David King has laughed off suggestions that the Western Bulldogs’ list build has been impacted by needing to bid for Academy prospect Jamarra Ugle-Hagan and father-son prospect Sam Darcy.
The Bulldogs had access to Ugle-Hagan in 2020, who was bid on by Adelaide with the 1st pick in the draft. Then in 2021, Darcy was bid on with pick two by GWS.
Despite being a top eight team, the Dogs received the best key position player in successive drafts.
However, Bulldogs list manager Sam Power believes that needing to match bids for both stars has impacted their depth, given the second and third-round picks absorbed.
“Matching bids with Jamarra and Sam early in drafts has meant that we picked early and picked late,” Power told AFL Media’s Gettable.
“Obviously fantastic bringing those boys in, but we’ve paid maximum for them with where those picks came, so we haven’t had access to certain parts of the draft.”
It comes after the Bulldogs missed the eight in 2023, with question marks from coach Luke Beveridge over the true quality of the list.
David King, however, cannot cop Power’s comments given the incredible priority access the Dogs have had.
“He even had trouble getting those words out,” King told SEN Breakfast.
“He’s trying to tell us that what they paid for Jamarra – which was pick 29, 33, 41, 52 and 54 – for the best kid in the draft, was a setback for their list build?
“And then he’s also throwing Sam Darcy in there – which was pick 32, 34 and 40.
“Now look, that is just the ultimate spin. ‘We’ve had to pay overs for those blokes’ – they’re future key position stars!
“Their list build has been hamstrung by having to bid on Jamarra with picks in the 30s? And Sam Darcy has cost them three picks in the 30s? Come on Sam (Power).”
Kane Cornes agrees, adding that a bit of finger pointing is going on at the Dogs.
“You can’t complain about being blessed with one of the great draft free kicks you’ve ever seen,” he said.
“Imagine the team down the bottom hearing that when you’ve got a finals contender getting access to the best players in the draft for not much at all. We’re not copping that.
“There’s a bit of the blame game going on at the Dogs.”
The Bulldogs have been blessed again in 2023, with father-son prospect Jordan Croft available for selection.
AFL Media’s Callum Twomey has Croft, a 201cm key forward, ranked 11th in his phantom form guide for this season.