AFL draftee contracts ‘ridiculous’: Fagan

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    Brisbane Lions coach Chris Fagan says it is “borderline ridiculous” young players like Josh Schache are forced to make decisions over their future so early in their careers.

    Teenager Schache has been dropped for Saturday night’s clash against Adelaide and Fagan admitted increasing speculation over where he might play next year has probably contributed to a drop-off in form.

    Fagan argued for an extension of draftee contracts from the current mandatory two years to either three or four years, except when extenuating circumstances arise.

    “To be thinking about your future two years into a start at a new place and whether you want to go somewhere else is borderline ridiculous,” Fagan told reporters on Friday.

    “Obviously as a 19-year-old boy if they are the things he’s thinking about, that must be tough.

    “There are probably lots of conversations and things that go on that we don’t get to hear about that may well put pressure on them. That’s the world we live in.

    “Clubs invest a lot in those first round picks and if you’ve got the opportunity to keep them for longer … that would be fantastic.

    “I would imagine from an AFL Players Association perspective, they like the angle of free trade and the ability of players to move and they would probably not like that.”

    Schache was the second pick at the 2015 draft and is viewed by the Lions as their long-term tall forward solution.

    His late father Laurence played for Brisbane in the late 1990s and it was hoped that connection would keep him at the club, stemming the flow of draftee departures the Lions have experienced in recent years.

    But he is reportedly being tracked by a host of Victorian clubs, including Richmond, Carlton and Collingwood.

    Brisbane are expecting an answer from Schache on his future during their bye week at the start of June.

    Fagan described him as an “honest young man” and said he accepted the reasons why he was dropped.

    “What’s happened to Josh is what’s happened to a lot of young forwards over as many years as I can remember,” he said.

    “That is they do lose their confidence and form sometimes and the best thing for them is to actually go back to the reserves and re-find it.

    “I saw that at Hawthorn in early days, (Lance) Franklin and (Jarryd) Roughead had to do that on occasions.”

    © AAP 2017