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by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

The Bulldogs, Saints, Demons and Port Adelaide have all been denied their request to the AFL to replace their suspended players with an extra primary player (from the recent national draft) or rookie listed player. AFL general counsel Andrew Dillon said the circumstances did not call for special treatment or exception to the rules beyond those already granted - upgrading a rookie listed player to the senior list.

He said Essendon, due to the dozen players still on the list which are suspended, was an "... exception... because of the sheer number of suspended players ... and ... must be able to field a side that can compete ... ". He further stipulated that if not for the concessions, there could be concerns for the health and safety of younger and less experienced players being forced to play all 22 games. Only 14 players at Essendon (since 2000) have played a full season without any injury.

Essendon has signed seven top-up players so far: Ryan Crowley (delisted from Fremantle 2015), James Kelly (delisted from Geelong 2015), Matt Dea (delisted from Richmond), Mark Jamar (delisted from Melbourne, stayed on as part-time ruck coach), James Polkinghorne (delisted from Brisbane 2014), Jonathan Simpkin (delisted from Hawthorn 2015) and Mathew Stokes (delisted from Geelong 2015). The Bombers can sign three more players or elevate rookies.

Port chairman David Koch said the club was disappointed but they would accept the decision, even though he believes the decision was based on a flawed process which was influenced by rival clubs. He also said Port won't pay Monfries or Ryder.


Article last changed on Wednesday, September 19, 2018 - 3:53 PM EDT

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