Let’s embrace trades with open arms

Luke Farry Roar Rookie

By Luke Farry, Luke Farry is a Roar Rookie

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36 Have your say

    It’s early October and unless you’re a Tigers fan your attention has shifted to the trade period and how your side can improve on season 2017.

    The rumours and speculation over the coming weeks will become too much for some fans. The thought of losing a star will knock some fans around and make the offseason feel like a trip to hell. On the other side, meanwhile, the possibility of recruiting the enemy’s key player will be enough fuel for workplace banter to follow.

    As fans, though, I’m confused as to where we stand with players moving on. When is it okay for a player to request a trade? Should we be disappointed with the specific player? Do we lay blame on the club trying to lure our star? Everyone will have a different opinion as to who is to blame, but I think there are deeper underlying issues as to why players are changing clubs and requesting trades.

    The most high profile trade debate in the media at the moment is whether or not Jake Lever will get to Melbourne.

    After playing 56 games in three seasons Lever has become a stalwart down back for the Crows. Unfortunately for Adelaide, Lever has requested a trade to Melbourne, and this has left a very sour taste in the mouths of a lot of Adelaide’s key officials and players.

    The fallout from the trade request hasn’t been swept under the rug – quite the opposite in fact; it was reported that Lever wasn’t allowed to attend the best and fairest dinner as a result.

    This had me thinking about why Lever would want to leave. I tried to relate Lever’s position back to my own personal life. I imagined that an opposing business offered me a greater contract than my current one, allowing me to move to an area I would prefer to live in for a longer period of time.

    After considering all this for a grand total of 8.4 seconds I would sign the contract, call my previous employer and say thanks for the opportunity but this offer is a great opportunity and I’ll be leaving the business.

    For some reason, though, Adelaide and many of their fans feel like Lever owes them something, and apparently the fact that he is a third-year player means he can’t leave and must turn away a preferred lifestyle and accept less money.

    (Image: AAP Image/Ben Macmahon)

    This seems backwards to me, and by more than just the 30 minutes between time zones. Fans need to understand that one-club players are becoming very rare, and the quicker they do, the quicker they will begin to accept regular trades.

    As fans we are misled by football clubs. We only ever look at what’s best for our side, not what’s best for some of the individuals playing in our sides, and not just the stars.

    Spare a thought for the ‘average’ AFL player who plays just 29 games at the highest level. These players must go and find a job in the real world, and the difficulty many players face in doing this isn’t respected at all. When players are recruited they are expected to be at the football club full-time – good luck finding time to complete further study simultaneously.

    The football club also has the opportunity to create a culture and atmosphere that can be worth far more than financial return. There are many examples of players taking pay cuts to help their club recruit a key player in their bid to win a premiership, including Hawthorn and Geelong in the past decade.

    The club has the opportunity to build this culture to develop and grow these young players. If they create this culture, the elite player will more than likely think twice and possibly even turn down the lucrative offer to leave for a financial gain. Every AFL club has the opportunity to build this culture and become a modern day ‘destination team’.

    The debate around blaming the club that manages to lure their star is also a pointless one. This falls back to the fact that the opposing club has obviously has done an incredible job in building a case for why your player’s life and career is going to be enhanced by leaving your club. Look back internally at your own club and ask, ‘What have we offered?’. Or, as discussed earlier, put yourself in the player’s shoes and ask yourself what you would prefer Does it make sense for the player to move on?

    It’s 2017, so as AFL fans let’s mature and realise that every time someone leaves our clubs it’s probably not personal and filled with hate; it’s likely a career decision made because the player has been offered greater opportunities or needs a new start.

    Back your club to create a culture that will make it hard for your player to want to leave or even consider opposing clubs. That’s the type of club I hope to support.

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    The Crowd Says (36)

    • October 10th 2017 @ 8:52am
      Roger of Sydney said | October 10th 2017 @ 8:52am | ! Report

      The finals will be between the teams with the least trades, Swans, Tigers. Both settled and ready

      • October 10th 2017 @ 9:53am
        Pedro The Fisherman said | October 10th 2017 @ 9:53am | ! Report

        Sydney are old and slow whilst Richmond are the 2017 version of the Bulldogs – One Hit Wonders.

    • Roar Guru

      October 10th 2017 @ 9:01am
      JamesH said | October 10th 2017 @ 9:01am | ! Report

      I get your point about Lever, but there are two things that muddy the situation. Firstly, he assured Adelaide he would commit to them when they drafted him. They took a bit of gamble because he was a Victorian and had some injury issues that other clubs weren’t prepared to take on. Maybe it was naive of the Crows to think that they could take an 18yo draftee at his word but it’s no wonder they’re miffed at the backflip.

      Secondly, he told the Crows he wanted to go home for family reasons, yet – despite other Victorian clubs potentially being willing to offer similar $ to Melbourne – he has stated that it’s the Dees or the draft. That sort of ultimatum is bound to leave a bad taste in the mouth of the Crows and their fans. Also, apparently he was the one who told the club he wouldn’t go to the B&F, not the other way around.

      As for trade week generally: it’s 90% boring, it’s 10% chaotic and it treats people like commodities. I love it. 😉

      • Roar Pro

        October 10th 2017 @ 10:30am
        Darren M said | October 10th 2017 @ 10:30am | ! Report

        “… he assured Adelaide he would commit to them when they drafted him”… 3 years ago, as an 18 year old, I’m sure that he fully intended to commit to them for the long term. What 18 year old player wanting to be drafted wouldn’t commit to whomever saw faith in them. Adelaide are not the first club to take a punt on an iffy player.

        “…he has stated that it’s the Dees or the draft…” Every player now nominates a preferred club. Show me one trade in the last 3 years that the player has ended up at a club they haven’t personally selected. This argument is ridiculous in the modern era of all players nominating clubs.

        Part of me thinks, especially with Walkers comment today “I think it’s pretty much him choosing money over success” that it’s a bit of animosity in that he would actually decide to choose to go to Melbourne instead of some other more prestigious club. I’m almost willing to bet, that had he nominated Geelong, or the Bulldogs, that they would be fine with it. That whole statement of Walker smacks with arrogance and is reflected in the original press release by Adelaide, refusing to mention where Lever preferred to go.

        Adelaide would do well to remember that their beloved 300 gamer Scott Thompson was drafted by Melbourne in 2000 and decided after 39 games and 3 years to go home to South Australia. Adelaide were very quick to snap him up. Maybe it’s taken 13 years, but perhaps Lever can be considered some payback for that.

        • October 10th 2017 @ 4:06pm
          GJ said | October 10th 2017 @ 4:06pm | ! Report

          Trading and drafting have changed considerably since the Thompson was traded to Adelaide. From memory Melbourne received pick 12. Thompson essentially took another 3 years at Adelaide to develop before he became recognised as a footballer.

          Comparing the 2 now is not really like for like. No trades really are.

          And someone from Adelaide might turn around and say something like, “Melbourne owe us, we lost Dean Bailey from the coaching panel at a critical time because of the tanking”.

    • October 10th 2017 @ 9:16am
      Pedro The Fisherman said | October 10th 2017 @ 9:16am | ! Report

      It may have been reported that Lever wasn’t allowed to attend the best and fairest dinner BUT it has also been reported that Lever was allowed to attend the dinner and informed the club that he would be returning to Melbourne earlier that week.
      Which version is true? I don’t know and neither do you!

      • October 10th 2017 @ 11:24am
        truetigerfan said | October 10th 2017 @ 11:24am | ! Report

        Either way, Pedro, it was made clear that he wasn’t welcome! Spider and Tex have zero class!

    • October 10th 2017 @ 10:06am
      Zed16 said | October 10th 2017 @ 10:06am | ! Report

      Lever was among Adelaide’s best GF players and according AFL Schick player ratings he was fourth on the list behind 3 tigers.

      Whining Tex and Jenkins were nowhere to be seen on GF day and Lever was one of the very few that stood up against the tigers and did not let his team down on the day. .

      Adelaide disrespected both Lever and McGovern with the measly offers they made earlier in the year and as players coming off contract they have every right to assess their options.

      At the end of the day Lever has met his contractual period and made a determination that is best for his career and himself at the end of the contract.

      • October 10th 2017 @ 10:29am
        Non Vic said | October 10th 2017 @ 10:29am | ! Report

        Umm, what GF were you watching? As far as I and a lot of people who actually watched the GF were concerned there were only 2 Crows players who earned their pay packets that game, namely Rory Sloane and Rory Laird.

        Whining Tex and Jenkins? OK, so at what point were they were whining before the GF. Sledging maybe but they ended up with egg on their faces anyway.

        Adelaide couldn’t have disrespected McGovern too much with their “measly offer” as he has re-signed.

        As for Lever, yes dissapointing that he chose the $$$ over a long term premiership career but do I blame him? Hell no!! You can only do this to your body for a certain amount of time so make hay while the sun is shining.

        The only concern the Crows have now and justifiably so is getting adequate compensation for Lever. I am heartily sick of the Victorian media and the Melbourne FC telling us that it is a fair deal…BS!! That is up to the club losing a star player and investing heavily in that player to determine. Personally I hope Collingwood make a killer offer and upset Melbourne’s little apple cart!

        • Roar Pro

          October 10th 2017 @ 11:15am
          Darren M said | October 10th 2017 @ 11:15am | ! Report

          Exactly what I was saying in my previous reply. It seems many in Adelaide feel animosity, not because he was leaving, but how dare he chose a team like Melbourne.

          “…he chose the $$$ over a long term premiership career…. ” Who’s to say that Adelaide will actually win a premiership (let alone multiple ones as you imply) before Melbourne does. With the league as unpredictable and as even as it has been, Brisbane could be on top in a few years. Lever has just as much chance at a long term premiership career at Melbourne as he does at Adelaide (being 1 in 18).

          Keep disrespecting other clubs and putting on petulant displays like Walker and you may find other players want out.

          • October 10th 2017 @ 1:12pm
            Craig Delaney said | October 10th 2017 @ 1:12pm | ! Report

            Yes, the Premiership stuff is a furphy. The truth is the crows players are hurt, and their anger expresses that, at the same time hiding it.

        • October 10th 2017 @ 10:15pm
          JoshC said | October 10th 2017 @ 10:15pm | ! Report

          Premiership career???

          Why do crow supporters think there will be an automatic flag? That attitude is probably why it was 60-108…..

          No tradtition, no history. No wonder it cant keep its players.

    • October 10th 2017 @ 10:11am
      truetigerfan said | October 10th 2017 @ 10:11am | ! Report

      Great article, Luke. The voice of reason! The Crows’ attitude and behaviour really disgusts me. Their willingness to shame Lever publically as a money grubbing traitor is poor form to say the least. It will ultimately cost Adelaide more than they bargained for long term and for what? A childish get even tantrum! Why are players consistently leaving Adelaide? They are happier blaming the players and other clubs rather than look internally. Culture? Perhaps.
      I know if I were a prospective draftee I’d be praying Adelaide didn’t call my name out!

      Many clubs do conduct themselves with class during this period. Others need to lift themselves to greater heights!

      • October 10th 2017 @ 10:32am
        Non Vic said | October 10th 2017 @ 10:32am | ! Report

        Yeah maybe you should tag yourself TrueCrowsHater!! You beat us in the GF fair and square but ever since you slag off against the Crows every chance you get.

        Don’t believe everything you hear, see and read in the media sunshine.BS sells, the truth is quietly swept away.

        • October 10th 2017 @ 11:35am
          truetigerfan said | October 10th 2017 @ 11:35am | ! Report

          Refreshing to hear a Crows supporter saying the Tigers won fair and square. Credit to you for not pushing the old home ground advantage chestnut. By the way, I too watched the GF. Did Sloane, who I reckon is awesome, really earn his pay packet? Great in first half, almost unsighted in second half. Maybe I can tag myself as ‘sunshine’.

          • October 10th 2017 @ 11:58am
            Non Vic said | October 10th 2017 @ 11:58am | ! Report

            Valid point about Sloane, but seriously was there anyone else in the Crows who actually had a clue about playing football in the second half apart from Laird and Sloane. I just think Sloane was really well covered in the second half. Mr Lever’s contribution in the GF was like the rest of the team, negligible. Crows were beaten by a better,hungrier team on the day.

            As to idiots whinging about home ground advantage. It is what it is. Unless someone is prepared to build a “neutral” ground with the same capacity as the MCG then the GF will always be played there. If a team is good enough they can win anywhere. My only complaint about the GF at the MCG is the pathetic ticket allocation to clubs for true fans. I think we can all agree on that!

            • October 10th 2017 @ 1:20pm
              truetigerfan said | October 10th 2017 @ 1:20pm | ! Report

              Yeah, your complaint is well justified. The number of tickets for members should be raised dramatically.

    • Roar Rookie

      October 10th 2017 @ 10:21am
      Lamby said | October 10th 2017 @ 10:21am | ! Report

      I don’t think to many people have issues with players wanting to take the most money. What is at issue with Lever is the process. The AFL is a closed system and has a draft and salary cap to create an even competition – unlike soccer. And the current rules say that there are 3 types of ‘out of contract’ players, 1) just out of contract, 2) restricted free agent and 3) free agent. Lever is a 1 – out of contract, but is demanding to be treated like a restricted free agent. The rules are to ensure the clubs have more of the power in the early years as normally the club has put effort into developing players to that stage.

      Lever is acting like a restricted free agent when he has not qualified to do so. The rules state that an out of contract player who does not qualify for some form of free agency then the trade ALSO needs to be in the best interest of the club – Lever CANNOT nominate his club of choice. The Crows are just trying to enforce the rules and get the trade that is in their best interests – as this is what the rules allow.

      If Lever is allowed to nominate his club of choice then there is no point having restricted free agency. The AFL should be able to enforce that if another club offers the same money for Lever in Melbourne then the Crows should be able to trade with the club that offers them the best draft picks/players.

      • Roar Pro

        October 10th 2017 @ 10:38am
        Darren M said | October 10th 2017 @ 10:38am | ! Report

        Cameron is nominating Brisbane.

        Stringer is nominating Essendon.

        Ablett is nominating Geelong.

        Gibbs nominated Adelaide last year.

        All players nominate a preferred club these days regardless of whether they are free agents, out of contract or still in contract. For it to be not ok for Lever to do so is a ridiculous argument that clearly hides animosity that he would dare chose to leave.

        • Roar Rookie

          October 10th 2017 @ 11:25am
          Lamby said | October 10th 2017 @ 11:25am | ! Report

          There is a difference between”requesting” and nominating with ultimatums.

          • Roar Pro

            October 10th 2017 @ 11:39am
            Darren M said | October 10th 2017 @ 11:39am | ! Report

            How many players have “requested’ a club but agreed to go elsewhere?

            All players nominate a club to go to. The losing club deals exclusively with the preferred club to facilitate said trade. Other parties are locked out, even if not formally, they don’t bother.


            Unless, the losing club throws the toys out of the pram and refuses to accept what has become a convention in the trade period and states they will ignore the players “request” and keep dealing with everyone.

            I suppose then as the player, the draft becomes your only leverage.

            Just face it, Adelaide are sooking because it’s Melbourne, and how dare he choose to go to such a lowly club.

            • October 10th 2017 @ 5:42pm
              GJ said | October 10th 2017 @ 5:42pm | ! Report

              How do you explain the trade of Adam Treleor from GWS to Collingwood then?

              • Roar Guru

                October 10th 2017 @ 5:51pm
                Paul D said | October 10th 2017 @ 5:51pm | ! Report

                GWS couldn’t believe how much Collingwood were willing to pay for him and grabbed it with both hands

                I don’t think you’d find many people who don’t think Collingwood paid overs for him by a fair margin

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