FORMER Collingwood player Craig Stewart has lashed out at the club for the way in which it neglected his son James as a potential father-son recruit. 

Collingwood decided to pass on 198cm James Stewart, who was subsequently drafted by Greater Western Sydney with pick No.27 in the 2012 NAB AFL Draft.

Craig said the Magpies could have been more up front with their decision not to select James as a father-son pick.

Simpler bid system for father-son and academy picks

"The decision (itself) I don't have a problem with," Stewart told Fairfax Media.

"That was their decision and that was their right. [But] the club hadn't spoken to James all year and they waited until the last day of draft camp to tell him they weren't taking him. 

"That was two weeks before year 12 exams. Never should they be telling boys that news so close to exams. Year 12 is such a massive year. And for families to have to deal with that sort of news at such a critical time when it could be avoided ... They talk about man management. That's not man management."  

James Stewart, 21, has played eight games in three seasons for the Giants, including four this year as he starts to cement himself in the developing side.

Craig, who played 115 games for Collingwood and 35 more at Richmond, said James' situation should serve as an example for clubs to handle the process better in the future.

"I can't understand why they waited until they did. In the end, James did well in his year 12, but for some boys it can leave them totally devastated and can affect their entire futures," Stewart said.

"Most boys going into the draft at least having completed year 12 by draft day. But the father-sons have to go through their exams maybe having received bad news just weeks or less before.

"It's nearly three years ago now so hopefully that's something they've looked at."

Collingwood has also passed on the Western Bulldogs' Liam Picken, son of Bill, and Adelaide's Jake Kelly, son of Craig, as father-son picks in recent times. 

Picken has played 136 games at the Dogs since making his debut in 2009, while Kelly has played five matches for the Crows after debuting earlier this year.