Prominent AFL player manager Liam Pickering believes clubs have been given the opportunity to take advantage of the upcoming mid-season draft.
The May 27 draft will be the first of its kind in the AFL, with over 300 players nominating to be selected and join a senior list for the second half of the 2019 season.
The draft was established and intended for clubs to pick up ready-made players in order to plug injury- and retirement-related holes in lists for the short term, although Pickering believes clubs could take a different approach into the draft.
“I think you’ll see clubs looking at the draft saying: ‘We get a bloke in who’s 26 who can fill a hole for us, unless they’re right near the top, they’re going to have to pick up the speed of AFL for a start so what do they do?” Pickering told SEN Breakfast.
“They take the best young kid available, give him a six-month window into our club and he gets a jump on next season.
“He’s already six months in and had six months of learning what we’re doing.
“You’re looking at maybe a 10-year career.
“(Clubs will say) we won’t have to use pick 40 on this kid because we’ll already have him.”
A number of ex-AFL players have applied for the draft with Cory Gregson, Brady Grey, Mitch Hibberd and Declan Mountford among the 22 who will be tested by the clubs.