The AFL's Supplemental Period (SSP) ran from January 10 through March 9 and several clubs took advantage and picked up players to round out their lists.
The Sydney Swans have picked Paddy McCartin, 25, during the SSP (Supplemental Selection Period) which has just concluded. McCartin was originally drafted by St Kilda in 2014 and played 35 games but had to step away from the game due to lingering concussion issues. He did spend last season with Sydney's VFL team and joins the club as a delisted free agent. McCartin joins brother Tom at the Swans and said, “It’s extremely exciting – it’s been a unique journey for me to get back to this point. It’s a path that not many people have taken, but my goal was to always try and get back to the elite level and to be able to do it with the Swans. To do it with Tom, in particular, is something that means a lot and is exciting. I’ve loved training with the team and playing last year, so it’s good to get on the list. There’s a lot that we want to achieve as a group so I’m looking forward to getting stuck in with the guys this year.”
The injury ravaged Eagles have signed three rookies during the SSP to bolster their list. Midfielder Campbell Chesser (foot), drafted in 2021, and Tom Cole (ankle ligaments) were both injured during a preseason game and are likely to miss four to six months. Both have been placed on the inactive list as has the recently retired Brad Sheppard (ongoing concussion issues). Former Tiger father-son selection Patrick Naish, midfielder Tom Joyce and former Fremantle ruckman Luke Strnadica have all been added to the rookie list. Naish was drafted in 2017 and played nine games for Richmond but was delisted at the end of 2021. Midfielder Tom Joyce was drafted by Brisbane in 2018 but never played a senior game in three seasons with the Lions. They did offer him a spot in their VFL side but he opted to return to West Australia where he played for East Fremantle before signing with the Eagles. Strnadica spent 2017 and 2018 on Fremantle's list but never played a senior game. He has been with East Fremantle in the WAFL for the past three seasons. Naish, Joyce and Strnadica all have been training with the Eagles in the hope they would earn a spot on the list. All three impressed during the preseason. The club also signed former Docker forward Hugh Dixon. He was drafted by Fremantle in 2017 but played just one senior game in 2020 and was delisted at the end of last year and joined East Fremantle where he caught the eye of West Coast recruiters.
The Saints signed former Port Adelaide defender Jarrod Lienert. Lienert, 27, played 20 games for the Power before being delisted at the end of 2021. He has been training with the Saints for the past month and played in an intra-club game as well as their practice game against Carlton. The addition of Lienert completes St Kilda's list but they could still have another opening should they add Nick Coffield to the long-term injury list. Coffield suffered a season-ending ACL injury during the preseason.
Brisbane signed VFL utility Mitch Cox to fill the spot left open by Cam-Ellis Yolmen, who retired at the start of the year for failing to meet the league's COVID vaccination policy. Cox has been training with the Lions since mid-February and impressed the coaching staff with what they called, "..."his great work ethic and positive attitude around the club." Brisbane General Manager Danny Daly believes the mature-bodied Cox has the versatility to play a number of positions from defense to forward, “We feel that when immersed in a fulltime AFL program he has the capacity to continue to develop ... we believe the significant improvements he has made to his running capability will allow him to be an asset ... His agility through traffic also allows him to play multiple roles and we look forward to watching him continue to grow as a footballer.”
North Melbourne has signed former Crow forward and current assistant coach Tom Lynch. Lynch played 164 games across 12 seasons for Adelaide and St Kilda before being delisted at the end of last year. He joined the Kangaroos as a development coach and now gets a chance to resume his playing career. There is no indication that his off-field role will end. According to the club's GM of Talent Brady Rawlings, “This signing leaves the door open to Tom playing state level football in the VFL. He will add depth and experience to our VFL side and will play a key role in developing young forwards in Charlie Comben, Jacob Edwards, Phoenix Spicer among others.”
Essendon filled two spots on their rookie list with the signings of Tex Wanganeen, the son of former champion Gavin, and Subiaco player Nick Martin. Both were invited to train with the club in December and proved themselves in several eye-catching performances. Wanganeen, 18, was a member of the club's James Hird Academy - their junior development program. Martin, 20, relocated to Melbourne and impressed with his running capacity, football smarts and goalkicking ability. General manager of list and recruiting Adrian Dodoro said the club was thrilled to welcome Wanganeen and Martin to the list, “Both Tex and Nick have earned the opportunity to fill the remaining spots on our list and we’re thrilled to have secured their services... “Despite a COVID-impacted two years at Xavier College plying his trade on the football field, Tex has impressed with his natural athleticism and pace, and he was able to showcase that in an intraclub match ... In his short time with the club, Nick has displayed hunger, professionalism and dedication to take his game to another level and seize the opportunity in front of him. With Nick’s experience and natural goalkicking abilities, we see him evolving into a high half-forward/wing position which will complement our existing forward line.”
Gavin Wanganeen played 300 games for Essendon and Port Adelaide and won the Brownlow Medal in 1993, the year the Bombers won a premiership. He also was a member of Port's 2004 premiership side. The day before his son signed with Essendon, he was elevated to legend status in the club's hall of fame.
The AFL has also allowed all 18 clubs to have "COVID contingency lists" for the 2022 season. The lists consist of 20 players from a club’s state league affiliate, Next Generation Academy or designated standalone state league. The AFL laid out the guidelines: if a club has less than 30 players they will be permitted to activate a player from the list to participate in training only. However, if the list availability falls below 28, then a contingency player is permitted to play. However, these contingencies are for COVID impact only. They cannot replace injured or absent players. AFL football boss Brad Scott believes the new rules will protect the league while providing the opportunity for state league talent to feature in the AFL, “Over the last two seasons the AFL has put measures in place to best protect the competition, our clubs, players and umpires. While the ongoing pandemic will continue to challenge us, we remain committed to completing the season for supporters in a way that prioritizes the health and safety of the wider community. In a national sport, played across many states and territories, we need to be able to adapt, and adapt quickly to the COVID-19 conditions at any one time at locations where home teams are based, or away teams are travelling to. These guidelines help us achieve that while providing potential opportunities for talented players ... in state league competitions ... we have worked together with state leagues to ensure minimal impact or disruption to their respective competitions."
Source: afl.com.au, sen.com.au, news.com.au, Alexandra Stewart, Essendon Media Release
Article last changed on Friday, March 25, 2022 - 8:41 AM EDT
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