The preseason and rookie drafts were held about a week after the National Draft. The rookie list was primarily used to officially relist senior players as rookies. They included Grant Birchall (Brisbane), Sam Reid (GWS Giants), Marty Gleeson (Essendon), Dylan Clarke (Essendon), Roarke Smith (Western Bulldogs), Daniel Venables (West Coast) and Bailey Banfield (Fremantle).
In mid-November, the AFL announced that club lists will be the following: 36 to 38 senior players, 4-6 Category A rookies and two Category B rookies. Rookie listed players will be allowed to play senior football without having to be elevated to the senior list. So many clubs have had to make hard calls on players, with some clubs even demoting senior players to rookie lists. Although there have already been some trades and free agent signings, the free agency period ran November 25 through November 29 with the first list lodgment due November 25 ahead of the free agency period.
The Supplemental Signing Period (SSP) ran from December 1 through March 13, allowing clubs to sign rookie players provided they had room on their lists and salary caps. A number of clubs took advantage of the period to round out their playing lists.
Concerned with the poor depth in the ruck and up forward with Tom Bellchambers injured and the return of Joe Daniher (groin) still indefinite, the Bombers have signed former swimming champion Henry Crauford under the SSP rules. Crauford, 22 years old and 6'3", competed in swimming at state and national levels before returning to football in 2016. He played for Norwood in the SANFL in 2019 and played 19 games for Norwood's reserves side. Several clubs showed some interest in Crauford but he was overlooked in last year's draft. Athletic and with good endurance for his size, he can play both ruck and as a tall forward.
Before and after the trade period, October 7 through October 14, there were numerous delistings (released) as the clubs make room for the coming draftees and there were a few more retirements not previously reported: (front page readers click on "Read more" to see all clubs)
DELISTED: Ben Keays, Josh Walker, Ryan Bastinac and Nick Robertson
The AFL draft was held over our Thanksgiving weekend. During the trade period, many clubs swapped draft picks to improve their positioning in the draft selection order. They were again allowed to do so at the draft ahead of making their player selections.
On to the selections, both for the main draft and rookie draft. It is club by club in alphabetical order. The number in front is the draft pick, followed by the player name, (club of origin), age, height, weight and position, followed by a brief profile. There was no preseason draft as all clubs advised the AFL they would not participate.
Just before the AFL deadline of October 31 for club list submissions, nine clubs delisted players. Several clubs also signed delisted free agents.
Hawthorn delisted Will Langford, Brendan Whitecross and Kieran Lovell. Langford played 72 games for the Hawks including the 2014 premiership but managed only six games in 2018. Whitecross, a life member of the Hawks, played 111 games since 2007 in an injury-plagued career. He did play in VFL team Box Hill's 2018 premiership team.
The Richmond Tigers have pulled off a stunning Grand Final victory over the Adelaide Crows at the MCG, smashing the premiership favorites by a whopping 48 points in front of a raucous crowd of 100,021. The Tigers put any controversy about wearing their yellow “clash” strip away with a stellar performance, wiping away 37 years of pain for their massive band of loyal supporters.