RECRUITERS' task of tracking this year's draft class have been made harder by the postponement of the NAB League.
While a date has not been set for a possible return to Victoria's premier under-18 competition for this season, it has been confirmed there are no plans for games to resume in the coming months.
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The AFL remains hopeful of having the best prospects in Victoria compete in some format later in the season, with the possibility of a revised under-18 championships format deeper in the year.
However the possibility of clubs having to select prospects at this year's draft based on previous years' form – at under-16 and under-17s level, plus early practice games this season – is considered a chance within clubs.
Draft hopefuls spoken to by AFL.com.au are uncertain about what the next phase of their season will hold, having previously had the hope of returning to games mid-year.
The NAB League, comprising 13 sides around Victoria and one in Tasmania, generally makes up more than 50 per cent of each year's draft pool. Last year 14 of the 21 first-round draft picks were from the NAB League.
Recruiters and list managers competition-wide were stood down in March as a result of the financial fallout from COVID-19.
Clubs feel they have enough information to select players, with many recruiters having watched through coded vision and edits of players during the shutdown period.
However they feel they will need to be able to soon get back to interviewing players again to be ready to better assess the prospects. There is currently a ban on clubs undertaking interviews with draftees, even online.
There is a confidence within clubs that draftees will be able to take part in competitions in South Australia and Western Australia when games resume, while the private schools system in Victoria has also targeted a term three return to winter sport.