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AFL greats call for new club list lifeline

Kurt Tippett announced his retirement on Monday.
Kurt Tippett announced his retirement on Monday.

AFL: The AFL has been urged to consider introducing a replacement period where clubs can cover the loss of players who retire or suffer a long-term injury prior to the season beginning.

Sydney became the third club to lose a player to retirement in the aftermath of last November's list lodgement deadline when Kurt Tippett hung up the boots earlier in the week.

It followed retirement decisions from Hawthorn's Ty Vickery and Richmond's Ben Griffiths, with their respective clubs now set to enter the 2018 season one player light.

Clubs have also been dealt injury setbacks, with pre-season blows likely ruling Carlton's Sam Docherty and Greater Western Sydney's Zac Williams out for the entire 2018 campaign.

Zac Williams’ injury is a blow for the Giants. Picture: Phil Hillyard
Zac Williams’ injury is a blow for the Giants. Picture: Phil Hillyard

Geelong champion Jimmy Bartel proposed the league considers giving clubs until the end of January to sign replacement players in such circumstances.

It's an idea that has already received significant backing, with Giants footy boss Wayne Campbell agreeing that the AFL should look into such a possibility in the future.

"I think we certainly should be exploring it," Campbell told SEN Breakfast.

 

"My personal view has been that it would be great to bring players from outside of the AFL system on to lists. I'm not so big on mid-season drafts where someone (could) go from Collingwood to West Coast. I don't like that."

Under the new CBA, clubs are now able to play Category A rookies from Round 1, allowing them to build deeper lists in order to accommodate for retirements and injuries.

Clubs used this opportunity to draft more experienced bodies last year, with seven recycled players finding a new home at an AFL club during the pre-season and rookie drafts.

Ty Vickery won’t be at Hawthorn in 2018, but the Hawks will still be forced to include his salary in its cap. Picture: AAP
Ty Vickery won’t be at Hawthorn in 2018, but the Hawks will still be forced to include his salary in its cap. Picture: AAP

Stewart Crameri, Cam O'Shea, Matt Shaw, Dylan Buckley, Lindsay Thomas, Billy Gowers and Nick Holman were among those to receive a second chance at a new club.

According to Sydney footy boss Tom Harley, the growing number of recycled players is an indication that clubs are aware of the need to build deeper, more experienced lists.

"When you're looking at the stats from the rookie draft, you'd have noticed a lot more recycled players were picked up. That's certainly with an eye for them to play," Harley told RSN Breakfast.

"All of a sudden, your squad goes from 38-40, up to 44-46. That's a bit of an insurance mechanism for these sorts of things.

"Time will tell whether this is a trend. I think it's fair to say that it's not ideal. But the landscape certainly makes it more palatable than previously with the new CBA."

Topics:  afl hawthorn hawks kurt tippett richmond tigers sydney swans