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POBT

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Mar 10, 2004
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I read the other day that, in the NBA, they have broken the record for the number of players who have played at least one game in a season. And the season is not even half way through. This is purely down to their COVID protocols, with players unable to train or play whilst infectious. While they have recently changed their protocols to potentially allow asymptomatic, vaccinated players to return more quickly, it is still a pretty good indicator that depth could be paramount in 2022.

Translating this to the AFL, intuitively, the player lists most likely to cope IMO will tick one or more of the following boxes:

- minimal 1st or 2nd year players
- minimal players with no or limited senior experience
- reduced injury lists
- quality depth in the key roles of ruck, tall defender/forward and ball winning mids.

I quickly checked and the top teams are all roughly the same in terms of their list composition with about 25% of the list having played less than 5 games and about 20% of the list being first or second year players. So, I think a big factor in 2022 is how easily you can replace your most important players (or cope with their loss) and, secondly, how fit you can keep your list so that when COVID related outages occur, you don't have the double whammy of players in isolation on top of a full injury list.
 

BrainOfMorbius

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I now have a working VCR hooked up to a HDD for the first time in years, and a bit of time off work - time to start transferring a few old videos to digital before the videotape turns to vinegar.

First up - the 2001 Grand Final preview edition of Talking Footy with guests Lethal and Sheedy...
 

BangyBangy

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Oct 16, 2013
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I read the other day that, in the NBA, they have broken the record for the number of players who have played at least one game in a season. And the season is not even half way through. This is purely down to their COVID protocols, with players unable to train or play whilst infectious. While they have recently changed their protocols to potentially allow asymptomatic, vaccinated players to return more quickly, it is still a pretty good indicator that depth could be paramount in 2022.

Translating this to the AFL, intuitively, the player lists most likely to cope IMO will tick one or more of the following boxes:

- minimal 1st or 2nd year players
- minimal players with no or limited senior experience
- reduced injury lists
- quality depth in the key roles of ruck, tall defender/forward and ball winning mids.

I quickly checked and the top teams are all roughly the same in terms of their list composition with about 25% of the list having played less than 5 games and about 20% of the list being first or second year players. So, I think a big factor in 2022 is how easily you can replace your most important players (or cope with their loss) and, secondly, how fit you can keep your list so that when COVID related outages occur, you don't have the double whammy of players in isolation on top of a full injury list.

That's an interesting point POBT ,I think we have proved in the last few seasons that we're pretty robust when playing without some of our bigger names. Obviously every team will have a tipping point but I think we stack up ok.

Immediately I think of Melbourne. Take any two of Gawn, Petracca & Oliver out of the side & think it's a very different proposition. Also Carlton, take out Cripps & Walsh and I'm not sure the others stack up.

Not wishing ill upon any other team but it's interesting to consider. We'd probably be most vulnerable if Big O goes down, but if it was only for a week then we'd probably lift around the ground & compensate, similar to how we tend to do when Neale is missing.

If it only happens once or twice for a team then it's probably no biggie, but if this all blows up on a consistent basis that's another thing entirely.

The Bulldogs are an interesting one. You all laughed when we kept drafting midfielders that we didn't need and played some of them in the ruck but who's laughing now ;)
 

briztoon

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The NBA is getting through the season because teams are allowed to sign what are effectively state league players and delisted free agents.

Looking at our top ups, we really lack in the KPP department.

I feel the teams in the traditional footy states will have an advantage, if the AFL allow teams to sign extra players on short term contracts.

For example, Adelaide might sign Ballenden to a 3 game contract, while he’s playing in the SANFL.
 

POBT

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The NBA is getting through the season because teams are allowed to sign what are effectively state league players and delisted free agents.

Looking at our top ups, we really lack in the KPP department.

I feel the teams in the traditional footy states will have an advantage, if the AFL allow teams to sign extra players on short term contracts.

For example, Adelaide might sign Ballenden to a 3 game contract, while he’s playing in the SANFL.
My thinking is that:

(a) an awful lot would need to go wrong for the AFL to allow clubs to sign players on short term contracts. I think it would need to be to the point where a club simply couldn't field a team, which would require 20+ players to be injured or in isolation. And there's still the option of postponement of games because Covid isolation is, after all, only short term.

(b) there is nothing to suggest that the AFL would adopt a system which limited clubs to signing players connected to them. The likelihood is more regular drafts like the mid-season draft, than us being restricted to our top-ups. Maybe a system where you can sign players located in your state? Even that creates an advantage for clubs in the footy states.
 

Dalions

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The NBA is getting through the season because teams are allowed to sign what are effectively state league players and delisted free agents.

Looking at our top ups, we really lack in the KPP department.

I feel the teams in the traditional footy states will have an advantage, if the AFL allow teams to sign extra players on short term contracts.

For example, Adelaide might sign Ballenden to a 3 game contract, while he’s playing in the SANFL.
We have Wylie Buzzer playing in the VFL, personally I think he would be just as valuable as Connor Ballenden.
 

briztoon

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We have Wylie Buzzer playing in the VFL, personally I think he would be just as valuable as Connor Ballenden.
I wasn’t singling Ballenden out because I rate him.

I was more pointing out that we lack KPP depth amongst our VFL top ups, and other state leagues will have better quality KPP stocks available it teams have to call up players to fill in.

The QAFL has who? Hammelmann and Eagles, then who?

As has been mentioned already, it’s not really feasible to call up players from other states on short term contracts.
 

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Dalions

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I wasn’t singling Ballenden out because I rate him.

I was more pointing out that we lack KPP depth amongst our VFL top ups, and other state leagues will have better quality KPP stocks available it teams have to call up players to fill in.

The QAFL has who? Hammelmann and Eagles, then who?

As has been mentioned already, it’s not really feasible to call up players from other states on short term contracts.
If we are to have access to kpp talent at State league level.
Are we restricted to Qld talent?
 

briztoon

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My thinking is that:

(a) an awful lot would need to go wrong for the AFL to allow clubs to sign players on short term contracts. I think it would need to be to the point where a club simply couldn't field a team, which would require 20+ players to be injured or in isolation. And there's still the option of postponement of games because Covid isolation is, after all, only short term.

(b) there is nothing to suggest that the AFL would adopt a system which limited clubs to signing players connected to them. The likelihood is more regular drafts like the mid-season draft, than us being restricted to our top-ups. Maybe a system where you can sign players located in your state? Even that creates an advantage for clubs in the footy states.
NBA rosters are 15 players, with a further two or three development players in their affiliated team.

NBA rules are that a team needs 8 healthy players available for a game to go ahead.

So that tells me if teams are signing top up players, then they have 50% or more of their roster out. And if games are being rescheduled, it’s because a team can’t field 8 players, even with top ups.

I think it was also reported yesterday that more than a third of the leagues head coaches and assistant coaches were also out, due to covid protocols.
 

Dalions

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I did address that in the last paragraph, and POBT touched on it in his post as well.
Not really feasible, doesn’t mean impossible.
If we were to be thinking about contracting a player short term due to Covid protocol, I would think that means that we are in a position where there is no other option but to play him.
If that were the case then I trust the club would find the best option available, no matter where he comes from.
 

briztoon

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Not really feasible, doesn’t mean impossible.
If we were to be thinking about contracting a player short term due to Covid protocol, I would think that means that we are in a position where there is no other option but to play him.
If that were the case then I trust the club would find the best option available, no matter where he comes from.
So we’re unlikely to see much of a vfl season ?
 

POBT

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The other challenge with signing guys on short term contracts is the financial component. In the NBA, the salary for a 10 day contract starts at 50K. And it seems to me that generally players being called up are already full time paid athletes, albeit on much reduced salaries to their counterparts in the NBA. So it is an easy sell to get a player to commit to a 10 day contract.

In contrast, footballers outside the AFL are unlikely to be full time professional athletes. Many will have full time jobs or be studying full time. There is no "minor league" of professionals to draw from. Players will need to take leave from their jobs, perhaps withdraw from study etc. If we adopt a national approach, players may need to relocate interstate. That's all going to be a challenge.

Then there's the physical preparation side of things. Players outside the system won't have had the physical preparation of those involved in clubs. That creates a player safety risk and possibly means a lead time is required to prepare players for the increased intensity of senior footy. That hinders short term contracts.

I also think the AFLPA will resist short term contracts unless absolutely necessary. They seem to push for security for players and I think the minimum they'd agree to would be "balance of season" contracts.

And I also think they would resist players being tied to certain clubs (eg Brisbane having exclusive access to Buzza). The AFLPA would want a free agency type arrangement. The league would probably favour a draft arrangement. A mix of both could potentially work with DFAs able to be signed by any club and then utilising a mid season draft (or one than one) to allow clubs to select undrafted players.

I think in an ideal world, the AFL will hope the existing mechanisms will prove to be sufficient. I also think that they have a track record of scheduling flexibility and probably back themselves to get the season played using postponements rather than having to augment squads. The fact that the AFL only schedules a club to play once a week helps (compared to the NBA franchises playing multiple games a week).
 

POBT

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I don't really know the EPL all that well but it seems like they are relying on scheduling flexibility more than squad enhancements. Based on a quick Google search, they seem to have a rule that a club can't ask for a postponement unless they have less than 14 "first team" players available. While the EPL clubs have enormous player lists, I think they only have a squad of 25 who can play first team football (with the ability to promote players in the first team squad as required?)
 

Cubs2Lions

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NBA rosters are 15 players, with a further two or three development players in their affiliated team.

NBA rules are that a team needs 8 healthy players available for a game to go ahead.

So that tells me if teams are signing top up players, then they have 50% or more of their roster out. And if games are being rescheduled, it’s because a team can’t field 8 players, even with top ups.

I think it was also reported yesterday that more than a third of the leagues head coaches and assistant coaches were also out, due to covid protocols.
Obvious a massive what if in the all scheme of things, but if "x amount of game contracts" do become a thing in the AFL for this season as a result of the massive influx of players missing due to the virus & isolation period, there's a real big possibility IMO that we might sign someone like Buzza or even Birchall again on our AFL list for a couple of games instead of looking for players from other clubs interstate/etc due to the border or travel restrictions as such.

Also, would be very interesting to know who would be our head coach of our AFL side, if Fages (god forbid) ever had to miss some part of the season as a result of this ongoing pandemic and him unfortunately getting the virus and having to games as a result. Surely, the most likely option would be Stone, who would take charge of the club given his credentials from previous coaching experience at various clubs but it would be mighty interesting what the club thinks about it, if worse comes to worse.
 

Dalions

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I don't really know the EPL all that well but it seems like they are relying on scheduling flexibility more than squad enhancements.
I think that this depends on whether they want bums on seats or whether they want a Tv game again.
Mid week or re-scheduled games are less likely to draw decent crowds.
 

BangyBangy

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Felt sorry for the Melbourne Stars tonight. Was a big game for them & more than half their starting line up were fill ins.

This is where it's going to matter, every team will probably be affected at some stage, but timing is everything. Dead rubbers vs season defining matches.
 

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