What has his dad being successful got to do with his oppurtunity? As he lived in sydney the swans academy is the only current viable option as an elite pathway towards the afl. Should he have just played in one of the sub standard competitions up there and not received any elite coaching or played against a higher level of players.The thing is, it has absolutely nothing to do with where a player wants to play (as this is not the intention of the academies), and everything to do with ensuring they get enough opportunity. If Blakey didn't want to play with North, he could just not nominate as a father/son. When your dad was an extremely successful player and arguably an all-time great, the opportunity argument makes a lot less sense
So if the Northern academies were scrapped where would all the potential elite junior talent go/play? As ive previously mentioned itll be 10-15 years minimum before there is enough in place for them to set up an elite junior system which is a seperate entity from the afl clubs. The massive influx of junior numbers in South east QLD since Gold coast's inception is exactly what the afl wanted and in a generation or so it'll mean by law of averages more potentially elite kids will be playing afl over rugby.It's referring to retention and attraction of talent as one of the reasons for academies existing, which is something smaller clubs have a harder time with than clubs like Richmond, Essendon, etc. Obviously 2019 bucked the trend a bit though (Hill + Jones to Saints, Bruce + Keath to Dogs) but the clubs do still tend to overpay a bit.
Like I said, there will never be a perfect system since if we only gave academies to smaller clubs, this isn't fair on the bigger clubs since they'd be given no concessions. And it's not like they haven't been without their struggles themselves (Richmond for the better part of 30 years prior to 2017, Pies only winning two flags from 1959 onwards, Geelong's 44 year drought).
If it were up to me, academies would be scrapped altogether