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Pez...have you been down to Hawthorn lately??
Hawks call for list changes as injury cover
HAWTHORN has called for the introduction of short-term player contracts, trading of future draft selections, post-draft trading and refined criteria for priority draft selections.
In a submission to the AFL by list manager Chris Pelchen, Hawthorn argued these initiatives were essential for the future success of the AFL draft system and player list management.
Pelchen said short-term player contracts should be introduced, with AFL clubs facing increasing problems with list sizes given the number of players required to play at senior level each week.
He was also concerned that long-term injuries could create undue pressure on youngsters.
In the submission Pelchen argued that with no list changes permitted from December to October except for the upgrading of rookies, younger players might be required to play at senior level too early or in positions not suited to physically immature bodies.
"We firmly believe that in some extenuating circumstances, the unforeseen injury or unavailability of a number of senior players who would normally play in the same position (ie. ruck or key position) may render a season inadvertently compromised for some clubs," Pelchen said in his submission.
He also said that offering a second chance for mature-aged players who were overlooked in the NAB AFL Draft would help bolster clubs during a season.
He highlighted the Brisbane Lions seeking extra ruckmen and Hawthorn looking for key defenders as examples of specific club needs arising in 2009. Both teams have been hit hard by injury to players in those positions.
Pelchen also called for future trading of draft selections, saying that the time was right to reignite debate on an initiative that would enhance player movement between clubs.
"We feel that the development of the professional AFL competition and the advent of full-time players has seen the readiness and preparedness of clubs and players alike for such activity to be introduced," he said.
The document says future trading would also allow for additional trades immediately after the NAB AFL Draft. Post-draft trading would allow clubs to revisit potential trades that were either slowed or abandoned during the October exchange period.
Pelchen's submission also canvassed the contentious priority pick issue.
Hawthorn's submission proposed that a club should only receive a priority selection after two seasons of poor performance – not one. It argued that such a move, with a priority pick available only to teams with less than five wins in each of two consecutive seasons, would offer greater integrity to the competition.
Pelchen's document was recently discussed at a meeting of AFL football managers and will now be considered by the League.
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