The AFL National Draft is held on the last Saturday of November every year (so draftees attending school can finish their final school examinations before being drafted).
All nominating players must be turn at least 18 in the year they are drafted.
Eligible players include:
> Any Australian player who has not been on an AFL list, but has played in an eligible competition (TAC Cup/WAFL/SANFL/AFLQ//VFL etc).
> Any player from overseas (e.g. Martin Clarke 2006)
> Any player who has previously been on an AFL list but isn’t on one at present (e.g. Ben Cousins 2008)
> Any player who was contracted on an AFL list for the season, but has been delisted prior to the draft (e.g. David Rodan 2006)
Ineligible players include:
> Australian players that haven’t player in an eligible competition (TAC Cup/WAFL/SANFL/AFLQ//VFL etc)
> Contracted AFL players not released by their club
> Out of contract AFL players not released by their club (e.g. Chris Judd 2007)
> Anyone that doesn’t turn at least 18 in the year of the draft
Order of Selection
1. Priority picks before the first round for clubs that have won less than 5 games for 2 consecutive seasons
2. All clubs in reverse order of finishing position after finals for the rest of the first round
3. Priority picks before the 2nd round for clubs that have won less than 5 games in the season gone
4. All clubs in reverse order of finishing position after finals for the rest of the draft until all vacant main list spots have been filled (or till clubs wish to save a spot for a PSD selection)
NOTE: All clubs are required to make a minimum of 3 selections (rookie list upgrades are included in the total)
Priority picks occur in the priority rounds (either before the first and/or second rounds).
Priority picks were introduced in 1993 to provide an extra helping hand to teams performing consistently worse than others. The priority round was positioned before the first round only and teams with less than 20.5 premiership points (or less than or equal to 5 wins) were awarded a priority pick.
In the early 2000s it became apparent teams that had sound or better lists could have one bad season and unjustly an extra helping hand that was intended to help consistently poorly performing teams rebuild. The rule was amended in 2006 so that:
> Teams with less than 16.5 premiership points (or less than or equal to 4 wins) would be awarded a priority pick.
> The priority round was positioned before the second round if a team finished with less than 16.5 premiership points in one isolated year.
> The priority round was positioned before the first round only if a team finished with less than 16.5 premiership points in two consecutive years.
Father Son Picks:
The purpose of the rule is to continue the tradition of a family’s association with a particular club, allowing sons of former players to be selected by their father’s club(s) under the father son rule.
The rule first came into place long before the draft system in 1952 when the Melbourne FC lobbied successfully for Ron Barassi to follow in father Ron Barassi Sr who died during WWII – it involved bypassing the zone based recruiting system which was in play back then and would have seen Barassi join Carlton instead. It has sinced be amended over 10 times, most recently in 2007.
To be eligible the son’s father must have played at least 100 games for the particular club(s) – although variations exist for Sydney (eligibility extends to games played for Sydney Swans and South Melbourne), Brisbane (eligibility extends to games played for Brisbane Lions, Brisbane Bears and Fitzroy), Fremantle (eligibility extends to players that played at least 150 WAFL games prior to 1995 for Perth, Swan Districts, East Fremantle or South Fremantle – until 2015), Adelaide (eligibility extends to players that played at least 200 SANFL games prior to 1991 for South Adelaide, Norwood, Glenelg or Sturt – until 2010) and Port Adelaide (eligibility extends to players that played at least 200 SANFL games prior to 1997 for Port Adelaide Magpies, North Adelaide, West Adelaide, Central District, Woodville or West Torrens – until 2017)
If they player is eligible to more than one clubs it is at the players discretion which clubs he chooses e.g. Darcy Daniher (2007) father played 118 games with Essendon and 115 with Sydney – Darcy selected Essendon.
A player also has the right to decline to be selected under the father-son rule and instead be drafted by any club e.g. Marc Murphy (2005) declined to sign with Brisbane under the father son rule after his father John Murphy had played 214 games for Brisbane – instead Murphy was selected with pick 1 by Carlton.
In 2007 the Father son rule was amended so that clubs must bid to determine which draft pick has to be used to secure the particular father son recruit. The following steps must occur before the player is recruited under the father son rule:
Individual clubs may nominate potential eligible father son recruits
A meeting is held on the Monday prior to trade week where each club may bid for said nominated players in reverse finishing position order.
If a bid is made the club that nominated the father son must use it’s next available selection if it wishes to recruit said player under the father son rule. If the nominating club declines to match the bid, the club with the winning bid is bound to use the selection bidded to select the player
If no bids are made then the nominating club will use it’s last selection in the draft to select the player
An example of the bidding system in action occurred in 2008 when the Western Bulldogs nominated Ayce Cordy (son of Brian Cordy – 124 games for Footscray in the 1980s ) to be selected under the father son rule. St Kilda bid their first round pick (pick 12) and the Bulldogs matched the bid and used their first round pick (pick 14) to select Ayce Cordy.
Famous Father Son selections:
Ashley McIntosh (Pick )
Dustin Fletcher (Pick )
Luke Darcy (Pick )
Matthew Richardson (Pick )
Joel Bowden (Pick )
Ben Cousins (Pick )
Lance Whitnall (Pick )
Matthew Scarlett (Pick )
Nick Davis (Pick )
Jonathan Brown (Pick )
Rhyce Shaw (Pick )
Jason Cloke (Pick )
Gary Ablett Jnr (Pick )
Cameron Cloke (Pick )
Brett Ebert (Pick )
Jobe Watson (Pick )
Heath Shaw (Pick )
Travis Cloke (Pick )
Nathan Ablett (Pick )
Tom Hawkins (Pick )
Ayce Cordy (Pick )