Andy McGrath is the best player in this year’s AFL national draft and should be selected by Essendon with the number one pick, according to highly rated former list manager Chris Pelchen.
The running defender capable of playing in the midfield has risen up draft boards all year and has now overtaken long-time pick one favourite Hugh McCluggage in the eyes of some experts.
A strong season with the Sandringham Dragons has the former athletics prodigy, who excelled over the hurdles and in jumps events as a junior, a chance to be selected first by the Bombers.
“Yeah look Andrew McGrath is an outstanding player and that’s to take nothing away from the next two boys we ranked after that in Hugh McCluggage and Jack Bowes,” said Pelchen on SEN radio.
“Those guys can play too but in our opinion McGrath and through our ranking process at STAR he is just the complete package.
“He’s led Brighton Grammar and Vic Metro – had success right through junior football and has balanced an enormous workload with footy and off the field with his studies.”
Pelchen is now working at STAR Network, which officially starts operations in February 2017, providing an independent recruiting service to AFL clubs and the media.
“As you can understand no AFL club really has an independent source to confer with on the draft in any given year, they all keep their information very secretive,” he explained.
“So what we’re about is trying to furnish a database which our clients can look at any time and search any demographic whether it be based on player ranking, talent, age or location.
“There’s no bias towards any state or player, or any club – whereas each state obviously pushes up their own players for obvious reasons.”