Adelaide’s list management team are hard at work behind-the-scenes ahead of Monday’s AFL mid-season rookie draft.
The task involves building potential draftee profiles, collecting information from existing data, analysing medical assessments and testing, all to create a snapshot of each player’s last six months.
The Crows continue to weigh up their approach for the first AFL mid-season draft in 26 years, but are unlikely to make any final decisions until the day of the event.
“We won’t do something just for the sake of doing it,” Crows General Manager List Management and Strategy Justin Reid said.
“But we’ll be very thorough, Hamish (Ogilvie, Crows National Recruiting Manager) and the team are working through that at the moment.
“Do you need to replace a player? Is it from a depth chart point of view?
“For instance, Tom Doedee goes down - do you replace that need, depending on where your depth is on your list? I’m not sure if you can replace it exactly.
“Or do you take that long-term approach? The 19-20-year-old that’s a late developer that can hopefully come on as a number 45 rookie on your list and develop in time.”
Each club’s selection strategy for the mid-season draft remains a mystery, however most are expected to focus on the ‘long-term approach’, given the challenge of transitioning a new player into the AFL system.
“It’s not probably that six-month investment,” Reid said.
If you’re going to invest in that player, how much impact they can have immediately is probably limited.
“We think most clubs are trying to make that investment prior to the end of the season when the rookie draft’s in November, so it’s probably an 18-month play for a lot of clubs I would have thought.”
The introduction of the mid-season draft has seen significant backlash from the State Leagues, with SANFL clubs left seething at the potential of having their seasons derailed due to the loss of key players.
Reid is understanding of the impact it could have, revealing the Crows initially voted against the new draft period.
“It’ll certainly have a ripple effect,” Reid said.
“I know when we were looking at this 12-18 months ago, I know ourselves and I think Port Adelaide as well voted against it. Obviously, we didn’t want to have that impact on the SANFL.
“But the AFL put those rules in place, so we can’t be disadvantaged.”