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SBD Global/May 14, 2014/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Australian Football League Clubs Divided Over Proposal To Raise Draft Age

Australian Football League clubs are "split over whether the preparedness of draftees would be improved by raising the draft age to 19, with the question prompting much of the debate at Tuesday's talent forum," according to Emma Quayle of THE AGE. In a survey circulated to about 170 people ahead of the forum, 46% of AFL club respondents "agreed that the draft age should be lifted," while 44% "advocated keeping it at 18." The subject "was one of many workshopped and discussed at the six-hour meeting." There "are also concerns about what an age rise would mean" for the U18 competitions, such as the TAC Cup, "which has a number of teams based in country areas." At least two clubs have suggested that the minimum two-year contract that draftees sign with their clubs "be extended to three seasons, allowing for renegotiated third-season payments but giving the players more time to adjust to their new environment" (THE AGE, 5/13). In Melbourne, Matt Murnane reported Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley "has praised the umpires' department for taking the initiative in trying to clear up confusion surrounding certain rule interpretations." Buckley said that he "had a positive discussion" with AFL umpires' boss Hayden Kennedy on Tuesday after Kennedy "made an unscheduled appearance at Collingwood's training session" (THE AGE, 5/13). Also in Melbourne, Caroline Wilson reported Melbourne CEO Peter Jackson said that his club "would work to transform last Saturday night's 'Pink Lady' game into the first women's blockbuster on the AFL calendar." And Jackson "has received strong encouragement" from AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan to look at "creating an all-pink crowd in a bid to focus more public attention on those suffering from breast cancer." Jackson: "I can only imagine what a major task it is to make this event happen. But we've got to somehow keep this going. I don't see how we can not go on with this now" (THE AGE, 5/13).
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