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Delisted Carlton defender has 2nd chance

It is something the AFL has tried, without much success, in the past and is set to try again - a mid-season draft. The league notified the clubs that the draft would take place at the beginning of June after Round 11 and just ahead of the bye rounds. The decision to hold a mid-season draft was finalized by the AFL Commission in October following discussions by the Competition Committee, but the finer details were not determined at that time. To be eligible, players must have previously nominated for an AFL draft or been on an AFL club list.

Although nothing official has been announced regarding the recruitment of players during this draft, It is understood players recruited will earn a contract for the remainder of the season and have the option of negotiating terms for an extension at any time during the season. Should a player's contract not be renewed beyond the current year and he does not get recruited by another club the following season, it's believed the player will receive a one-off payment of around $20,000. AFL cubs who recruit players from these leagues will be responsible for providing reimbursement to the clubs for the loss of their players.

The AFL is still working on the draft order with several scenarios possible. It could be based on standings after Round 11 or based on the current standings at the time combined with the results of 2018 after Round 11.

The SSP period ended on March 15. Seven clubs have spots open with Carlton having room to sign three players. Clubs with no open spots  ahead of Round One could still take part in the mid-season draft should a place become available due to a long-term injury or sudden retirement ahead of the draft.

A number of clubs have already used the SSP period to sign players to fill vacancies lest by long-term injuries and retirements. Below is a list of the new recruits and openings (or not) for the mid-season draft.

SSP: Michael Gibbons (Williamstown, VFL) and Matthew Cottrell (Dandenong Stingrays, TAC Cup)
Midseason: One position available

The Blues compensated for the loss of the season ending knee injury to defender Sam Docherty and the sudden retirement of Tom Bugg by signing VFL star Michael Gibbons and undrafted youngster Matt Cottrell. Both had been invited to train with the Blues in early December following Docherty's injury, with the pair signed to the club's rookie list during its training camp in February. Carlton still has one available spot, which it has carried since the end of last year's Rookie Draft, and plans to fill the vacancy at the mid-season draft.

SSP: Zac Clarke (Subiaco, WAFL, formerly with Fremantle)
Midseason: No vacancies available

After Matthew Leuenberger turned down a contract offer during trade period, the Bombers were forced to look elsewhere for another ruck option. Looking for a ready-made big man to partner Tom Bellchambers, the Bombers turned to former Docker Zac Clarke in November, fresh off a premiership with Subiaco.

SSP: Sam Fletcher
Midseason: Two positions available

Already holding one position after the AFL Rookie Draft, season ending knee injuries to Harrison Wigg and Rory Thompson means the Suns held three free spots. Just before the SSP deadline, the Suns announced the signing of former AFL Academy member Sam Fletcher, which leaves them with two list spots for the midseason draft.

SSP: Shane Mumford (previously retired)
Midseason: One position available

Farewelling Rory Lobb to Fremantle in October, the Giants took the opportunity to pull their former ruckman Shane Mumford out of retirement in November. Mumford put pen to paper after a week of controversy for an off-field incident that will see him suspended for the first two games of the season.

SSP: Ned Reeves (Box Hill, VFL)
Midseason: One position available

By placing the retired, yet still listed, Will Langford on the inactive list, the Hawks were able to open up a spot for beanpole ruckman Ned Reeves. The son of club CEO Justin, 20-year-old Ned had been training with the Hawks since the January. The Hawks were considering replacing Tom Mitchell, however have opted to upgrade Category B rookie Conor Nash, taking their final spot on the senior list.

SSP: Corey Wagner (Casey, VFL), Jay Lockhart (Casey, VFL)
Midseason: No vacancies

The Demons were the latest club to fill a spot on their list with the signing of VFL midfielder Jay Lockhart to its list. The 23-year-old Tasmanian was set for another season with the Demons' VFL affiliate but will now be eligible for AFL selection. The Demons also opted for former Kangaroo Corey Wagner.

SSP: Tom Campbell (delisted from Western Bulldogs)
Mid-season: No vacancies

Despite a string of injury concerns in defense ahead of Round One, North opted not to pursue an SSP replacement for Majak Daw, who has just begun running again after recovering from a broken hip. With Daw's return to play uncertain and the departure of Braydon Preuss in the trade period, the Roos took the opportunity for a ready-made replacement in delisted Dog Tom Campbell.

SSP: none
Midseason: One position available

After second-year midfielder Jake Patmore ruptured his ACL in a SANFL trial game, the Power will have the ability to replace him in the mid-season draft.

SSP: Mav Weller (delisted from St Kilda), Sydney Stack (Perth, WAFL)
Midseason: No vacancies

The Tigers still had two spots open after last year's draft and opted for some old and new. Former Saint and Sun Mav Weller was quickly invited to train before joining the list prior to Christmas, giving the Tigers immediate depth after losing five players in the trade period. Talented WA youngster Sydney Stack was forced to prove himself before he was added, living with coach Damien Hardwick and attending the club's Queensland training camp.

SSP: Jonathon Marsh (Richmond, VFL), Sam Rowe (Doncaster East, formerly Carlton)
Midseason: No vacancies

With key defenders Jake Carlisle (back), Oscar Clavarino (ankle) and Nathan Brown (suspended) ruled out for the opening round, the Saints jumped at Marsh. The former Magpie, who retired prematurely in 2016 after 15 AFL games, had impressed for Richmond's VFL side this summer following a stint with East Fremantle. Draftee Jack Bytel (back) was put on the long-term injury list for the season to make room. With Dylan Roberton announcing he will stand aside in 2019 due to ongoing heart issues, the Saints signed former Carlton defender Sam Rowe just ahead of the SSP deadline.

Ins to March 15: Hayden McLean (South Adelaide, SANFL)
Midseason: One position available*

After key defender Jack Maibaum ruptured his ACL during a preseaon game, the Swans took the chance to add the 6'4" McLean to their list. After a season impressing for Sandringham in the VFL, the ruck/forward had crossed to South Adelaide ahead of this season.

*Should the Swans opt to place the retired, but still listed, Kurt Tippett on the inactive list, they can add another player in the midseason draft.

SSP: Keegan Brooksby (South Adelaide, SANFL, formerly Fremantle)
Mid-season: No vacancies

Needing insurance in the ruck department after losing Scott Lycett (Port Adelaide) and doubts around Nic Naitanui's return date from an ACL, the Eagles landed Tom Hickey from the Saints via a trade. Not satisfied with their depth of talls, they picked up former Sun Keegan Brooksby after an impressive season in the SANFL for South Adelaide. 

While it was initially expected they would have one available position, they opted to finalize their list by signing Category B rookie Buku Khamis. Khamis moved to Australia from South Sudan in 2006 and only took up the game a few years ago.


Article last changed on Monday, September 12, 2022 - 5:19 PM EDT

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