This is something I mentioned late last year, but this article in this week's Maribrynong Leader, written by Paul Amy, confirms it.
[quote]WILLIAMSTOWN believes in Liam Picken and is prepared to put up money that he will make it as an AFL player.
The Seagulls have confirmed they gave $20,000 to their VFL partner the Western Bulldogs to help pay for the cost of having him on their rookie list.
â€œWe think itâ€™s a very good investment in Liam and for our alignment with the Bulldogs,â€ Willy general manager Brendan Curry said.
â€œIt will be money well spent. Weâ€™ve got enormous faith in him. Heâ€™s ready to step up.â€
Liam is the son of former Collingwood champion Billy and shared Willyâ€™s best and fairest last year. He was also selected in the VFL team of the year.
While his father was a centre half back, Liam is a midfielder/flanker who can play run-with roles and go forward to kick goals.
Perseverance put him on AFL list.
â€œHeâ€™s been playing in the VFL for four years and heâ€™s developed from a scrawny little country kid into a really good VFL player,â€ Curry said.
â€œWe think heâ€™s going to be a great success story and come through the system and be a good player for the Bulldogs.â€™â€™
Curry said he was sure the Bulldogs were sold on Picken before Williamstown showed them the money.
Willy intend to set aside $20,000 each year to help the Western Bulldogs pay for a rookie selected from a VFL club.
â€œHe doesnâ€™t have to be a Williamstown player. If we see a guy we think warrants being on an AFL list, as we did with Liam Picken, weâ€™ll give him an opportunity,â€ Curry said. [/quote]