Suns won’t get priority pick, AFL says
The AFL’s bottom side Gold Coast won’t get an extra first-round draft pick even if they don’t win a game this season.
Under the previous special-assistance system that was shelved in February 2012, the Suns would have qualified for a priority pick before the start of the first round if they had gone a second year with less than 16 premiership points.
In the new system, the AFL commission has the power to award priority picks to struggling teams at its discretion, but the AFL has confirmed none of its clubs would qualify for such a pick in the first year of the new scheme’s operation.
“The new system can’t apply after one year,” AFL spokesman Patrick Keane said on Friday night.
“The slate was wiped clean when the commission decision was announced in February and special assistance can’t apply after one poor season.”
AFL football operations general manager Adrian Anderson, when he announced the changes in February, denied they were introduced to combat tanking.
However Anderson added the move could end what he labelled an unhealthy obsession with the whole idea that there could be tanking.
Under the new system priority picks will be awarded by the commission on the recommendation of the AFL football department, but the commission retains the right to reject any recommendations, the afl.com.au website reported on Friday.
The formula for priority picks is not made known to clubs, but several key factors are taken into account.
“Priority picks are awarded for consistently poor on-field performance,” Keane said.
“The state of the club’s list, the age profile of players, draft picks they’ve had in recent years, premiership points and percentage over a certain period and injury rates will also be taken into account.”
With the new system in just its second year of operation in 2013, it’s unlikely that any club will qualify for a priority pick at the end of next season given the emphasis on youth and high draft picks in the formula.
“The clubs that came in during the expansion period, due to the multiple picks that they’ve had at the start of the draft, won’t qualify,” Keane said.
“If you have a large group of players in their late teens, early twenties, who are high draft picks, then you’re not going to qualify for a priority pick simply because they’re still developing.”
Melbourne’s relatively youthful list is also likely to rule the Demons out of the reckoning for a priority pick, the afl.com.au website said.© AAP 2013
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