Norm Smith Medallist
- Oct 21, 2021
- AFL Club
The original intent of the rookie draft was to give prospects who didn't make the cut in the national draft a chance at still being picked up in the rookie draft. Now clubs are using it mainly to shuffle current players off their primary list temporarily to create additional national draft pick slots, whether it be for bid matching purposes as mentioned above or just to meet the requirement for the minimum of three additions to the primary list in the ND.
Not sure how you wouldn't call that exploitation tbh whether it be sanctioned or not, but it's all moot if the rumblings are to be believed about rookie rules being firmly in the sights of the new management at AFL house.
I think there's more than a little hyperbole in play here. What was there this year, 7 players redrafted to the rookie list by the club that delisted them. Add that 2 (afaik) of them (Melksham and Wingard) have long term injuries so it's as much about supporting the player through the injury recovery as anything else. There's a high potential neither of them play a senior game in 2024. Clubs leaving list spots clear for SSP and MSD has a more significant impact. Look at us, 3 list spaces unfilled following ND, PSD, and RD.
As I've said, you retain a player, whether that via demotion or retention on a senior list, and you deny yourself the opportunity of picking up another potential long-term player. There's a risk/cost either way.
Barring the relisting of Kelly, we haven't done it this year, we did the previous year with Murley. And really it was the AFL draft requirements that forced that on us. We needed a list spot and the only way to do that was delist a contracted player. The only way to minimise the impact of that was to redraft him.