With ten Victorian AFL clubs, it seems very hard for certain teams to lure star players to their franchise.
In recent years, North Melbourne, St. Kilda and Carlton have failed to bring in the star players.
But what is the reason that other Victorian clubs such as Collingwood, Essendon and Hawthorn have the ability to bring in the best of the best?
Well, premiership success is the obvious reason.
But if you played in the AFL, wouldn’t you want to make a name for yourself in the big games such as ANZAC Day or the Queen’s Birthday.
Collingwood have the ANZAC Day game and the Queen’s Birthday clash. Essendon have the ANZAC Day game and Dreamtime at the ‘G.
Melbourne have the Queen’s Birthday clash in addition to the ANZAC eve game. Richmond have Dreamtime at the ‘G.
All these matches are hugely anticipated games where everyone who supports the AFL is watching. They are the kind of games where you can make a name for yourself.
Along with the big games, the obvious reason for premiership success is certainly what lures players to clubs.
In the past decade, the most successful clubs over a long period of time include Hawthorn and Geelong.
Hawthorn have been able to pick up Brian Lake, Ben McEvoy, James Frawley, Tom Mitchell and Jaeger O’Meara.
Geelong are just an hour out of Melbourne, making players who grew up there want to potentially come home. Patrick Dangerfield and Lachie Henderson are good examples of this.
Earlier this season Collingwood midfielder Taylor Adams said, “Players want to play for big clubs and that’s what Collingwood are.”
Adams joined Collingwood at the end of the 2013 season from Greater Western Sydney because he wanted to have the opportunity to play on the big stage.
Although the obvious reason is that players move clubs for premiership success, the big stage is certainly becoming a major factor.
This leaves Carlton, North Melbourne, Saint Kilda and the Western Bulldogs.
These teams haven’t been able to have success over periods of time, nor do they have the big games.
So how do these Victorian sides attract the star players to help them head in the direction for premiership success?
Well, the only benefit they have is to try and be successful over a decent time period.
The Bulldogs were successful for only one season, and have never really attracted any major players besides Tom Boyd and Josh Shache who are both yet to establish themselves in the AFL.
Carlton are one of the AFL’s oldest and most successful clubs but have struggled for some decades now.
They have been able to lure fringe players from clubs such as GWS, but can never attract the stars.
But the real worry here is North Melbourne and St. Kilda. Both clubs struggle every year to attract a big name.
The only thing they have is money.
There are rumours of North Melbourne offering Jared Polec $800,000 per season over five years, which is a hefty amount for a player who has played just 106 games and doesn’t have any accolades next to his name.
The last star player North Melbourne recruited was Shaun Higgins back in 2014.
Otherwise, North Melbourne have failed to attract players such as Dustin Martin, Josh Kelly, and Jordan De Goey after throwing massive amounts of money at them to try and lure them over.
St. Kilda haven’t been as bad as the Roos’. In recent seasons, they have added Jack Steele, Jake Carlisle and Josh Bruce.
You could argue that these players are not star players which brings up the point that other than throwing massive amounts of money at players, how do these clubs attract the star players they might need to build success on the back of?
Although it seems unfair that teams like Collingwood, Melbourne, Richmond and Essendon have the big time games which may be a factor in attracting star players – the reality is you need to be successful as a club.
If you don’t have a team that is on the brink of potential success, why would a star player want to go to you? Melbourne are an example of this. For a decade they failed to be successful and attracted no stars.
But after the addition of Paul Roos in 2013, he managed to turn the club around and guide it in the right direction.
Roos did this through list management, especially with the players they drafted like Jesse Hogan, Clayton Oliver and Angus Brayshaw.
Now that they are on the brink of success, they have been able to recruit players such as Jordan Lewis, Michael Hibberd and Jake Lever who are established players in the AFL.
The fact that Melbourne have the big games would certainly be a factor in the decision for these players to move to Melbourne as well.
There is certainly an advantage for teams such as Collingwood, Essendon, Melbourne and Richmond to attract players to their club due to the big games they play.
But the overall reality is, no matter what games you play in, if you aren’t showing signs of potential success over a decent time period, then you aren’t going to be able to attract the star players.