the pick they may receive.
An example being if the Bulldogs traded their pick 5 for a mini-draft selection, that pick’s weight and value then increases if Viney goes at pick 3.
Gold Coast may do the same with a relative dummy bid, knowing that Melbourne won’t pass on Viney. But with their bid comes another entirely different risk.
The potential lure home that Crow Kurt Tippett currently faces will come at a cost. Brisbane’s highest selection is pick 8, which alone could seal a deal with a straight swap between the clubs, given the enormity of Tippett’s asking price.
Gold Coast’s first two are picks 2 and 25, and the latter pick, unless packaged with a genuinely talented youngster or two, won’t please Adelaide enough.
They may very well pass on a bid, ensuring that their highest pick remains in the wings if Tippett is to return home.
And, if the Giants were to resist the urge to propose their first draft pick, and if the Suns were to keep theirs in the wings in order to potentially trade it, then Viney falls through to Melbourne’s pick 26, in what comes off in face value as the steal of the draft.
That then opens up three relatively flexible selections – picks 3, 4 and 13, as they currently stand – for Melbourne to use to take home three talented players.
All in all, it makes for a complex few weeks in the bidding and trade periods.
It’ll be very interesting to see how it all unfolds.