Bret Thornton joins the Giants as number one pre-season AFL draft pick

The Greater Western Sydney Giants have selected former Carlton player Bret Thornton with their number one pick in today’s NAB AFL Pre-Season Draft.

The Giants also re-drafted veteran ruckman Dean Brogan and selected two young players from New South Wales, Joseph Redfern and Zachary Williams, in the NAB AFL Rookie Draft.

Thornton, 29, joins the Giants after 188 matches with the Blues, while Brogan played nine games for the Giants in 2012 for a career total of 183 games after joining the club from Port Adelaide.

General Manager Graeme Allan said Thornton’s experience and versatility would be a great asset for the club.

‘‘Together with Stephen Gilham, who we traded from Hawthorn, he will provide tremendous support for our young players but also the likes of Phil Davis and Chad Cornes in defence,’’ Allan said.

‘‘Dean Brogan will also provide invaluable support not only as a player but in his role as ruck coach to help develop Andrew Phillips and Tom Downie.’’ 

Allan said the Giants were also pleased to be able to offer an opportunity to two young New South Wales players, Joseph Redfern and Zachary Williams, who have both been training with the club.

Redfern, 18, hails from Wagga Wagga and has been on a scholarship with the Giants for the past 12 months and was a member of the Giants Academy. He also played for the UWS Giants in the North Eest Australian Football League (NEAFL) in 2012.

Williams, 18, is from Narrandera and represented the NSW/ACT Rams in 2012 as well as the UWS Giants in the NEAFL. He is also a product of the Giants Academy.

Allan said their selections were a tremendous endorsement of the Giants Academy and the club’s commitment to producing local talent.

‘‘To be able to select two boys from the Riverina is a great boost for the game in NSW and we look forward to developing them as potential AFL players at the Giants,’’ he said.

With the addition of Williams and Redfern, the Giants have now recruited eight local players from NSW and the ACT currently on their list.

Fan favourite: The Giants resigned veteran ruckman Dean Brogan.

Fan favourite: The Giants resigned veteran ruckman Dean Brogan.