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Talented WA teen Lance Collard drafted by St Kilda

Jackson Clark -

St Kilda have drafted talented West Australian forward Lance Collard with selection 28 in last night's AFL Draft opening night.

Collard was one of the bolters of this year's draft crop after an excellent 2023 campaign for Subiaco's Colts team.

The 18-year-old was able to overcome an injury-interrupted bottom-age year to kick 32 goals from his 11 appearances in the WAFL Colts competition.

St Kilda List Manager, Stephen Silvagni, was excited about acquiring a player as talented as Collard.

"Lance is a creative and energetic small forward who has the ability to turn a game on its head through his dynamic skillset," Silvagni said.

"He is a proven match-winner whose high energy and knack for producing game-changing moments is something we're very excited to see."

Entering last night's draft, Collard was considered to be one of the most exciting players available.

The 18-year-old is a mercurial small forward who boasts plenty of x-factor and game-breaking ability.

Lance Collard has been drafted by St Kilda. (Image: Subiaco FC/The West)

He has been likened to some of the game's most damaging small forwards including Richmond star Shai Bolton and this year's Norm Smith Medal winner Bobby Hill from Collingwood.

Collard started the 2023 season in excellent form booting 15 goals in the first six games, including a six-goal haul against West Perth in Round 4.

His early season performances for the Lions helped solidify his spot in Western Australia's U18s team for the 2023 AFL National U18 Championships.

Playing in a struggling team, Collard was unable to have the impact that he would have liked, but showed snippets of his ability, including a two-goal final term against Vic Country to almost lead his team to an upset victory.

He later excelled in Subiaco's finals campaign kicking five goals in his team's elimination final win over West Perth and backing it up with another five in the semi-final loss to East Fremantle.

The West Australian is a West Coast Next Generation Academy product, but was considered highly unlikely to slip past the first 40 selections, which would have allowed the Eagles to match a bid.

Collard will be the sixth Indigenous footballer on St Kilda's AFL list next season, joining Brad Hill, Nasiah Wanganeen-Milera, Marcus Windhager, Isaac Keeler and new addition Liam Henry.

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