This was unheard of a decade ago, let along in the last millennium that AFL players that have only been in the system for a little while can decide which club they can move to.
This comes after Jaeger O’Meara requested a trade to Hawthorn and got his wish during the trade period. He is only 22 years, been playing for basically 2 seasons and then injured for the next couple of seasons. Basically after 4 years at a club, he can earn a right to pick which clubs he prefers to go. This is just not right. This should not be allowed to happen as a while back, players had to get use to staying at their club until they wanted to trade you away.
Western Bulldog’s Marcus Adams wanted to move back to WA after one season. That’s right, one season in Victoria and requested a move back to his home town although it looks like he will stay. Collingwood’s Jonathon Marsh wanted a move back to WA to be closer to his family and friends, two years after being drafted but looks like will stay as well due to not getting a trade done. Can’t be too hard on some of these players because we don’t know the circumstances but players who have not earned a reputation in the AFL season should not earn a right to leave to go to another club.
Not only this is bad for the AFL but will damage the competition. Players from underperforming clubs have been able to let go too easy which does not help the club climb up the table back into finals. Take Brisbane for example, they lost 5 young players in one season. Sam Docherty, Elliot Yeo, Jared Polec, Billy Longer and Patrick Karnezis all left at the same time which damaged Brisbane’s hopes of building a strong squad. The last couple of years saw James Aish and Jack Redden leave as well. Just imagine if these players stayed at the club. The Lions would be in a better position then they are right now.
Footballers want to be at successful clubs and if they don’t see any improvements where they are after a few seasons, they try their best to leave to go to a more successful club. Of course not all youngsters do this and are committed in achieving greatness at their club and stay for a long time in which they should be credited.
The AFL needs to step in and make sure youngsters do not allow to move to any club they so please after just a few seasons. The only time a player should be able to leave and request where they should go is if they are a free agent. This could be either restricted or non-restricted and have been at their club for at least 8 years. This is fair as they have been in the system for a while and have given a great service to their club.
This has to change now or else we are going to see more younger players leaving. We will see the successful clubs stay in contentions for a premiership every season while the unsuccessful clubs continue to fail which will result in more players leaving and this cycle will continue.