RIP Harley Balic

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Bunk Moreland

Hall of Famer
Sep 22, 2011
36,992
76,928
Your girlfriend's dreams
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Essendon
Unfortunately there are academies funnelling potential AFL players, where they got told so many promises they will make an AFL player in their early teens, 20 years ago you didn't think about being drafted properly until you played teal cup. The shift has been large since the early 2000s.

You would hope that the AFL only allows clubs to pick 1, 18 year old in the draft, so kids experience working or going to uni, before they get a chance and the AFL has an academy in Canberra so potential draftees learn how to live away from home.

It's incredibly sad reading the HS article regarding Harley's troubles

I see absolutely no downside with lifting the draft age.

Everything welfare aside, it’d make drafting so much easier and more effective. You’re not gambling so much on kids who may or may not develop into top players.
 

La Dispute

La Dispute
Jul 14, 2005
16,213
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It would go some way to bringing the players actually capabilities as AFL footballers closer to reality.

It's so difficult to try to predict how young guys will stack up when they're up against senior bodies and TAC Cup isn't the greatest yardstick. So many players look great when they're pitted against smaller, less athletic players then don't match up at AFL level.

Plenty do adapt though and AFL clubs are usually pretty good at integrating young players into their systems and setting them up to be decent footballers, regardless if they actually manage to make their way into the senior team.
 

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master bate

Brownlow Medallist
Aug 13, 2006
14,252
12,936
Melbourne
AFL Club
Melbourne
The conversation about players who fall out of the AFL system is one worth having at the right time and place. I see a former Bulldogs rookie has shared his story on social media tonight.

I'm not entirely convinced it's the full story with Harley and the HS have added 1 and 1 together.

He fell in the draft, he had breaks back home from Freo and then he retired with the support of the club a month out from AFL/VFL finals. There's enough evidence to show he suffered in the AFL system.

Don't get me wrong if there's any way the AFL industry has contributed to issues that should be investigated. But I think the media and even us as fans like to elevate the AFL in having the power to control (both good and bad) what are far bigger societal problems.

This is really an awful tragedy and I feel for his family and friends.
 

greatwhiteshark

Brownlow Medallist
Oct 3, 2007
13,526
14,274
Perth
AFL Club
West Coast
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It would go some way to bringing the players actually capabilities as AFL footballers closer to reality.

It's so difficult to try to predict how young guys will stack up when they're up against senior bodies and TAC Cup isn't the greatest yardstick. So many players look great when they're pitted against smaller, less athletic players then don't match up at AFL level.

Plenty do adapt though and AFL clubs are usually pretty good at integrating young players into their systems and setting them up to be decent footballers, regardless if they actually manage to make their way into the senior team.

The percentage of players who make it and play 100 games plus is very low.
I watch second tier level players consistently carve up AFL listed players and it’s not because of age it’s because they are better footballers. The AFL and it’s fans put way to much into potential.
Could of or should of mean nothing once you take the field, you either can play or you can’t.
The draft age doesn’t need changing, what needs to change is that you can’t be drafted until you have played 25 games of league football at Second tier level. Then the clubs will have much more idea if the players they are drafting can play.
Drafting out of juniors is a dart board exercise.
 

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