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BIDDING on father-son or academy players after the draft's second round could be scrapped if a recommendation to amend the AFL’s proposed bidding system is given the green light.
Several clubs are calling for unhindered access to their nominated father-son and academy players who don't attract bids from rival teams in the first or second rounds of the NAB AFL Draft.
Otherwise recruiters say they will face high-pressure decisions that might risk their club's position in the first round of the next year's draft, potentially forcing them to overlook father-son or academy prospects.
If the AFL's proposed system – which features a sliding points scale for every pick – was applied to last year's draft, the Western Bulldogs could have risked their future draft position by snaring father-son prospect Zaine Cordy.
The Bulldogs secured the athletic 191cm defender by matching Fremantle's third-round bid, pick No. 51, with their next selection, fourth-round pick No. 62.
Under the proposed system pick 51 would be worth 259 points – clipped to 221 points after a 15 per cent discount for father-son picks is applied.
But the Bulldogs' 62nd pick would be worth only 123 points, meaning they would fall 98 points short of the Dockers' bid.
With no more picks available to throw in to match the bid, the Dogs would then owe those 98 points in the following year's draft if they went ahead and recruited Cordy.
Depending where the Bulldogs finished on the ladder next season, they could tumble down the 2015 draft order as a result.
If the Dogs finished in the bottom six, the 98-point reduction wouldn't affect their first-round pick in the next draft. But it would if they placed 12th or higher.
By finishing in 12th spot the Dogs would receive pick seven but, after subtracting the points owed, that selection would fall to pick nine because of the diminishing points gap between lower picks (see below).
Recruiters believe similar scenarios could force clubs to choose between the romantic option of recruiting father-sons – or keeping an academy prospect in his home state – or dropping down the next draft's pecking order.
It is a big call and one recruiter labelled it "absurd" considering most value is found in the first two rounds of the draft, while picks after the late 30s or early 40s can be an educated punt.
The AFL has offered discounts to clubs who nominate father-son and academy players to entice them to continue bloodlines and invest in growing the game through their academies.
Under the proposal father-son bids receive a 15 per cent reduction in points and academy players would have 25 per cent of their points chopped.
But those weightings have also come under scrutiny, with some recruiters telling AFL.com.au the discounts should be equal while other clubs believe the balance is about right.
The hotly-debated issue will affect some clubs more than others.
West Coast could have the sons of club greats John Worsfold, Guy McKenna, Chris Mainwaring and Dean Kemp available in the same draft in 2019, but St Kilda's pool of father-son prospects is relatively small.
Later this year, the Sydney Swans could face a challenge 'paying' for academy gun Callum Mills and, should he decide to join the club, Josh Dunkley.
Should Mills and Dunkley – the son of 217-game defender Andrew – attract first-round bids from rival clubs, the Swans could be forced to juggle a combination of picks to snare the pair.
Coughing up multiple picks for in-demand draftees appears likely to be adopted from the proposed bidding system.
The measure has the support of most clubs, who are keen to end anomalies such as rising star Joe Daniher landing at Essendon via pick 10 when he was rated in the top three of the 2012 draft.
But the potential to lose out in future drafts for taking a father-son or academy pick after the second round looms as a contentious issue.
Proposed points values for first-round picks:
1 – 3000.
2 – 2517
3 – 2234
4 – 2034
5 – 1878
6 – 1751
7 – 1644
8 – 1551
9 – 1469
10 – 1395
11 – 1329
12 – 1268
13 – 1212
14 – 1161
15 – 1112
16 – 1067
17 – 1025
18 – 985