Cameron Larkin .com

Time to introduce an AFL mid-season trade period

Scott Watters has suggested the AFL introduce a mid-season draft.

The first-year coach of St. Kilda conveyed his thoughts in Thursday’s Herald Sun.

“I think a mid-season draft would provide all clubs with the flexibility to make some changes.”

His comments to the paper came about due to the Saints being short in their ruck stocks.

“From a duty of care point of view I’ll be forced to run a 189cm ruckmen or a key-position player – and they’re going up against monsters.”

Why stop with only bringing in a draft? How about an in-season trade period with a deadline at the end of round eight?

I am not mocking Scott. There is in no element of sarcasm involved with my question.

It ‘s common within American sports including the National Basketball Association (NBA), Major League Baseball (MLB), National Football League (NFL) and the National Hockey League (NHL). Additionally, it takes place in world football.

I have no doubt that this idea will be cut down quicker than Australia’s own world champion woodchopper “Big Dave” Foster at the Sydney Royal Easter Show doing his fine work on a log.

Let’s challenge conventions.

In the past there have been several discussions around bringing in a mid-season trade window, so my thinking isn’t new.

The slight variation would be having that window open from early October right through till round eight in the following year.

Former AFL CEO Ross Oakley scrapped the trialling of something similar when in his first year. Why? It was supposedly because the initiative was lacking support from both players and clubs.

Just under 10 years on, Andy D and the board should give it great consideration. Trades can work both ways – they can hurt a club but can also help a club.

A swap of players could potentially set both teams involved in the trade up for a run to the finals.

Another component is it provides players who fall out of favour and are sent to the VFL to then move on to a new senior environment and try their luck elsewhere.

Before you say that this is a ridiculous idea, where is the harm of it being an option to the clubs? If they want to bolster their hopes for year than I’m sure they’ll try and work a deal out. On the other hand, if a club doesn’t want to be involved, if they regard the loyalty word so highly, then they won’t trade.

My message to the league would be to consider both suggestions, merge, play with, mould, don’t rush it but bring something in.


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