Pretty much what I’ve said on this forum for a while. Got kicked out of the academy thread for mocking someone who thought Mum giving Gulden a footy was enough development. Well done Pridham bout time we called out the hypocritesThe Academies
Sydney chairman Andrew Pridham has lashed out at critics of the club’s academy system, adamant the league would have to disband the father-son system before it watered down the Swans’ talent pathway.
Pridham told the Herald Sun Victorian clubs bleating about Sydney’s development were always silent about the huge advantages of their own father-sons and next generation academies.
He said Geelong and Collingwood had accepted huge concessions regarding the draft and cost of living without complaint from rival sides.
Sydney must bid for their players in the same way as the father-son system, having injected $10 million into their own academy over 11 years.
The Swans have only drafted or rookied 13 of the 3000 players to go through that system, with Pridham saying the criticism was tired and predictable.
“Collingwood have five father-sons and another on the way and two next generation academy picks,” he told the Herald Sun.
“We have outrageously rookied a kid like Sam Wicks who no one else picked. Go figure. As for Geelong if you talk about advantages, my god they have (Patrick) Dangerfield, Jeremy Cameron, (Gary) Rohan, (Isaac) Smith, they are in a town that houses the Geelong Falcons. They have players keen to play there and it’s so cheap to live there. They are spending 300 bucks a week to live in an eight-bedroom house. The bottom line is it has never been a level playing field.
Pridham said the only reason the academy system was introduced a decade ago was because there were barely any players being produced from out of NSW.
Carlton’s Luke Parks made his AFL debut this week having graduated from the Sydney academy.
“No kids were getting drafted from NSW or Queensland. So you have got to develop talent. They go into the draft and people can pick them up and if they don’t, they forever hold your peace,” he said.
“We have 780 kids in the academy. 480 are boys and the rest are girls. We have had 3000 kids through academies. And less than half of one per cent make their way to the AFL. So the rest go to local leagues, they umpire, some go to play SANFL or WAFL. Everyone has an academy and we actually do something for our kids.
“Strategically it’s pretty important and there was noise about it which is why the AFL brought in a bidding system. We have had some very limited success in winning three games and then clubs start throwing stones.
“The thing that has always frustrated me is that if you look at things through a Victorian lens, if it is seen to have advantaged non-Victorian clubs it’s an unfair advantage.
“If it benefits a club like Geelong or Collingwood, it’s tradition. Like the father-son system.”
“So anyone who is attacking us and wants to see anything happen to the academies, you could say goodbye to the father-son system.”