Fox Footy personality and dual premiership player, David King, has called for a revamp of the AFL combine, with a series of exhibition matches combining the best Under 18 talent, as well as televising these matches, a real possibility.
Not only would it help scouts with their analysis of these young prospects, but also give a glimpse to fans of what their club is drafting, instead of a ’30 second highlights package.’ King said on SEN Mornings.
“Should we have three or four best of the best under 18 games throughout the course of the season, to give the fan a chance to work out which youngsters are going to be top five, top ten, top 20, likely draft picks?”
As it stands the fans are only really able to witness the young prospects in the Championship game, which doesn’t give a real glimpse into some of the talent in the Under 18 competition.
“I don’t think the Championship games necessarily solve every question. We had one of those games played last year pre-Grand Final day… why don’t we have three or four?”
The former star, now turned journalist, also called for the AFL combine to be televised, much like the overseas draft processes.
“I love that the NFL Combine at the moment is being televised to the masses over there, so if we had a knowledge of who they were prior to the testing, then you could broadcast the combine as well. Then on draft night, when they’re selected, you have an understanding of who they are, what their strengths are.”
With live trading on draft night a near certainty to be announced in the next few years, King believes it’s a chance the AFL has to create an event for the youngsters living their dream, and to attract a new market.
“I think we’ve got to introduce the fan, if we want the draft to be what we want it to be, a live event, trading selections in the draft, you’ve got to know what you’re giving up. You’ve got to have an understanding of ‘if we give up nick five here and slide pick ten, that means we miss out on this player, and we’re probably back into that bracket.”
The TAC Cup has gained many fans in recent times, and King believes its time we start televising it with interest as high as its ever been.
“There’s enormous interest in the under 18 competition, the family tree effect of putting this to air is enormous,” King said.
“We’ve seen what the AFLW has done, it’s just captured a different market, and I just think the under 18 competition would do the same.”