THE AFL has committed to a single Mid-Season Rookie Draft next year, ditching a proposal for multiple 'waiver'-style periods throughout the season.
Clubs received confirmation on Tuesday that the Mid-Season Rookie Draft would return on Wednesday, June 2, 2021, after being put on hold this season due to COVID-19.
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It will take on the same format as the 2019 model that saw 13 players selected, including Richmond's Marlion Pickett who went on to win a premiership just four months later.
The AFL had previously raised an alternative model that would allow clubs to fill vacant list spots or replace inactive players on a monthly basis.
Instead, it will return to a one-off event that allows those overlooked in the 2020 NAB AFL Draft and Rookie Draft, or a player previously delisted, to be selected.
Clubs eligible to select a player during the June intake must have a list spot open following the Rookie Draft or have moved a player to the inactive list via a retirement or long-term injury.
The AFL also confirmed the Pre-Season Supplemental Selection Period (SSP) will return from January 6 and run until March 9 on the eve of the 2021 season.
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Much like the Mid-Season Draft, clubs must have a list spot open following the Rookie Draft or have moved a player to the inactive list in order to add a player in the window.
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For example, Adelaide will be forced to re-draft retired defender Bryce Gibbs due to administration purposes around his payout for 2021. The Crows will be allowed to immediately move Gibbs to the inactive list and add a player via the SSP.
Clubs will have the opportunity to add potential SSP signings to their training squad in the new year – a process used most notably by Richmond's Sydney Stack to win a list spot at Punt Road ahead of 2019.
Should any player selected in the SSP have signed a contract with a state league club, their new AFL home will be required to pay $10,000 that will come from outside the football department soft cap. Exclusions apply for players who had signed a consent form to train with the AFL club before committing to the state league club, or if the player was entering the 2020 drafts for the first time in their 18th year.
The flat fee of $10,000 applies for the Mid-Season Rookie Draft without any exclusions.
As was the case in 2019, players selected in the Mid-Season Rookie Draft will need approval from their original state league club should the two teams meet during the season, while the Mid-Season draftee will be eligible to return to their original club for finals if not required by their AFL club.