EVERY year club list managers face the tough task of making a call on team veterans.

It's particularly hard deciding on the futures of the 30-and-over players, many of whom have beem stalwarts for years.

Here, AFL.com.au makes it easier for them by deciding on the fate of the oldest players in the competition.

The Crows are firmly in the premiership window and can afford to keep a couple of veterans on their list. Betts has proved to be extremely durable during his career, while Douglas has been a valuable contributor through the midfield and across half-forward this year. 

Eddie Betts
Of course he's going to stay. The dynamic small forward, who turns 31 in November, signed a three-year contract extension until 2020. Has kicked 41 goals this season. STAY

Richard Douglas
The 212-game veteran hasn't missed a game this year, averaging 21.9 possessions through the midfield and half-forward. Douglas, 30, is signed until 2018. STAY

Scott Thompson
The champion midfielder announced on Tuesday he would retire at the end of the season. The 34-year-old has played just one game this year. GO 
- Lee Gaskin 

Adelaide wouldn't be Adelaide without Eddie Betts. Picture: AFL Photos

The Lions have been in full rebuild mode for three years now and will again go to the draft with a fist full of picks. With just one player aged 29 or over, talent, rather than age, will determine who is culled at year's end. 

Stefan Martin
Another strong season from the rejuvenated ruckman who has played all 17 games. Martin is contracted until the end of 2019 and still an integral team member. STAY - Michael Whiting

Stephen Silvagni has been ruthless since taking on the rebuild of Carlton's list in 2015, making 27 list changes in the past two seasons, and there will be more changes at the end of this year. He is backing youth to take the Blues up the ladder, but a core group of experienced players remains invaluable.

Dennis Armfield
In the Blues leadership group, but has not played in the seniors since round two. At 30 and out of contract, future appears bleak. GO

Marc Murphy
The club skipper, 30, has enjoyed a most consistent season after returning from an injury-interrupted 2016. Contracted until the end of 2018. STAY

Alex Silvagni
Rookie, who turns 30 on Grand Final eve, has been sidelined by a knee injury but the former Docker has done enough in his seven senior appearances in his first season at Carlton. STAY

Kade Simpson
Durable veteran, 33, has not missed a game this year, although he has not been as effective in past month. Out of contract but wants to play on. STAY

Dale Thomas
Has removed trigger clause on his contract for 2018, but form in the 30-year-old's 13 games probably warrants at least another season, albeit at reduced salary. STAY - Howard Kotton 

They're lining up to keep Daisy at Carlton. Picture: AFL Photos

With Daniel Wells and Tyson Goldsack certain to play on, that leaves the Pies to ruminate on the future of ex-Demon Lynden Dunn. A significant consideration will be whether his defensive post could be filled by the likes of Henry Schade, Lachie Keeffe (who has played forward in the VFL this year) or youngster Sam McLarty. 

Daniel Wells
Injury has restricted the 32-year-old midfielder to just eight games but the Pies win the majority of games with him. Still has two years to run on a lucrative contract. STAY

Tyson Goldsack
The 2010 premiership player, 30, has been reborn as a key defender. Out of contract at season's end but it seems a formality that he'll be offered another one. STAY

Lynden Dunn
The 30-year-old former Melbourne vice-captain wasn't the Pies' first-choice full-back but he has played the past 12 games and underlined his value by nullifying Eagles spearhead Josh Kennedy late. Still required. STAY - Ben Collins

How the Bombers fare in the next two months, and whether they can finally taste some finals success, might impact what they do with their group of older players. If Essendon doesn't make the top-eight, or bombs out early, it might be easier to shed some senior players, but if September gives a glimpse that they are on the cusp of a premiership tilt, then the Bombers may be inclined to keep more on the list.

Mark Baguley 
Started the year slowly but has picked up his form. Baguley, 30, began his career later than most – as a mature-age rookie – and he remains an important cog of the Bombers' backline. Baguley, who will play his 100th game this weekend, is out of contract at the end of the season. STAY

Brendon Goddard 
At 32, the former Saint reached his 300th game earlier this year and should figure prominently in Essendon's best and fairest count. Offers plenty with his ball use and experience and has reached a trigger clause for another season next year. STAY 

James Kelly
Been a more than valuable contributor this season as the general of Essendon's defence but will turn 34 later in the year. Kelly indicated earlier in the year he would retire, but his form has kept up and the club suggests there's no rush for a decision. STAY

Brent Stanton 
The veteran midfielder, 31, hasn't been sighted at senior level since round 11 and isn't in the Bombers' best team. It seems unlikely he would go on again in 2018. GO

Jobe Watson 
Watson, 32, will sit down with coach John Worsfold at the end of the season to discuss his future. He has played some strong games this season, is still better than most of the back-up inside midfield options Essendon has, and will be on a reduced pay level if he plays on. STAY - Callum Twomey 

It's been a tough two years for Jobe Watson, but he may well go on. Picture: AFL Photos

Despite being in the midst of a rebuild the Dockers entered 2017 with the League's third-oldest squad. Another significant list overhaul looms at the end of the season, with a number of veterans and fringe players likely to finish up.

Hayden Ballantyne
The out-of-contract small forward made a strong return from hamstring tendon surgery in rounds 14 and 15, but has gone missing in the past three weeks. Seemed to be playing for his career in the run home although strong endorsement from Ross Lyon could see Ballantyne, 30, offered a one-year deal to play on. STAY 

Zac Dawson
One of Lyon's most trusted lieutenants at St Kilda and Freo, Dawson was axed as part of a generational shift after the Dockers' awful round two loss to Port Adelaide. The 30-year-old defender has been playing mostly in attack for Peel since then, and his 166-game career will almost certainly be over when his contract expires at the end of the year. GO 

Michael Johnson
Perhaps the toughest list call amongst the veterans. Johnson turns 33 in October but his form has been steady in 17 games this year and he helps guide the Dockers backline. Is out of contract and wants to play on, however it might be time to move aside. GO 

Jonathon Griffin
The emergence of first-year ruckman Sean Darcy in Aaron Sandilands' absence has clouded Griffin's future. Freo's ruck department lacks depth and Zac Clarke's body has let him down, but Griffin has played only five games this season, turns 32 in January and is out of contract. GO 

David Mundy
The former skipper triggered a contract extension for 2018 earlier this season and remains an important member of the side. Mundy, 32, might not be as influential as he once was, but has had some standout matches this year and is a shoulder to lean on for first-year captain Nat Fyfe. STAY 

Danyle Pearce
The 31-year-old has battled for form this season and hasn't been sighted at AFL level since round 10. Has played seven WAFL games and, with a contract for next season, his future appears to be as a back-up midfielder and helping guide the Dockers' youth at Peel. STAY 

Aaron Sandilands
Fears that life after Sandilands might be bleak for Freo have been eased by Darcy's emergence, however the 211cm big man is still a valuable leader and key player when fit. His past two seasons have been cruelled by injury, but the 34-year-old has signed for next season and will help mentor Darcy. STAY  

Lee Spurr
Has played all-bar one game this year although his grip on a backline spot has appeared tenuous at times. Having said that, Spurr, who turns 30 tomorrow, has a contract for 2018, is as brave as they come and adds value leading a young defence. STAY - Travis King 

Geelong has continued to be active at the trade table, having to gradually replace premiership players with established players from other clubs as it looks to move from one successful era to another without a dip. It's made several hard decisions on senior players and given opportunities to young players, yet stayed in premiership contention. 

Tom Lonergan
The 33-year-old is out of contract, but still doing a solid job as a key defender, playing all but one game this season. Hopes to keep going, but might have to wait until trade time to see whether the Cats can find an adequate replacement. GO 

Andrew Mackie
Out of contract, but the 32-year-old was in the middle of an outstanding patch of form before being injured and missing the past two weeks. Quality player and leader who, like Lonergan, should be closely involved in any discussion about his future. STAY

Harry Taylor
The 31-year-old premiership defender has played at either end of the ground during 2017, twice kicking five goals in a game but only managing majors in six of his 17 matches. He has one year remaining on his contract and is a respected player at the Cats. STAY - Peter Ryan 

The club has some big decisions to make in the coming months, and just what direction their list takes is amongst them. The Suns will hope to stockpile some more young talent through the draft, with most of their difficult delisting decisions to come on mid-tier players that have spent five to seven years at the club.

Gary Ablett
The champion midfielder's future is up in the air. Now 33, Ablett has a year to run on his contract but will again ask to be traded to Geelong at season's end. The Suns could refuse, but if the Cats come up with a fair package, it's likely to be the end of Ablett's time on the Coast. GO 

Michael Rischitelli
Recently back from an ACL and out-of-contract, the Suns have a tough decision to make on the 31-year-old. But they're still short of leaders and Rischitelli is the heart and soul of the club, so expect him to go around again. STAY 

Matt Rosa
A solid second season for the former West Coast wingman. Rosa, 30, has averaged 20 disposals in his 14 matches and, with a year to run on his deal, will be around in 2018.  STAY - Michael Whiting

It hasn't been 'beautiful one day, perfect the next' for Gary Ablett on the Gold Coast. Picture: AFL Photos

While most of the Giants' best team is aged 25 or under, the veterans on the list still have a big part to play. GWS has used the rookie list as a mature age recruiting tool but it remains to be seen if that will continue. 

Brett Deledio
It's been a nightmare first season in Sydney but there's still plenty of upside to the former Tiger. STAY

Ryan Griffen
Another veteran with his season ruined by injury but still contracted at the end of next year. STAY

Steve Johnson
Struggling with a bung knee and form issues, the gun forward will likely retire at the end of the season. GO

Shane Mumford
Still the club's No.1 ruckman, extremely important to the side and contracted for next year. STAY

Tendai Mzungu (rookie)
The former Docker hasn't had much influence at senior level and might make way for a younger rookie option. GO 

Joel Patfull
Patfull is already retired and is only on the list in 2017 to fulfil Total Player Payments (TPP) obligation. GO 

Heath Shaw
While he hasn't been in the form that made him an All Australian for the past two years, Shaw is still vital to the GWS defence. STAY - Adam Curley

There will be none of the outcry at Waverley Park from last year when a minimum of two more premiership players depart this time. Luke Hodge has already indicated he will hang up the boots, while Josh Gibson is certain to join him. That fits with the club's strategy, after Brian Lake and David Hale (2015) then Sam Mitchell and Jordan Lewis (2016) left in pairs. This rebuild is happening on the run and in record time. 

Shaun Burgoyne
'Silk' is simply going too well not to play again. Some will argue the 34-year-old is going better than recent seasons, so he will surely score another one-year contract unless he shocks and chooses to retire. STAY 

Josh Gibson
The ex-Kangaroo, 33, may have gone on a season too long, but he was an integral member in Hawthorn's 2013-15 flag three-peat. A groin injury has kept him out since round 12, but he will push to be fit enough for a farewell match. GO 

Luke Hodge
The club legend announced his retirement on the eve of his 300th game a fortnight ago. Five matches remain in a storied career, and the Hawks' round 23 clash with the Bulldogs will be an emotional affair. GO 

Jarryd Roughead
The first-year skipper turned 30 in January and his form's been solid rather than outstanding in his return season after beating cancer. But 'Roughy' is a star and should be better next year and beyond. STAY - Marc McGowan 

There's been no signs of Shaun Burgoyne slowing down just yet. Picture: AFL Photos

Melbourne will have just three players over the age of 30 by season's end, as it continues to build a strong core of young and talented players. With the Demons a chance to play finals this year and in the years to come, the experienced players will play a crucial role in that pursuit.   

Jordan Lewis
Lewis, 31, signed a three-year deal with Melbourne upon joining the club from Hawthorn in last year's trade period. The four-time premiership Hawk was brought to the club to show his younger teammates the way and set the tone in big finals, which he may have a chance to do at the end of the year. STAY.  

Cameron Pedersen
Signed a one-year extension at the end of last season with the Demons needing an experienced versatile player on their list. Got the call up when Max Gawn and Jake Spencer went down with injury and performed strongly in the ruck – despite being outsized. Has played 11 senior games this year. GO. 

Bernie Vince
The veteran defender is out of contract at the end of the season and his future is slightly up in the air. In saying that, Vince, who turns 32 in October, is still playing consistent football – when not out suspended (he will have missed three games through suspension) – and his experience and leadership for a young group is important. STAY. - Ben Guthrie

The Roos are in full-blown rebuilding mode, a year after parting ways with five players with a combined 1600 games' experience. Lachie Hansen is unlikely to be at Arden St beyond this season, while contracted pair Todd Goldstein and Lindsay Thomas are both 29 and playing in the VFL. The future for all North's veterans could depend on if it can land a big fish or not, such as Josh Kelly or Dustin Martin.

Sam Gibson
Keeps on keeping on and has now played 125-straight AFL matches. The 31-year-old's best-22 status could come under threat in 2018, but is probably doing enough for a one-year contract. STAY

Andrew Swallow
Contracted for another year, which should save the 30-year-old. Dropped twice this season, but has improved his output since returning to senior level in round 14. STAY

Scott Thompson
The decision is likely his. Remains a pivotal part of the Roos' defence and has played some strong games in 2017. On form, Thompson, 31, goes around again. STAY

Jarrad Waite
The club's oldest footballer at 34 and still one of its best when he plays, but injury and suspension have kept him to only nine games this year. There is not as much reliance on him. STAY - Marc McGowan 

The Power are in a good position with their list, with a nice balance of youth and experience while contending for the top four. Westhoff will certainly remain at the club next year, while White has shown he can still contribute. 

Angus Monfries
Hard to see the 30-year-old forward remain at the Power next year. The only banned Essendon player to not have played a game this season. GO 

Justin Westhoff
The experienced swingman, who turns 31 in October, is expected to sign a new deal with the Power. Has played every game this season. STAY

Matthew White
Looks to have saved his career having played the last five games. The 30-year-old midfielder's pace is likely to earn him a new deal. STAY - Lee Gaskin

Angus Monfries hasn't been able to play much football in the past two years. Picture: AFL Photos

The Tigers entered the season with the sixth oldest list in the AFL but only one player aged 30 or older. Only Bachar Houli, Shaun Hampson and Shaun Grigg turn 30 next season, with a recent focus on youth in their trading giving the club a strong age profile.  

Ivan Maric
The popular ruckman announced last month he would retire at the end of the season. He has been a valuable ruck coach this year, playing in the VFL and passing his knowledge as a respected leader. GO - Nathan Schmook

As much as they love him, Tigers fans are ready for life after big Ivan Maric. Picture: AFL Photos

Most clubs don't want all their veterans to leave at once, especially teams that see themselves in finals contention. After Sean Dempster retired early in the season, there are three over-30s left and at least one should go to avoid the prospect of three experienced individuals leaving at the end of 2018. 

Sam Gilbert
The 30-year-old has played 16 matches this year and is recovering an operation on his right hand. Has shown enough form to go on and his versatility is handy for a side short on replacements if Nathan Brown or Jake Carlisle are injured or suspended. STAY 

Leigh Montagna
The 33-year-old has played 16 games this season but there's a chance he won't play for the Saints again after injuring his right hamstring. There are younger backmen who could fill his spot next season, so Montagna might be asked to retire. GO  

Nick Riewoldt
The 34-year-old's knees have given him grief and he could be rested against Port Adelaide this weekend, and has managed 14 games this campaign. Has looked average at times but his best footy makes this side much better. STAY - Dinny Navaratnam

It might surprise many to learn that the Swans only have five players aged 30+ on their list, and that number will likely drop even further at the end of the year, as the club concentrates on developing its crop of young talent. 

Lance Franklin
Still the best forward in the game and contracted until the end of time, 'Buddy' is on track for his fourth Coleman Medal. STAY

Heath Grundy
Contracted until the end of next year, the key defender is still the rock of the team and is having another fine season. STAY

Kieren Jack
Back in form and fully fit, the former co-captain is around until at least the end of the 2019 season. STAY

Jarrad McVeigh
Likely to move on at the end of the year – there’s an outside chance of one last season at a rival club – before moving into a coaching role. GO  

Kurt Tippett
No longer in the Swans' best 22 thanks to a host of injuries but still a valuable big man at senior level, his future looks elsewhere. GO - Adam Curley

The Eagles believed their premiership window was open this year and their list is the oldest in the competition. But an underwhelming season so far has seen a transition towards youth, which should continue at the end of the campaign. 

Sam Butler
The last remaining player from the 2006 premiership team looks likely to hang up the boots after a distinguished career. Butler remains reliable as a small defender, but has spent time in the WAFL this year and battled injury. Turns 32 in January, is out of contract and seems ready to step aside for the young defenders coming through. GO 

Josh Kennedy
Is the Eagles' most important player alongside injured ruckman Nic Naitanui and has another two years to run on his contract. Will break Peter Sumich's club goalkicking record next year. Can West Coast win a flag before the dual Coleman medallist, who turns 30 next month, calls it a day? STAY  

Mark LeCras
In his prime LeCras was one of the most lethal forwards in the competition, but the soon-to-be 31-year-old has shown signs that the end is nigh. Has booted 23 goals from 14 games and could register his lowest season tally since 2008. Is out of contract and looks unlikely to play on with West Coast heading down a youth path. GO  

Sam Mitchell
A decision when Mitchell will move into an assistant coaching role at West Coast is yet to be announced, but with Matt Priddis re-signing it appears that the ex-Hawthorn champion, who turns 35 in October, will call time on an illustrious playing career. GO 

Drew Petrie
Was recruited as a 'rookie' to help fill the gaping chasm in the Eagles' ruck stocks and has done an admirable job in his nine games supporting Nathan Vardy and filling in up forward during Josh Kennedy's absence. Will be 35 in October and looks set to retire. GO 

Matt Priddis
The 2014 Brownlow medallist has been unable to replicate his previously crucial work around clearances this year and also been played out of position across half-forward to allow others to run through midfield. Despite his dip in output, the 32-year-old is a role model around the club and last month signed on for next season. STAYTravis King

With the premiers' list still one of the youngest in the competition, they have no real reason to push veterans into retirement before their time. While Dale Morris should play on, expect fellow club greats Robert Murphy and Matthew Boyd to retire. 

Matthew Boyd
The 2016 All Australian, who turns 35 next month, has battled injuries and indifferent form recently, and is likely to retire at season's end. GO

Travis Cloke
It's been a disappointing first season at Whitten Oval for the former Magpie, with form and mental health issues limiting him to just six games. While the 30-year-old is contracted for 2018, he may retire if his form and enjoyment for the game doesn't improve. STAY

Tory Dickson
With injuries wiping out his pre-season and sidelining him until round eight, the goalsneak hasn't been unable to produce consistent form this season. Turning 30 in September, Dickson is contracted for 2018.  STAY

Dale Morris
The 34-year-old has a had a wretched run of injuries this season, but the mishaps have occurred through bad luck rather than the gun defender's body failing him. STAY 

Robert Murphy
While it's unfortunate the skipper missed out on last year's premiership triumph, this season looms as the 35-year-old's last chance to win a flag as repeated hamstring injuries have interrupted his sound form. GO 

Liam Picken
Turning 31 early next month, the versatile playmaker is still a key cog in the Bulldog machine. Contracted until 2019. STAY - Ryan Davidson 

Liam Picken (l) and Bob Murphy could be hearing different news at the end of the season. Picture: AFL Photos