Sport AFL to weigh up an additional mid-year draft
Gold Coast Suns to celebrate their tenth anniversary this Saturday night
The Gold Coast Suns will indirectly mark the tenth anniversary of their AFL debut when they host Carlton at Metricon Stadium this Saturday night as part of a huge Round 4 of the 2021 AFL season. It seemed like only yesterday the club, which had the working name GC17, took to the field for its first ever AFL match which was played against the Blues on a warm Saturday evening at the Gabba, with the visitors winning by a whopping 119 points.
Thewill consider incorporating a second mid-season draft during the 2022 season in order to help teams cope with injuries, according to football operations boss .
After being shelved for the 2020 season due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the mid-season draft will return this year after it was introduced back in 2019.
Some teams have already reaped the benefits of their 2019 picks with John Noble (Collingwood), Will Snelling (Essendon),(Richmond) and Ryan Gardner (Western Bulldogs) all mainstays in their respective teams.
"It's a really good discussion to have," Hocking told Nine's Footy Classified of the prospect of a second mid-season draft.
The game has moved away from Richmond
Each AFL season, we bring a set of biases and preconceptions to our thinking about the upcoming year, a platform of knowledge based on what we’ve seen, read, and heard over the preceding years. We expect Melbourne to find a laughable way to flounder once more. We assume St Kilda is destined to fail, no matter how bright their prospects. We just know that Fremantle will rarely put up a fight on the road. Conversely, Geelong is expected to contend because that’s what they do. Alastair Clarkson is always presumed to have a trick up his sleeve. West Coast will be thereabouts.
"It's only been in operation one year, which was 2019, obviously in 2020 due to COVID-19 situation it impacted that so we parked it for the year.
"It's back in place this year. It seems there's some clubs that are very keen to get to it.
"We'll analyse it this year and we'll get to the end of the year and if there does need to be any adjustment we can certainly make it into 2022."
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Hocking also said the AFL was looking into the prospect of elevating state-level competitions such as the VFL, saying the "future is endless" for the second-tier competitions.
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The Brisbane Lions are living perilously close to the edge ahead of their Round 4 clash against the Western Bulldogs. If not for Zac Bailey’s after-the-siren goal, Brisbane would have been the team most spoken about in the media this week. Of course it was only the week before that the team would have beaten Geelong if not for a controversial decision, which would have left them sitting with two wins after three rounds. Yet we as a sporting community are far too reactive to results, and the win over Collingwood shouldn’t have let Brisbane fly under the radar.
Former Fremantle and St Kilda coach Ross Lyon praised the idea of a second mid-year draft. Lyon believes the additional draft as well as elevated state competitions will help the AFL avoid losing kids to rival codes.
"To me, you need renewal and members need to see that you can bring someone in and your season is alive," he told Footy Classified.
"So for Gold Coast, clearly a ruckman, and then there's an opportunity for young players.
"I love the talk about elevating the VFL because it is about retention. Some young fellas go, 'Oh I didn't get drafted and the VFL, it's a bit Mickey Mouse, I'll just head off to Montmorency and play with my mates'.
"If you can elevate it and give it some real profile, we'll get all those juniors back and continue to get more AFL players into the system.
"AFL lists have to shed four players a year to get their draftees. I know there's been players that I didn't want to de-list, but we had to have three picks in the draft. So they get pushed out to the VFL, SANFL or WAFL, so those players are there."
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