GOLD Coast coach Stuart Dew has implored AFL decision-makers to consult drafted players' families before making any call on lifting the draft age.
With the potential of no underage football to be played in 2020, and likelihood of reduced AFL list sizes, the prospect of making 18-year-olds wait until 19 next year has been raised.
Entering his third year, Dew has seen the Suns select 16 players in the NAB AFL Draft since 2017, including seven via the first round.
"Depending on where the season lands, is it an opportunity to change that draft age?" Dew said on Friday.
"Do we give players, boys and girls, the best opportunity to finish their studies without the pressure?
"I know speaking to the parents of draftees, that last year in Year 12 if it lines up with their draft year, that's a lot of pressure. Would they benefit from that (increase)?
DT: Depending on what happens this year, I understand the circumstances. But I would hate to think that Sam Walsh would have to wait an extra 12 months to deliver what he did last year. #AskTeaguey https://t.co/6kDzeHDuMJ— Carlton FC (at ??) (@CarltonFC) April 10, 2020
"I'm probably a bit removed from it, so I think whoever makes the decision on that needs to ask players who have been through it and also the families, I think that'd be the best point of action.
"To see what's their opinion, they've lived it in the last 4-5 years and beyond, but particularly in the last 4-5 years the focus on that draft age it's one, exciting, but it's also come with a fair bit of pressure with what else is in their life."
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Dew said he was constantly communicating with his list – the biggest in the competition – which includes 11 players still based outside Queensland who are facing a 14-day self-quarantine period upon their return.
While the Suns have launched their 'Suns Community Crew' by providing meals for senior (60 and over) and vulnerable members, Dew has turned delivery driver himself.
"The club got delivered a big thing of hand sanitiser, I was the Uber driver driving around until about 10.30pm, leaving them on their fences and messaging them (players) to let them know they've got hand sanitiser.
Dew also backed the case of the Gold Coast region – due to the climate and facilities – should the AFL consider splitting clubs into quarantine hubs around the country in order to fast-track the return of the season.