ARE WE set for another year of 'the replacements'?
As AFL.com.au reported on Friday, an option the AFL has canvassed is the possibility of clubs recruiting 'top-up' players to add to their lists if they are required to play multiple games in a short period of time as a result of the coronavirus or if players contract the illness.
In a similar form to Essendon's replacement players for 2016 they drafted into the club following the raft of anti-doping bans, the expectation would be that experienced players who have recently retired or been delisted would be at the front of the queue if such a move was enlisted by the League.
Others who were overlooked in last year's NAB AFL Draft, or narrowly missed out on list spots in the pre-season supplemental selection period would also be contenders.
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Clubs have not been briefed on the machinations of such a rule but the League is known to have discussed a range of measures to ensure teams will be able to be fielded through what is expected to be an unprecedented and disrupted campaign.
Here are some players who could be in the mix if the move gains traction.
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The Adelaide best and fairest winner was reluctant to bow out of AFL football last year and looked around for another opportunity. After 246 games with the Crows, Douglas has signed with SANFL club Norwood.
Was an unlucky delisting last year as the squeeze for spots at Brisbane heated up. The tagger had some minor interest from several clubs as a delisted free agent but was not able to land a new club and rejoined the WAFL system with East Perth.
Clubs met with Murray last year after his drug ban ended but the former Collingwood defender's hopes of another chance failed. But he remains keen to get back into the AFL and was a prized pick-up for VFL club Williamstown.
After retiring last year at the Giants after more injury issues, the ex-Tigers star signed on with Box Hill, while also being a part-time development coach at Hawthorn.
Was considered by Sydney in the off-season after being cut by Port Adelaide, but the speedster ended up returning to Victoria to play with Richmond's VFL side.
The Richmond runner had minor interest from Fremantle last season however his hopes of getting another chance went cold. A long-kicking line-breaker with speed.
Webb trained with Carlton after being delisted by the Bulldogs last year, but missed out on a lifeline through the pre-season supplemental selection period. Injured his hamstring in a Carlton practice match but has quality and is a good ball-user.
The other side of the mid-season draft, Deluca's time at Carlton was limited. After being picked up in May last year he was cut after just five months at the Blues. The midfielder opted to stay in Victoria and signed with Box Hill in the VFL.
Narrowly missed out on a place on Carlton's list after being invited to train with the Blues in recent weeks. Former Geelong midfielder with some class.
Another player whose time in the system was short after being grabbed by Sydney in the md-season draft but not lasting beyond October. He signed with the Northern Blues in the VFL.
The premiership Eagle was keen to play on last season but didn't get enough interest from rival clubs. Has stayed in the system, though, playing for Perth in 2020.
Has joined younger brother Troy at Central District in the SANFL after one season at Sydney. Kicked seven goals in seven games with the Swans but couldn't find a regular place in the line-up.
The Western Bulldogs premiership defender signed with Essendon's VFL team and offers a readymade option for clubs looking for back-up in the back half.
Stretch showed his running ability on the wing for Melbourne but with the Demons bringing in two midfielders during the off-season he was cut by the club. Has returned to play for Glenelg in the SANFL this season.
After being delisted by West Coast at the end of 2018, Partington dominated last season in the SANFL and attracted AFL attention by being invited to test at the state draft Combine.
The Northern Territory talent had been on the radar for Essendon, where he has trained over the past two months bidding for a spot on its list through the SSP. Eventually he was pipped for the place, but he impressed with his improved fitness and movement.
After not getting a chance via last year's drafts, Sturgess trained with Carlton in recent months but did not make the Blues' list. The defender was unlucky not to get a chance last year having pieced together a solid campaign as a rebounder who is good in the air.
The defender trained with Hawthorn over summer however was unable to clinch the club's last spot. A dashing backman who can set up the play and enjoys to take things on.