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'It's become a bit archaic': Demon concerns over priority pick system

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MELBOURNE stands to be the club most disadvantaged by the AFL handing Gold Coast a priority pick, which Demons coach Simon Goodwin described as "archaic" and "outdated".

The Suns have formally applied for a priority selection at the start of this year's NAB AFL Draft and will later this month front the League to state their case.

If given a selection at the top of the draft, it would hand the Suns picks one and two, pushing Melbourne, which is currently placed 17th on the ladder, back to the third pick.

AFL.com.au revealed last week that rival clubs had approached the AFL with their concerns that the addition of a priority pick diluted trade deals done last year with future draft selections, and Goodwin said that was the major shift.

"There's been a lot of talks about priority picks and priority picks have been on the agenda for many years," Goodwin said on Thursday.

"The biggest thing that's changed with priority picks is the ability to trade future picks and I think, personally, when you're trading future picks, you shouldn't have that hanging over your head of a priority pick being in the mix.

I think it's become a bit archaic in its relevance and I think there are other avenues we can incentivise teams and bring that equalisation to prevalence - Simon Goodwin

"I don’t think draft picks at the top end are necessarily the fix for everything. And there's other ways we can incentivise clubs to improve, whether that be middle-of-the-range [picks] through the draft or other avenues. 

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"But if you're trading away future picks, I think the priority pick is probably a bit outdated."

Oakleigh Chargers midfield pair Matt Rowell and Noah Anderson are seen as the most likely top-two selections at this year's draft, with sweeping half-back Hayden Young and powerful on-baller Caleb Serong also highly rated.

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Melbourne is expected to put forward its view on the potential of a pick at the start of the draft to the AFL.

Last year the AFL gave a 'special assistance' package to help the struggling Suns and Carlton, which allowed them to sign state-league players, or trade them away. Goodwin said adding an extra draft pick had run its course.

"It's not only us as a club [it would impact], I think it's every club. We're in a position now where we've brought in future trading for picks and the priority pick was something that was set up a long, long time ago," he said.

"I think it's become a bit archaic in its relevance and I think there are other avenues we can incentivise teams and bring that equalisation to prevalence."

The Demons are facing an off-season of change, with assistant coaches Craig Jennings and Brendan McCartney confirmed departures, and new fitness boss Darren Burgess joining the club.

They are one of a handful of clubs interested in landing former St Kilda coach Alan Richardson in a role.

Melbourne's horror season is two weeks from completion, but Goodwin said the club still had plenty to play for to set up its attack on 2020.

The Demons will blood debutant Kade Chandler against the Swans on Friday night at the MCG. The small forward has been in strong form for the Casey Demons.

"He's full of spirit and energy and he's looking forward to pulling on the jumper," Goodwin said.