Pick 51 2019 Draft: Jake Riccardi

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Community Leader
Feb 26, 2019
AFL Club
Other Teams
Phila 76ers, Mt Buller Demons
The GIANTS have added more firepower to their forward line by selecting Jake Riccardi with pick 51 of the 2019 NAB AFL Draft.

The GIANTS traded up to secure the 195cm 20-year-old, who had a stunning year in the VFL in 2019, kicking 38 goals in 20 games for Werribee.

They traded a future third round (tied to North Melbourne) for pick 51 and Collingwood's future fourth round pick.

Riccardi – who was a member of the Calder Cannons NAB League squad in 2017 and 2018 – won the Fothergill-Round-Mitchell Medal as the best young player in the VFL, showing consistency throughout the season under former GIANTS assistant coach Mark Williams.

A strong mark and a deadly set shot, Riccardi kicked six goals in a game against Coburg and booted three as Werribee were knocked out of the VFL finals by Essendon.

Jake Riccardi
Werribee (VFL), Calder Cannons

D.O.B: 7/11/1999
Height: 195cm

Weight: 92kg

Riccardi is the third player to join the GIANTS in the 2019 NAB AFL Draft after Lachlan Ash and Tom Green were selected on Wednesday evening.

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Norm Smith Medallist
Apr 30, 2011
AFL Club
GIANTS National Recruiting Manager Adrian Caruso said: “We were always hoping to try and push into the middle part of the draft if the players we liked were available. “Once we hit around pick 40 onwards we were really trying to get in, in a similar way to last year. “Jake Riccardi was the player we targeted, we thought, ‘Okay he’s available we need to get in and get him’. “We started to hit clubs up to try and get in and eventually we got a bite in Collingwood and they were happy to do that deal.” Riccardi, a powerful forward who won the 2019 Fothergill-Round-Mitchell Medal as the best young player in the VFL, played 20 games for Werribee this season, kicking 38 goals. “We’ve tracked him for a few years, he was an inexperienced young forward growing into his body at 18 when he played for the Calder Cannons a couple of years ago,” Caruso said. “We knew he was going to take time and what we saw from him in the back half of the year at Werribee was a great indication that he had come on. “His finals performances were really encouraging for us and gave us the confidence to know that he was developing.”

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Jan 9, 2012
Baulkham Hills
AFL Club
Other Teams
St Kilda, Bucks, Who Dats
Another great Emma background piece

Full story in the link above.

When Jake Riccardi joned the Calder Cannons three years ago he wasn’t sure what he was, what he could become, or how good he could be.

Riccardi was a midfielder as a kid, for St Bernards in Essendon. He was small, skinny and had missed out on making all of the Cannons’ junior squads.

By the time they picked him he had grown, to about 192 centimetres. Still, he headed into the 2017 season not really sure where they saw him fitting in.

“It was a different sort of year because everything that happened felt pretty new to me,” said Riccardi, who started in the ruck before moving into the forward line.

“I’d never played in the ruck before so that was something I wasn’t used to, and even as a forward I played as a third tall, a lead-up, and I hadn’t done that before either.

“Coming in, I was sort of the last one into the team. There were other players better than me that they wanted playing those key roles, so I was happy just to fill other spots.

“I had a lot to take in but every week I was learning something new and it was a good year just for starting to get an idea of what I had to do to get better.”

Riccardi did enough that year to make AFL clubs notice him, us included. But by the time the rookie draft came around just one club had spoken to him. He knew he was only a tiny chance of being called out, and wasn’t disappointed when he missed out.

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