AFL clubs are set to give up much more for star academy and father-son players as part of an overhaul of the draft points system.

With calls that "rebuilding" teams are failing to soar back up the ladder due to the access to young high-end talent, or lack thereof, the League has begun reviewing what the draft night will look like.

Since 2016, there have been 29 selections taken within the first 33 picks that have come directly from Academy, Next-Generation Academy and Father-Son alliances.

In recent times, North Melbourne's bottoming out meant that they should have access to the best young talent in the land and subsequently use its first pick on who they deemed the best.

However, this wasn't the case as players like Jamarra Ugle-Hagan (Western Bulldogs - NGA), Sam Darcy (Western Bulldogs - Father/Son), Nick Daicos (Collingwood - Father/Son) and Will Ashcroft (Brisbane - Father/Son) were already spoken for.

Similarly for Hawthorn, who've been a bottom-six club for the past four seasons.

The diluted draft pool forced Sam Mitchell's and the Hawks' hand into selections they wouldn't have originally made.

On Tuesday, the AFL told all 18 clubs that a "revamp" of the draft points systems was being worked on, according to Herald Sun's Jay Clark.

It would mean that Gold Coast, who were given priority access to four first-round players, would have to cough up more to secure their homegrown guns.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 21: (L-R) Will Graham, Ethan Read, Jed Walter and Jake Rogers of the Suns pose for a photograph following the 2023 AFL Draft at Marvel Stadium on November 21, 2023 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images)

During Tuesday's meeting, clubs expressed their frustrations with the lack of flexibility to trade picks two years in advance, contributing to the stalling of deals.

The league, in response, said it was open to pick purchasing where clubs can effectively buy draft picks with salary cap space and trading more than one year in advance.

While clubs like the Kangaroos and Hawthorn are attempting to use the draft as a means to climb the AFL ladder, Western Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge debunked the "rebuilding myth", saying it's almost impossible to do that in the AFL under its current system.

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"Rebuilding infers you knock something down and then it's come from a new origin," Beveridge said on Tuesday.

"The rebuilding term is a myth. You cannot rebuild in our code, in the competition, with constraints that exist. With the draft and the salary cap, you just can't do it."

Year Player Selection Club
2016 Will Setterfield Pick 5 - Academy GWS
Jack Bowes Pick 10 - Academy Gold Coast
Harry Perryman Pick 14 - Academy GWS
Isaac Cumming Pick 20 - Academy GWS
2018 Tarryn Thomas Pick 8 - NGA
North Melbourne
Nick Blakey Pick 10 - Academy Sydney
Isaac Quaynor Pick 13 - NGA Collingwood
2019 Liam Henry Pick 9 - NGA Fremantle
Tom Green Pick 10 - Academy GWS
2020 Jamarra Ugle-Hagan Pick 1 - NGA
Western Bulldogs
Braeden Campbell Pick 5 - Academy Sydney
Lachie Jones Pick 16 - NGA Port Adelaide
Reef McInnes Pick 23 - NGA Collingwood
Blake Coleman Pick 24 - NGA Brisbane
Errol Gulden Pick 32 - Academy Sydney
2021 Sam Darcy Pick 2 - Father/Son
Western Bulldogs
Nick Daicos Pick 4 - Father/Son Collingwood
Mitch Owens Pick 33 - NGA St Kilda
2022 Will Ashcroft Pick 2 - Father/Son Brisbane
Jaspa Fletcher Pick 12 - Father/Son Brisbane
Harry Rowston Pick 16 - Academy GWS
Max Michalanney Pick 17 - Father/Son Adelaide
2023 Jed Walter Pick 3 - Academy Gold Coast
Ethan Read Pick 9 - Academy Gold Coast
Jake Rogers Pick 14 - Academy Gold Coast
Jordan Croft Pick 15 - Father/Son
Western Bulldogs
Will McCabe Pick 19 - Father/Son Hawthorn
Caiden Cleary Pick 24 - Academy Sydney
Will Graham Pick 26 - Academy Gold Coast


Under the current system, there is an incentive to encourage clubs to invest in their academies and father-son players.

If a player is bid on in the first round, the club will have a maximum 20% discount applied.

After the first round, the reduction will be fixed at 197 points.

The AFL did tweak the Next-Generation Academy rules, meaning clubs will not be able to match bids inside the first 20 selections.

This is what the AFL is reviewing.

On many occasions, young guns arrived at clubs for a fraction of what they're worth due to the current system (think Will Ashcroft and Jaspa Fletcher to the Lions).

Rival clubs were then forced to look elsewhere during draft night but ultimately missed out on the crop's best players due to their alliances via father-son or Academy.

Forcing clubs to pay more for high-end talent will assist in ensuring the legitimacy of the draft.

Consider what Western Bulldogs gave up to secure Ryley Sanders in the most recent draft.

The Dogs gave away Picks 10, 17 and a future first-rounder for the Suns' Pick 4 (which scaled back to 6).

This should be the level of difficulty to lockdown young talent.

With the system now under review, it has already left clubs like North Melbourne and Hawthorn in a spot of bother.

A "revamp" of the draft system is what might be needed to help them out of the dark and lonely pit.

But hopefully, it kicks in before the Tasmanian Devils enter the competition, given the draft nights are likely to be compromised from 2028 and beyond.