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Future trading given go-ahead but with restrictions

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AFL general counsel Andrew Dillon - ${keywords}
AFL general counsel Andrew Dillon

CLUBS have been given the green light to trade future draft picks for the first time this year, but will only be able to use selections from one year in the future.

The AFL announced on Thursday that clubs would be given this additional trading option from this year's national draft when, for example, Collingwood would be able to include a prospective 2016 selection or selections in a trade for Greater Western Sydney's Adam Treloar.

The rule change was approved by the AFL Commission last week and communicated to club CEOs at their two-day meeting with senior AFL officials at the Werribee Mansion this week.

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AFL general counsel Andrew Dillon said the following rules would govern trading of future draft picks:

-       Clubs can trade one year in the future only.

-       Clubs must make at least two first-round selections in each four-year period. If they don't, they will face restrictions from trading any further first-round draft picks.

-       If a club trades a future first-round selection, it may not trade any other future selection from that same draft. But if a club keeps its future first-round selection, it can trade any of its future selections from other rounds.

Dillon said most clubs had supported this future trading model.

The AFL's player movement advisory group initially discussed future trading as part of its discussions around the bidding process for players nominated as father-son or club academy selections.

But Dillon said the AFL had reconsidered its position after a number of clubs argued that teams looking to match bids for such players were effectively able to trade future selections by going into deficit under the bidding system, an option that gave them an advantage over other clubs.

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The AFL Commission approved future trading on the basis it might assist competitive balance by providing flexibility for clubs in their list management decisions, but was also mindful of the risks to the competition given clubs now had more scope to make poor decisions.