Ben Jensen 27 November 2014

THE CATS picked up four new players in the AFL National Draft at the Gold Coast today. Nakia Cockatoo was snared with pick 10 from the NT Thunder, the 18 year old midfielder set to make his debut in 2015. At 186cm and a decent 86kg for his age Cockatoo has shown he knows where the goals are. He is cousins with former Bomber star Che Cockatoo-Collins and Melbourne players Donald and David.

Having traded picks 14 and 35 in order to get pick 10 (and 47), it was pick 47 the Cats next got to use. With this Corey Gregson, whose mother is a lifelong Cats supporter, packed his bags from the South Australian country town of Port Willunga for the relative big smoke of Geelong. Rated as a small forward Gregson last year lived in Morphettville with family and played for Glenelg, including at senior level in addition to the under-18s.

With picks 55 and 59 the Cats got another South Australian in Dean Gore and Gippslander Jordan Cunico, both midfielders. Gore played for Sturt and Cunico for the Gippsland Power, original club Traralgon.


Nakia Cockatoo: “Nakia has done so well in the AIS academy, very highly respected by the coaches who had dealings with him. We would have liked to see him play a little bit more but we saw enough as he was playing in NEAFL last year or in the under-18 championships in 2013. (His combine results) didn’t hurt him, it didn’t boost him a fair bit, we always had him rated very, very highly."

"If he hadn’t been able to play those games, if he hadn’t been able to test, we would have still been very, very keen to get Nakia to our club. We take the injuries into account, but we’re very confident that he’s fine to go, he’s been training since the middle of the year. We would have been happy to pick a tall player as well if it had have been the way but as it was rated we thought Nakia was the player for us.”

Corey Gregson: "Cory is a small midfielder/forward, runs and carries the ball really well, great skills, had some experience with Glenelg in the seniors this year and he just brings something different".

Dean Gore: “(he) was also a good midfield player for South Australia this year, who won the under-18 championships, Dean’s a big strong player, has also tasted senior footy at Sturt. He can play half-back and inside mid, so he’s a versatile player and he’s earned his spot through those good solid performances in particular.

Jordan Cunico: “(he) played for Vic Country this year and also the Gippsland Power. Jordan’s a very talented player, he’s a good long kick, he’s got a lot of skill, versatile player, so he probably complemented the three other inside mid players that we’d already drafted. By the way, those inside mid players have also got the ability to run well.”


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