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Ex-Roo exploits new rookie rule to join the Demons

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FORMER North Melbourne forward Corey Wagner will become a Demon under the new rule allowing clubs to recruit former listed players outside of the draft system.

Wagner played eight senior games in two seasons with North before he was delisted at the end of 2017.

AFL.com.au reported on Tuesday Melbourne would claim the 21-year-old in the inaugural Pre-season Supplemental Selection Period, which opens on December 1 and runs until March 15 next year, with the Demons announcing his impending recruitment soon after.

"Corey Wagner qualified under the new AFL rule, allowing a player to be added to our list from December 1," Melbourne football manager Josh Mahoney said.

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"By committing to Corey now, we can guarantee him a place on our rookie list, rather than waiting for the draft and risking another team taking him.

"Corey had a fantastic season playing for the Casey Demons under Jade Rawlings. We feel that his AFL experience with North Melbourne, his physical attributes and his flexibility in his role will make him a welcome addition to our list."

The AFL announced on Tuesday morning Wagner had withdrawn his nomination for this year's NAB AFL Draft, along with Maverick Weller and Keegan Brooksby, to take advantage of the AFL's new rookie rule. 

Former Sun and Saint Weller will seek to reignite his career at Richmond after being delisted by St Kilda at the end of the 2018 season, while ex-Gold Coast ruckman Brooksby will get a second chance with reigning premier West Coast after impressing in the SANFL with South Adelaide.

Former Giant Shane Mumford and ex-Docker Zac Clarke are also set to join Greater Western Sydney and Essendon respectively under the new rule.

Wagner played with Melbourne's VFL affiliate team, Casey Demons, this year and won the club's best and fairest award in a new role as a midfielder.

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The Queenslander's brother Josh is on Melbourne's list, having joined the Demons in the 2016 rookie draft.

Players who were previously listed and then cut or who have spent a year out of the AFL since retirement or delisting themselves no longer have to enter the draft to find their way to a new club.

A team cannot re-sign a player in the SPP the same year it delisted him unless he is overlooked in the drafts, such as in the case of Jacob Townsend at Richmond.

Players can't sign or train with a club until the SPP opens.