AFL Chief Executive Officer Gillon McLachlan believes that clubs will build up an appetite for mid-season trading after this year’s mid-season draft, which commences on Monday, May 27, according to AFL.com.au.
The AFL continues to explore new ways to open up player movement, which has seen the introduction of the Supplemental Selection Period last year which allowed clubs to sign players directly on to their rookie lists.
“The clubs have been reticent. We’ll have a look at how many people get drafted and I think you’re going to find, for the first time, clubs want to have a conversation about a (mid-season) trade period after this year,” McLachlan told AFL.com.au.
“I think people were conservative but I reckon there seems to be an appetite now for it and we’ll assess that after we see how many people come in through the draft.”
Another item on the AFL’s agenda is taken more action on mental health issues regarding the players.
This movement has come under great scrutiny after premiership Bulldog Tom Boyd retired at the game at age 23.
Boyd walked away from one of the biggest contracts in the game after he lost his passion for the game.
Player welfare spending is currently included in each club’s soft cap, which was introduced in 2015 in the hope it would restrict the spending race off-field and prevent the smaller clubs being disadvantaged.
In a meeting with club CEOs, McLachlan brought to light that change would be coming, and that the possibility of spending outside the soft cap for player welfare could be realistic.
“We’ll be finalising those recommendations in the coming weeks and it is addressed within that framework,” McLachlan said.
“We’ve just got some follow-up to do but when we finalise all that work, it will include a position on how player welfare, to take the broader catch-all, will be addressed in that.”