Brodie Grundy
Brodie Grundy

Collingwood have bagged the reigning Under-18s All-Australian ruck-rover combination in a stunning raid on South Australian talent at Thursday's AFL Draft on the Gold Coast.

The Pies will go back to Victoria as one of the biggest winners at the AFL's annual meat market, having picked up highly-rated Croweater trio Brodie Grundy, Ben Kennedy and Tim Broomhead, along with WA backman Jackson Ramsay with picks 18, 19, 20 and 38 respectively.

Recruiter Derek Hine could scarcely believe his luck when Grundy, by far the best young ruckman in the country, fell in his lap after slipping past 12 other clubs.

But to follow that selection up with Glenelg midfielder/forward Kennedy, who is inseparable from Grundy both on and off the field, is a masterstroke that could set Collingwood up in midfield for years to come.

"They're both (underage) All-Australian players, both South Australian players, they're both AIS players. They're going to be a unique combination," a delighted Hine said.

"They've both got a bit of spunk about them and the pleasing thing with all three of those picks is they're all playing senior football.

"That gives them, we think, some real scope - particularly early in their careers."

Grundy, a basketball convert, was at one stage expected to go top three but proved to be one of the draft's biggest sliders.

"In the last 24 hours or so we thought there was a chance (he might get to us), but you never say never," Hine said.

"This draft was a little bit hard to predict - particularly after (pick) 10. Once we were hearing that GWS were going to pass on him to bring in some more key defenders, we thought he'd be a chance to get back to us."

Like all other draftees, Grundy was still pinching himself after he was assigned his new colours - and not only because he's going to what he says is 'the biggest club in Australia'.

"I noticed my good mate Ben Kennedy got picked up behind me; we get along really well, so I'm looking forward to working hard with him over the pre-season," Grundy said.

"It's just a massive club; everyone knows it and I just feel really honoured and privileged to be part of it."

Collingwood completed a trifecta of South Australian players with Broomhead, a medium-sized midfielder from Port Adelaide and another under-18 state representative.

East Perth product Ramsay, 17, is a defender known as much for his elite kicking skills as he is for his courage and decision-making.

"He's a really energetic player, multiple-effort player and really does come with the program so we're hopeful he'll be okay for us," Hine said.

Any worries that Collingwood, having selected four interstate players, will be haunted by the go-home factor down the track were hosed down pretty quickly by Hine, who said flatly: "We'd like to back ourselves on that."

Sportal

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