Main content

Suns priority pick call sees rivals question value of trading draft selections

Ollie's 'bad luck', Eddie on rumours, retiring Roo's secret motorbike Mitch Cleary with all the latest footy news

CLUBS have questioned the worth of trading future draft selections, raising their concerns with the AFL about a possible priority pick for Gold Coast devaluing their deals.

The Suns will present to the League later this month about receiving a priority selection at the top of the NAB AFL Draft, which would essentially give the club the No.1 and No.2 choices in November.

Jack Lukosius is one of seven top-10 selections for the Suns in the past three drafts. Picture: AFL Photos

The priority pick debate was briefly covered this week at the annual conference the AFL's bosses held with club chief executive officers.

PHANTOM DRAFT FORM GUIDE Cal Twomey's August update of the top 30

AFL boss Gillon McLachlan is believed to have told the clubs that the Suns have applied for a priority pick and that they have a strong case.  

But a number of rival clubs are understood to have addressed the League recently with feedback about the possibility of a priority pick early in the draft.

A regular part of those discussions are understood to have centred on clubs trading future first-round draft selections last year and having those picks diluted by the addition of a priority pick for the Suns.

There are five clubs which hold others' first-round picks for this year's national draft as a result of deals in last year's trade period and draft.

Greater Western Sydney (who have Essendon's), Gold Coast (who have Brisbane's) and Brisbane (who have Collingwood's) all made their deals during the trade period, while Adelaide and Carlton swapped their future first-rounders in their landmark trade during the draft.

The Crows are understood to have put forward their position on the matter with the AFL, with the League acknowledging future trading as a relevant factor in its decision-making process.

Find Road to the Draft on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and Spotify.

Clubs swap future selections with an expectation where their trading partner will finish on the ladder, and by adding a priority pick within the first round, some officials believe it would disadvantage the clubs who made deals based on predicting rivals' form.

There is a growing belief within the industry that the Suns will be granted a priority selection.

Some clubs believe it should come at the mid-point of the first round (at No.11, between the finalists and non-finalists) or at the end of the first-round (No.19 overall), but the Suns are pushing to be granted a pick at the start of the draft.

They are already set to have the No.1 pick as a result of their 2019 campaign, which has seen them win just three of 19 games to date. The Suns are on a losing streak of 15 games, the worst in the club's history.

TOP TEENS The 2019 U18 All Australian Team revealed

Having the opening two selections would allow the Suns to grab Victorian midfield pair and close friends Matt Rowell and Noah Anderson, with classy half-back Hayden Young also in the top-three mix.

The Suns are two wins behind 17th-placed Melbourne with three games to go, so are almost certain to claim their first wooden spoon since their inaugural year in 2011.

Gold Coast's request for special assistance from the League will centre on the fact it has won 19 of its past 85 matches (since the start of 2016) and is yet to make the finals since entering the competition.

However, some rivals believe there is enough top-end talent already on the Suns list to build from. They have had seven top-10 draft selections (Ben Ainsworth, Jack Scrimshaw, Will Brodie, Jack Bowes, Jack Lukosius, Izak Rankine and Ben King) in the past three years.

Last year, the Suns and Carlton received help from the AFL after their on-field struggles, with priority access to state league players eligible for the draft who they could either trade on (as the Blues did) or draft, which the Suns did with Chris Burgess, Sam Collins and Josh Corbett.

Find In the Game on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts or Spotify