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Blues drafting for AFL interchange cap
Sam Lienert
15:25 AEST Fri Nov 23 2012

Carlton have begun drafting for an AFL interchange cap, targeting players who can run hard with minimal rest.

While there will be no cap next season, the league will trial limiting teams to 80 interchanges per match in the pre-season, ahead of potentially introducing that system for the 2014 season proper.

The Blues are already preparing.

While they couldn't go past talented forward Troy Menzel with their first pick, No.11, their other two live selections had an emphasis on endurance.

Their second selection, Tom Temay, the son of St Kilda 52-gamer Paul Temay, is a 3000m runner who has represented Victoria and at one stage was tossing up between football and athletics.

Their third pick, Nick Graham, who was coached by former Blue Nick Stevens at TAC Cup side Gippsland Power, was also liked for his running power.

"He's just a really good endurance player," said Blues national recruiting manager Shane Rogers.

"We think with the rules that may be changing next year with interchanges, it was a priority to try and get blokes that could run out games and just chug around and not have to come off as much as what some players do.

"So he's one of those players. He's a high-possession winner as well."

While Carlton concentrated on running ability, Richmond noted another of the game's trends - the importance of winning the contested ball - in taking tough, aggressive midfielder-defender Nick Vlastuin with their first pick, No.9.

He fits the mould of other recent Tiger draftees such as Brandon Ellis, Reece Conca and Dustin Martin as physical, big-bodied midfield prospects.

"We think contested footy numbers are increasing on a year-by-year basis and we've drafted with that in mind over the last couple of years," Tigers recruiting manager Francis Jackson said.

The Tigers also had an eye on endurance with their second pick, Kamdyn McIntosh.

While the 192cm West Australian has spent time as a key defender, Richmond like him as a tall midfielder, given he rated in the top three per cent for endurance tests at the draft combine.


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