Essendon snubbed big trade offers before selecting Elijah Tsatas with pick five on Monday night in the selection to shape the 2022 AFL Draft first round.
One of those offers came from Melbourne, who put up a mammoth three first-round picks as part of a deal for the Bombers’ first selection – reportedly pick 13 plus two future first round picks.
But Bombers coach Brad Scott said it would take an “extraordinary offer” to pry what was pick four from the club.
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That pick four became five after North Melbourne’s bid on Brisbane father-son Will Ashcroft was matched at pick two on Monday night.
The Bombers had been interested in both Tsatas and South Australian Mattaes Phillipou, who visited club headquarters and met with coach Scott.
On Monday night, the decision was made to go with midfielder Tsatas in a moment that left the young Victorian’s mum in tears.
After plenty of hugs with family and friends, the teen was presented his jumper by Bombers club legend Matthew Lloyd.
“I really think his ability to generate opportunities not just for himself but for teammates … he’s a high energy player,” Fox Footy’s Draft expert Mick Ablett said.
“He’s a player that will certainly give Essendon’s midfield a bit of height.”
Draft guru Kevin Sheehan described Tsatas as a “ball magnet” who won a best and fairest off the back of just six games due to injury.
Tsatas said he was excited to join the Bombers and begin his AFL journey.
“Doing my rehab to the full extent, to 100 per cent just gave me that confidence,” he said.
“I met (Brad Scott) last week, super excited for what he can bring.
“I think everyone at the club’s pretty excited.”
Phillipou was later taken by St Kilda with pick 10.