Footy: Ablett oversight heads questions from pre-season and rookie drafts

There were some very strange selections in the pre-season and rookie drafts. Some of the questions that I wondered about are:

1. Why would Gold Coast pick Danny Stanley ahead of Luke Ablett? Danny has played well for Collingwood seconds but has failed to impress every time (five in total) that he was promoted to the firsts, whereas Luke Ablett played 133 games including a winning Grand Final for Sydney. Ablett also has a cousin who the Gold Coast hope to poach from Geelong next year. Good luck to Danny; he is apparently a nice young bloke. But you would have to question Gold Coast’s judgement.

2. How come Serhat Temel, a big forward who kicked goals for Calder Cannons in a winning TAC Grand Final, has not been selected by any AFL club, not even Carlton, who do not seem to have any full-forwards on their list since they traded Fevola?

3. How did Mitch Thorp go from pick No.6 in 2006 to a player who cannot even get picked as a rookie in a year when the pundits say there are not that many good young kids available?

4. I understand how young basketballers can be turned into to AFL footballers but why would my club draft a 24-year-old from Milwaukee who had never played Australian Rules?

5. What was the point of Melbourne sacking Newton and Meeson and St Kilda sacking Leigh Fisher if they are then going to redraft them in preference to paying out their contracts? (I understand moving Jarryd Allen, Graham Polak and Henry Playfair to rookie lists because of injury issues but injuries were not the issue in the case of the other three players.)

6. My real question is: Is this really the best way to recruit players to professional football teams? In the old VFL days, clubs had much longer primary and supplementary lists and could add to them until June 30. This also allowed for players like Michael Tuck who were late developers and played heaps of games in the twos before emerging as champions in their mid-twenties. In the days of salary caps and fully professional footballers it might be difficult to have large and flexible lists but the current system seems to be unfair to players and not that sensible for clubs!

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