Essendon has a number of father-son prospects to be excited about.
The latest names linked to the club’s James Hird Academy include Alex Hird and Tex Wanganeen along with Josh Misiti and the Davey twins, Jayden and Alwyn Junior.
Draft guru Kevin Sheehan recently commented on the son of Joe Misiti and whether or not the Bombers would draft him this year, but list manager Adrian Dodoro has indicated that the club may wait for him to develop.
“Josh played at Calder (Cannons) this year and Essendon Grammar as well,” he said on SEN Breakfast.
“He’s a bit of a work in progress. He’s got a lot of ability, he’s a big boy, and we’ll make a decision in the next few weeks as to what we do.
“But he’s also got the ability to play as a 19-year-old again at Calder next year. So a bit to work through, but a great kid.”
Alwyn Davey’s boys will be eligible for father-son selection in 2022 so will spend next year preparing in the Hird Academy and playing school footy.
“Jayden and Alwyn Junior, terrific boys, they’re very exciting,” he added.
“They’re at Xavier College at the moment. Two boys who are part of our James Hird Academy and we’re excited to see what they can do next year.”
The Dons have a number of quality youngsters already at Tullamarine, highlighted by their strong draft hand last year which allowed them to bring in top 10 trio Archie Perkins, Nik Cox and Zach Reid.
But there is a somewhat forgotten talent in Kaine Baldwin who excites Dodoro having joined the club in last year’s supplemental selection period.
The South Australian has battled ACL injuries early in his career, but is primed to show Bombers fans what he is capable of in 2022.
“We’re really excited about a number of our young guys we’ve got on our list at the moment. That was the reason why we wanted to settle things down this year at the club,” Dodoro said.
“Obviously everyone saw Perkins and Nik Cox, they showed a little bit last year, they’ve got a lot of growth in them.
“Zach Reid is a young bloke who we’re really excited about. He kicks the ball well, really calm and he’s going to be a long-term player for us.
“We’ve got another kid called Kaine Baldwin who we picked up last year in the SSP. He had a couple of knee reconstructions as a junior, highly touted young man. Got back late (this season), played a couple of games, he’s a big, powerful key forward and he really excites us as well.
“There’s a number of boys, a lot of natural growth in a lot of those guys. I think we’ve got some young talent, for sure.”
The Bombers were relatively quiet in the trade period, only bringing in Jake Kelly from Adelaide despite being linked with GWS small forward Bobby Hill late in proceedings.
They will take picks 11, 51, 56 and 87 to this year’s draft.