- Apr 15, 2013
- AFL Club
WA’s super crop of draftees from last year’s under-18 championship winning team could become prime targets for West Coast and Fremantle to bring home next year.Anyone got this one?
The leading draftees are normally quickly signed to extensions by their clubs, locking them in beyond their initial two-year contracts, sometimes even before they have played a game.
But the upheaval created by the coronavirus pandemic has meant a freeze has been placed on all player contracts, leaving clubs unable to lock away their best youngsters. The unprecedented AFL shutdown has also disrupted the normal settling-in period for draftees at their clubs, with most of the WA youngsters taken last November returning home to be with their families.
The Eagles and Dockers could get a second crack at some of Peter Sumich’s brilliant class of 2019, which includes gun trio Luke Jackson (Melbourne), Mitch Georgiades (Port Adelaide) and Deven Robertson (Brisbane).
Georgiades and Robertson made their senior debuts in round one before the competition was shut down.
The West Australian understands none of the most recent WA draft crop, which includes eight players taken in the top 40, have extended their automatic two-year contracts.
Greater Western Sydney extended their No. 10 draft pick Tom Green until 2023 just before the contract freeze was imposed.
Industry sources yesterday said clubs had bigger problems on their hands than plotting future trade moves.
Uncertainty over list sizes and the salary cap going forward meant it was possible there would be less player movement in the next year.
“I don’t think clubs will be looking at it and going ‘this is our time to strike’. It’s more just waiting to see and trying to keep the club running first,” one player manager said.
“Everyone’s in the same boat.”
Fremantle’s Liam Henry was the only one of the first nine WA players taken in last year’s national draft to be selected by his home State.
After giving their early picks to Geelong as part of the mega deal to bring Tim Kelly home, West Coast did not enter the draft until pick 49 — when the best nine local prospects were already off the table.
There were 14 players from WA taken in the draft, including midfielder Jeremy Sharp who had attracted strong interest from the Dockers before he was snapped up by Gold Coast with pick 27.
The WA batch also included Trent Rivers (Melbourne), Ronin O’Connor (Adelaide) and Sydney pair Elijah Taylor and Chad Warner.
WA’s top draft picks from the 2018 national draft, Jordan Clark (taken by Geelong at No.15) and Ian Hill (Greater Western Sydney, No.24), are contracted to their clubs until the end of 2022 after signing extensions last year.