Probably, but VFLW starts next week, so that should help players not getting a game mount a case and add more competition for spots.Is Lauren Sparks going to struggle to get back in the team?
I think before, only marquee players could be signed for multi-year deals, and everyone else can only sign for a year, so all non-marquee players were basically free agents (for the expansion teams) by the end of the season. I believe a couple of years ago they changed it now so that all senior list players can be signed for 2 years contracts.I'm not sure on the rules but at one point you could only have a certain amount (5?) of contracted players and everyone else on your list was a free agent. I don't know if that's still a thing.
What happened was teams were only allowed to lose a maximum of four players from expansion club poaching. Bulldogs had four players poached before Conti decided to leave. The AFL then gave Richmond pick 1 priority pick, pushing the bulldogs pick 1 to pick 2, to ensure that even if a trade can't be reached, Richmond would be able to draft her with pick 1 in the draft. Basically the AFL railroaded the bulldogs into a lose-lose situation, where they would lose Conti no matter what happened (whereas before the handout, it was the other way round). Bulldogs had every intention of keeping her and she would've stayed (for at least one more year) had it not been for the AFL intervening.Why did we trade Conti? Were we forced to? Real question. Never understood how we lost one of our best youngsters.
Yeah, will probably lose a couple players, but shouldn't be any more mass exodus or anything like that. What happened before was the team lost it's best player in Kearney, and a couple of other players in the best 22 at the end of 2018, and that was enough to make the team uncompetitive enough for even more players to want to leave in the following years. Now that the team is winning games again, unless someone like Fitzgerald gets poached, the team should still be competitive if a few players get poached (given most of the other key players are players who had stuck around during tough times, and unlikely to leave). I don't think the AFLW will be expanding much anytime soon anyway (with covid and everything).We have to fully expect it, I just hope they don't allow it to happen on the scale they did when North entered. That set the club back years.
Between Hawks and Essendon, it should be expected that we lose some combination of decent players like Hartwig and Toogood, plus maybe some depth players. What shouldn't be happening is what we saw when Brennan, Bruton and Kearney (plus Conti in trade) all departed for the two expansion teams. Losing your best player and captain, plus one of your best up and comers, would be like if we lost Blackburn, Huntington and Fitzgerald.