Father Son/ Academy Free Hits.

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staffonly

Team Captain
Aug 20, 2021
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321
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St Kilda
They have lost their first and second rounders. They may not have lost them directly in the bidding process but they still lost them because of the bidding process. Those picks are gone.
They traded there first. The system is flawed if that can happen.
 

Falchoon

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wasn't the jury out on GAJ.
Fairly sure no one predicted he'd be as good as he was.
Burgatron

GEELONG – Gary Ablett
(Geelong Falcons) 14/5/84, 180cm, 77kg

Tough, hard at the ball midfielder with great skills, Ablett has already been claimed by Geelong under the father-son rule – he is the son of legendary Geelong forward Gary Ablett. The Cats snapped up Ablett Jnr as a father-son selection, to ensure they wouldn’t miss out on the youngster who was likely to feature as a 1st or 2nd Round Draft choice.


Colin Wisbey had Ablett as one of his 11 will "Definitely" succeed
 

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The 747

Brownlow Medallist
Jan 19, 2008
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Burgatron

GEELONG – Gary Ablett
(Geelong Falcons) 14/5/84, 180cm, 77kg

Tough, hard at the ball midfielder with great skills, Ablett has already been claimed by Geelong under the father-son rule – he is the son of legendary Geelong forward Gary Ablett. The Cats snapped up Ablett Jnr as a father-son selection, to ensure they wouldn’t miss out on the youngster who was likely to feature as a 1st or 2nd Round Draft choice.


Colin Wisbey had Ablett as one of his 11 will "Definitely" succeed
Ablett Jnr would have been taken in the first round for the name alone, probably not top 10 though.

Scarlett was the one who wasn't rated any higher than when he was drafted.

Although posts talking about our father sons do tend to omit all the father-sons we have drafted over the years who didn't work out. Country folk have kids early and we usually pick up our eligible father-sons.
 
Last edited:
Mar 18, 2014
41
62
AFL Club
Geelong
Ablett Jnr would have been taken in the first round for the name alone, probably not top 10 though.

Scarlett was the one who wasn't rated any higher than when he was drafted.

Although posts talking about our father sons do tend to omit all the father-sons we have drafted over the years who didn't work out. Country folk have kids early and we usually pick up our eligible father-sons.
If Gary Ablett Jnr was named, say Robbie Gray and Scarlett was named Cameron Delaney, then both wouldve probably gone were Gray and Delaney did in their respective drafts (probably the most similar junior players I could come up with).

Neither players are relevant to a discussion about Father-Son 'Free Hits' as we paid a fair price for the two - arguably overs as we effectively gave up a second round pick for Scarlett one of the strongest drafts of all time.

Don't get me wrong, Tom Hawkins for a 3rd round pick was our turn to get kissed on the d**k and Mark Blake and Marc Woolnough would've gone first round, but other than those three we've essentially taken players as part of the romance of the rule.
 

Tulip

Hall of Famer
May 3, 2009
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I like the father/son rule but I'd probably lean towards getting rid of it. Think its had its time now we're into an era of professionalism.
 

TheRealComptroller

All Australian
Jul 27, 2006
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IIRC Nathan Ablett was a much higher rated junior than GAJ. However the fact that he had walked out on the Falcons would have made him a pretty risky prospect to acquire with an early pick.

FWIW Jonathan Brown’s father Brian (Cocktail was terrible) played IIRC 50 games for Fitzroy (and one at Essendon?) and Brisbane had just made the PF when they got him for sweet FA. Whilst Josh Fraser was always going to go #1 in the 1999 National Draft IIRC Shifter believed Brown was probably going to go #2 if not for the Father/Son rule. Also Hawthorn told him they would have drafted him in 1998 if he’d nominated because clubs were permitted one 17 year old from 1996-1998 but he chose to wait because the Lions had spooned in 1998 and couldn’t have drafted 17 year old Des Headland at #1 if they acquired Browny.

Speaking of 1998 - Geelong didn’t choose a 17 year old. They could have had Pavlich. That was a crazy rule. So the league didn’t want 17 year olds in the league but one per club was fine? WTF. It was just weird. Melbourne in 1997 would have had pick #1 and #2 if they didn’t trade for Jeff White but it was bogus because they couldn’t have used those picks like they would have liked. After they drafted Travis Johnstone at #1 they couldn’t take Ottens, Croad, Tarrant, Luke Power, Goodes with #2. They would have had to use #2 on a player perhaps not rated top 10.
 

blitzer

Norm Smith Medallist
Aug 27, 2006
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I reckon the way the father son rule works now is reasonably fair (like its a small advantage but nothing gamebreaking especially given how rare it is to get a truly elite father son pick).
It was obviously complete bs back in the era where you could take anyone for a 3rd round pick though.

Unfortunately there's been so many rule changes so people are going to point back to absolute steals that some clubs have gotten over the journey and whilst true its not really fair to judge the rule based on what happened under fairly different rules in the last 2 decades.
 

Dazb86

Brownlow Medallist
Mar 31, 2008
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Bulldogs are an interesting case.

Ugle-Hagan was a complete free hit like all NGA nonsense, but back in the day they got Ayce Cordy at 14 when the rule was 'use your next pick' and St Kilda tried to take him at 13. Once upon a time he would've been a token 3rd round pick no one could bid on, under current rules he would've been some combo of picks that magically adds up to about pick 19 worth of points.

Most of their F/S players weren't particularly highly rated. Zaine Cordy, West, Libba, Wallis, Hunter etc. weren't top 5 picks. The best of the lot at draft time was Wallis who was bid on at pick 16 and they got for pick 22. Darcy looks like being another JUH bargain, but I wouldn't be getting too excited about how kissed on the dick they are for getting Zaine Cordy and Lachie Hunter for picks in the 50s and 60s.

They also drafted Dunkley who was F/S eligible elsewhere and traded in Schache who wasn't F/S eligible but his dad played for the Bears.

With NGA (first round rules changed) and F/S bidding, plus a points value index, plus live pick trading, plus future pick trading the AFL has created too many opportunities to clubs to game the system.
Libba was the real bargain out of that lot. He was rated marginally worse than Wallis at the time of the draft.
 

theyellowsash

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Feb 9, 2009
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I don't mind the father sons. That's just a bit luck of the draw, but at least there's some reason behind it. I do think though that clubs should have to use some picks in the round they're taken. Ie pies/dogs shouldn't be able to trade away their first rounder for a bunch of random picks as if they legitimately hold the same value. They'd never do those trades if they weren't trying to game the system.

The one that bothers me is where clubs get players just for where they were born. Ie the dogs doing literally nothing and getting JUH purely because of where he was born. Gws being given traditional afl areas to 'grow the game in nsw' being another example.
 

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HairyO

Brownlow Medallist
Jul 13, 2015
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Scarlett was a scrawny unknown quantity. He turned out to be an absolute gun but easily could have gone the other way like a numbers of father son flops at Geelong (Woolnough, Brownless, Callan to name 3).
Plenty of players have turned out to be gems. The issue is that noone else could have a crack if Geelong wanted him. And a 3rd round pick is always speculative.

The AFL really needs to get rid of all discounts on matching.
 

BulldogMuscle

Big Barry Hall
Jan 7, 2021
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It's just luck, and yes the Dogs have had more than their share compared to other clubs.

Theoretically it should even out over the long, long term.
Wait for the critics to come out when it comes to light the Dogs have another projected top F/S pick in next year's draft in Kyan Eagleton, and Jaxon Cooney not long after that ;)
 

juss

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Wait for the critics to come out when it comes to light the Dogs have another projected top F/S pick in next year's draft in Kyan Eagleton, and Jaxon Cooney not long after that ;)
Similar to the NGA, I think it will spark some sort of change, perhaps a higher payment for top 20 picks, or something to that effect.
But yeh, between NGA and FS the Dogs have been gifted a real leg up in the last half dozen or so years. Nothing untoward and not their fault, just the luck of the dice.
 

the Ziebull

Brownlow Medallist
Nov 14, 2010
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Given that the Northern Academies are a huge advantage the complaints were warranted.
Time to scrap both

the academies hopefully help more talent in other areas get drafted then they potentially can request a trade home but they shouldn’t automatically be tied to a club
So helps those academy clubs in the long run instead of immediately
 

Mofra

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Speaking of 1998 - Geelong didn’t choose a 17 year old. They could have had Pavlich. That was a crazy rule. So the league didn’t want 17 year olds in the league but one per club was fine? WTF. It was just weird. Melbourne in 1997 would have had pick #1 and #2 if they didn’t trade for Jeff White but it was bogus because they couldn’t have used those picks like they would have liked. After they drafted Travis Johnstone at #1 they couldn’t take Ottens, Croad, Tarrant, Luke Power, Goodes with #2. They would have had to use #2 on a player perhaps not rated top 10.
IIRC Pavlich didn't have a great underage year but the Crows still considered him under the 17 year old rule, taking Ken McGregor instead who was 'handy' but not a Pavlich.
 

ItsAllAboutMe

Norm Smith Medallist
Dec 22, 2006
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Btw what happens when a f/s is discovered to have a different father after 150 games?
Is there a mother son rule with the AFLW??? and with the amount of gay relationships in the AFLW program requiring IVF donors sperm to procreate... who would would be the ideal donor??
 

Purple Suit

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Sep 30, 2011
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IIRC Pavlich didn't have a great underage year but the Crows still considered him under the 17 year old rule, taking Ken McGregor instead who was 'handy' but not a Pavlich.
Can’t wait for Pav’s son to grow up. Will be the day we finally find a replacement since he retired.
 

ItsAllAboutMe

Norm Smith Medallist
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Time to scrap both

the academies hopefully help more talent in other areas get drafted then they potentially can request a trade home but they shouldn’t automatically be tied to a club
So helps those academy clubs in the long run instead of immediately
The academies are great and have 100% added players to the AFL that would not previously have been drafted or even pursued AFL, the issue is that only the northern clubs have one.. Each AFL club should be given a zone to develop and grow talent within. The more elite talent that develops is better for the game.. it just needs to be fair for all 18 clubs. Go back to traditional zones, but perhaps exclude players that are rated top 20..
 

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