Monday, November 25, 2013

Dayle Garlett: the new bad boy of the AFL?

HAWTHORN says it will provide the off-field support to give controversial recruit Dayle Garlett the chance to shine, but won't allow him to take any shortcuts.
The reigning premier took the biggest punt of the AFL national draft when it chose the wayward but sublimely-skilled Swan Districts player with pick 38.
Hawks' recruiting manager Graham Wright now hopes the selection will prove to be a bargain, given Garlett's undoubted talent that has often been overshadowed by erratic off-field behaviour.
"He has certainly been able to put a lot of controls around his life and from our perspective we have noticed that, and seen it," Wright said.
"We have had a lot of contact with him the last 12 months or so, even in the last two-and-a-half years back when he was eligible to be one of the 17-year-olds with GWS.
"We have followed him all the way through and we are very comfortable with the pick.
"For us, at 38, we felt it was the right pick at the right time and we were keen to give him an opportunity. Now it is what he does with that opportunity."
 WAFL Claremont Oval. Claremont Versus Swna Districts. Pic of Swan 19 Dayle Garlett. Pic Theo Fakos
Dayle Garlett starred for Swan Districts after being overlooked in last year’s draft. Picture: Theo Fakos Source: News Corp Australia
Wright said the 20-year-old would join Hawthorn with "a clean slate", following his AFL reprieve after he was overlooked last season.
"I think Dayle should come in with a clean slate, like every player, and should be given every opportunity," Wright said.
"We will afford him that and I know our players will as well. We have got great structures around the club."
Garlett missed a meeting with Port Adelaide in the lead-up to this year's draft, but Wright denied he had missed one with Hawthorn.
He admitted there was a risk associated with the selection, but said the Hawks had been buoyed by Garlett's more settled off-field situation.
Garlett watched the draft unfold with his girlfriend from his manager Tim Galic's office in Perth - with the Hawks contacting him soon after.
"Everyone is in agreeance that he is a super talented player, but he has got to get in and work really hard," Wright said.
"He will be expected to do everything that every player does. There will be no shortcuts for him."
Dayle Garlett takes off in the 20m sprint at the draft combine. Picture: Colleen Petch
Dayle Garlett takes off in the 20m sprint at the draft combine. Picture: Colleen Petch Source: News Corp Australia
Garlett kicked 45 goals from 19 games with Swan Districts this season and finished in the top 10 of the Sandover Medal.
The Hawks were also delighted - and a little surprised - to be able to secure midfielder Billy Hartung with their first selection at pick 24 after he had been touted to go earlier.
It had considered James Sicily with pick 38 used on Garlett, but was pleased he was still available at pick 56.
"We were rapt with Billy Hartung with pick 24. (He) has such a big engine, he is quick and he uses the ball well," Wright said.
"We think he will complement our group well. We rated James (Sicily) highly. He is an exciting football talent, is very strong overhead and plays that high half forward role."

Wright said the Hawks were pleased to secure some midfield talent who will hopefully take over when the club's dominant, but now ageing, midfield undergoes more change over the coming years.
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