Forward Jamarra Ugle-Hagan has been selected by the Western Bulldogs with pick one in the AFL Draft.
The Adelaide Crows had the first official pick in the draft, but the Bulldogs used draft points to match the Crows’ bid to take the 18-year-old from the team’s Next Generation Academy.
Ugle-Hagan was the favourite to be selected first, an athletic left-footer who kicked 24 goals for the Oakleigh Chargers’ under-19 competition premiership-winning side last year.
With his selection, Ugle-Hagan from the Framlingham Aboriginal Reserve near Warrnambool in Victoria became the first Indigenous player since Des Headland in 1999 to be taken first in the AFL Draft.
Ugle-Hagan has been described by some as “Buddy 2.0”, his play leading to comparisons with Hawthorn and Sydney great Lance Franklin.
The Crows followed up, using pick two to take a local in Riley Thilthorpe.
The 201cm-tall Thilthorpe played nine games for West Adelaide in the SANFL in 2020, kicking a total of five goals and averaging four marks, three tackles and 10 hitouts a game.
This year’s draft has been seen as a difficult one for clubs to evaluate talent, since a large number of the young prospects have not played football this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The draft was held as a virtual event based in the AFL’s review centre in Docklands, with representatives from all 18 clubs staying at their headquarters in different states.
More to come.

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