Richmond GM of Football Neil Balme has talked up the potential of promising Western Australian teenager Sydney Stack.
Stack, 18, was thrown a lifeline by the Tigers via the Pre-Season Supplemental Selection Period after being overlooked in the draft due to some off-field issues.
The midfielder was selected in the Under 18 All-Australian team and was touted as one of WA’s most prodigious draft talents.
Balme says the rookie-listed Tiger has been “telling a good story” throughout the pre-season.
“He’s a lovely player, I really like him I must admit,” he told SEN’s KB and The Doc.
“I think he is (a chance to play early in the season). He played in the Under 18s last year and was a very good player.
“He’s an Indigenous kid from Perth, he’s got all the skills, handles the ball beautifully, quick, gets the ball well and kicks it well. It’s just a matter of him putting a bit together and getting an opportunity.
“Whether he’ll get in in front of the other guys and when that will happen, who knows? He’s certainly telling a good story at the minute, so I would love to see him play I must admit.”
Another young Tiger pressing for selection is young forward Noah Balta who caught the eye in both the club’s JLT Community Series matches.
Balme has earmarked 19-year-old Balta as one of the candidates to deputise for prized recruit Tom Lynch, who is in a race against time to be for the Round 1 blockbuster against Carlton.
“He’s certainly one of the contenders,” Balme said.
“I still can’t tell you whether Tom (Lynch) will play, he’s certainly not far away, he’s a reasonable chance, but that hasn’t actually been decided as yet.
“If he doesn’t, then we’ll have to play someone else, but Noah (Balta) is a real chance I must say.”
Balta was selected with pick No.25 in the 2017 AFL Draft.
Damien Hardwick’s side open their 2019 season against the Blues at the MCG on March 21.
Listen to Neil Balme's chat on SEN's KB and The Doc with Kevin Bartlett and Terry Wallace in the player below