LESS than six weeks out from the return of the Mid-Season Rookie Draft, clubs are positioning themselves to find the next Tim Kelly, Kane Lambert or Luke Ryan.   

The evening following round 10 - Monday, May 27 - marks the first Mid-Season Rookie Draft since 1993, with 14 positions currently available across the competition. 

Every season-ending injury or early retirement that comes before midday on that day will provide one more position to be filled.   

Already, 15 players received lifelines in the pre-season supplemental selection period (SSP), with the Mid-Season Rookie Draft opening the door for more second chances.

YOUR NEWEST PLAYERS Who did your club grab in the supplemental selection period?

Players eligible to be taken in the Mid-Season Rookie Draft must nominate by May 3 and include any individual who nominated for the 2018 draft or has previously been on an AFL club list.


Mitch Cleary and Marc McGowan look at your club's plans and the 50 players on club radars.

Adelaide Crows

Mid-season availabilities: One (Tom Doedee, ACL)
What they need: Key defender
Filled to March 15: Nil 

The emergence of Alex Keath has subsided immediate concerns in defence but the Crows will still be on the lookout for depth down back to cover the loss of Tom Doedee. Could Daniel Talia's brother Michael be a left-field option? The former Dog and Swan has matured since his AFL days and is playing down the road at Norwood. Or could VFL defenders Sam McLarty or Harry Nolan fill a hole in defence? Paul Seedsman's recent injury also revealed a lack of midfield speed, something the Crows may attempt to top up. After jumping at Shane McAdam last November, the Crows have shown a willingness to identify state league talent.

Brisbane Lions

Mid-season availabilities: Nil
What they need: Key forward
Filled to March 15: Nil

The Lions have had a charmed run with injury to date and at this stage won't be in the mid-season market. If a list spot does open up, the area that seems most in need of attention is key forward depth. Ruckman Oscar McInerney and swingman Daniel McStay are Eric Hipwood's tall support acts in attack at this stage. They have one of the best young midfields in the game – headlined by Lachie Neale – while Harris Andrews, Josh Walker, Darcy Gardiner and Marcus Adams provide plenty of tall options down back.

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Mid-season availabilities: One (Tomas Bugg's retirement)
What they need: A speedy half-back
Filled to March 15: Michael Gibbons (Sam Docherty) and Matthew Cottrell (remaining spot from Rookie Draft)

The Blues were among the most active clubs in the SSP, but they still left one spot open that can potentially be filled in the Mid-Season Draft. The obvious option would be to suggest they need more midfield depth, but they already have plenty of young talent in there and veterans like Marc Murphy are being pushed onto the wing. Carlton has put together a solid combination down back and would welcome Sam Docherty's return. However, one player type it probably lacks in defence is a line-breaker, with the Jarrod Garlett experiment so far not working.

Jarrod Garlett hasn't yet clicked as a running defender. Picture: AFL Photos


Mid-season availabilities: One (Lynden Dunn, ACL)
What they need: Key defender
Filled to March 15: Nil

If it wasn't for recruiting Jordan Roughead, the Pies would be in serious pain in their key posts. With Dunn sidelined for the rest of the season, the Pies' first port of call will be to find extra cover for Roughead and Darcy Moore on the road to September. First-year defender Will Kelly is still recovering from an ankle injury, while Tyson Goldsack remains in the conversation as a forward. Sam Murray's position is still up in the air and, should a finding on his ASADA investigation be given in the next six weeks, the Pies could gain an extra Mid-Season Rookie Draft selection.

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Mid-season availabilities: Nil
What they need: Big-bodied inside midfielder
Filled to March 15: Zac Clarke (remaining spot from Rookie Draft)

Dylan Shiel provided a huge boost to the Bombers' midfield for 2019 but the need for a big-bodied midfielder remains. That was highlighted in the approach to ex-Giant Will Setterfield (192cm) last year before he landed at Carlton. Outside of Dyson Heppell and David Myers, the rest of the first-choice midfield of Shiel, Devon Smith, Zach Merrett, David Zaharakis, Darcy Parish, Andy McGrath stands at 182cm or smaller. However, unless the Bombers cop a season-ending injury, they won't have a position to fill.


Mid-season availabilities: Nil
What they need: Key defender or half-back 
Filled to March 15: Nil 

Behind Luke Ryan, Alex Pearce and Joel Hamling, the key defensive depth at Cockburn begins to fall away. While the Dockers don't currently have a selection for the Mid-Season Rookie Draft, Griffin Logue and Shane Kersten's ongoing injury concerns are more reason to look at extra cover down back. One other department of interest could be midfield speed with Stephen Hill and Harley Bennell still some weeks from returning. 

WHO MAKES FINALS? Do the 2019 Ladder Predictor

Geelong Cats

Mid-season availabilities: Nil 
What they need: Midfield speed
Filled to March 15: Nil 

As it stands, the Cats will be without Nakia Cockatoo and Jordan Cunico for much of 2019 – two players earmarked as outside runners. While they're unable to be replaced currently, with the Cats not having any season-ending injuries, it won't stop recruiters looking. Think Tom Stewart, Tom Atkins and Tim Kelly in the past three seasons alone. A club like Geelong that is well-equipped with its current list could also identify future prospects they can recruit now to help for the future.

Gold Coast Suns

Mid-season availabilities: Two (Harrison Wigg and Rory Thompson, both ACL)
What they need: Midfield depth and back-up ruckman
Filled to March 15: Sam Fletcher (remaining spot from Rookie Draft).  

The Suns put the acid on Tom Nicholls in the pre-season by using the SSP to search for another ruck option before deciding against it. While Nicholls prepares to come out of contract, Jarrod Witts' five-year deal could allow the Suns to target a developing big man. Could a 21-year-old Jeremy Goddard be an option? By adding Sam Fletcher on the final day of the SSP, the Suns acknowledged the need for young midfield talent, something they'll be looking to lure again on May 27.

Jeremy Goddard in action for WA under-18s in 2015. Picture: AFL Photos

GWS Giants

Mid-season availabilities: Two (Callan Ward, ACL, and remaining spot from Rookie Draft)
What they need: Midfield depth
Filled to March 15: Shane Mumford (remaining spot from Rookie Draft)

Callan Ward's season-ending knee injury puts pressure on the Giants' midfield ranks, although they are still blessed with some of the top onballers in the AFL. They left two list places open at draft time and filled just one with Mumford. Whether GWS elects to fill even one of these available slots might come down to salary cap room and the general health of its playing group. The Giants are excellent at finding role players to fill gaps, so they might pounce on a state league or even grassroots player, as they previously did with Daniel Lloyd.


Mid-season availabilities: One (Tim Mohr, knee)
What they need: A seasoned midfielder
Filled to March 15: Ned Reeves (Will Langford's retirement) 

The Hawks had two openings in the pre-season because of premiership player Langford calling it quits and reigning Brownlow medallist Tom Mitchell breaking his left leg. They opted to sign beanpole ruckman Reeves and upgrade Category B rookie Conor Nash to the senior list. Since then, Tim Mohr went down with a gruesome knee injury that ended his season and maybe his career. Injuries to Jaeger O'Meara, Liam Shiels and Shaun Burgoyne left Hawthorn a bit skinny in the middle, so could the club turn to one of the experienced midfielders starring for its VFL affiliate Box Hill? Luke Meadows and Damian Mascitti both look capable of slotting into the AFL if the opportunity arises.

Damian Mascitti has been a long-time star in the VFL. Picture: AFL Photos


Mid-season availabilities: One (Aaron Nietschke, ACL)
What they need: A midfield dasher or key forward
Filled to March 15: Corey Wagner and Jay Lockhart (remaining spots from Rookie Draft)

Wagner and Lockhart joined via the SSP – the latter on deadline day– and now the Demons have the chance to add another. Jay Kennedy Harris still faces another 10 weeks out after suffering a severe hyperextension of his left knee. The Dees could do with more outside run to complement their fleet of inside midfielders, while an extra marking option up front would be handy since Jesse Hogan's departure.

North Melbourne

Mid-season availabilities: One (Ed Vickers-Willis, ACL)
What they need: Tall swingman
Filled to March 15: Tom Campbell (remaining spot from Rookie Draft)

Ed Vickers-Willis' season-ending knee injury means the Roos can add another player in the Mid-Season Rookie Draft. Majak Daw (hips/pelvis) and Ben Jacobs (head/neck) remain out indefinitely as well. Daw is exactly the type of player North could do with right now, given he can capably play down back, up forward or in the ruck. Cameron Zurhaar served as Todd Goldstein's ruck support on Saturday night after the Roos trialled big man Tom Campbell in attack in rounds two and three.

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Port Adelaide

Mid-season availabilities: One spot (Jake Patmore, ACL)
What they need: Goalkicking options
Filled to March 15: Nil

With Jack Watts moving to defence before his injury and concerns around Charlie Dixon's return date, another goalkicking option would appeal for the Power. Connor Rozee has starred as a forward in his first four games, however the long-term approach has him slated as a half-back. While Scott Lycett arrived at Alberton to partner Paddy Ryder as a forward/ruck, the Power will be well aware Ryder, Justin Westhoff and Robbie Gray are all 31 or older.


Mid-season availabilities: One (Alex Rance, ACL)
What they need: A versatile tall
Filled to March 15: Mav Weller and Sydney Stack (remaining spots from Rookie Draft)

The Tigers have some things to think about, with champion defender Alex Rance (knee) out for the season and Shaun Grigg (knee) and Jayden Short (elbow) on the shelf indefinitely. They played in round four without Ryan Garthwaite, so they seem to be comfortable with their defensive mix. Having said that, a key-position player who could play at either end and provide support for Toby Nankervis could appeal. Noah Balta is filling that position at the moment, but Richmond could look for a more readymade option.

St Kilda

Mid-season availabilities: Nil
What they need: An outside midfielder
Filled to March 15: Jonathon Marsh (Jack Bytel, back), Sam Rowe (Dylan Roberton's heart issue)

The Saints clearly went on the hunt for key defensive depth in the SSP and emerged with the signatures of Marsh and Rowe. Neither has played an AFL game yet despite Jake Carlisle (back) still being without a return date. Dan Hannebery (hamstring/calves) and Logan Austin (shoulder) are also out indefinitely. St Kilda has long needed more variety in its midfield stocks, with an outside runner likely to be a priority to complement players such as Seb Ross and Jack Steele. At the same time, the Saints are yet to play speedster Nick Hind, who is in good form in the VFL.

Nick Hind has opened his VFL season in outstanding touch. Picture: AFL Photos
Nick Hind

Sydney Swans

Mid-season availabilities: One (Kurt Tippett's retirement)
What they need: A defender
Filled to March 15: Hayden McLean (Jack Maibaum, ACL)

The Swans flew McLean and Sam McLarty up for a medical before settling on McLean as an SSP addition and it is understood they also gave Sturt key forward Hugo Munn a long look. They've largely addressed their pace issue through the draft in recent years but could do with some more defensive options – tall and small. Nick Smith (hamstring) hasn't played this season, Jarrad McVeigh (quad) faces two months out and Dane Rampe isn't getting any younger, while Aliir Aliir is often used as a back-up ruck option these days.

West Coast Eagles

Mid-season availabilities: Nil
What they need: Young defensive talent
Filled to March 15: Keegan Brooksby (remaining spot from Rookie Draft)

Hard to pick any faults in the Eagles' list when you add Jack Petruccelle and Oscar Allen to a premiership line-up. Fast-forward to 12-24 months' time, though, and one deficiency could lie down back with Shannon Hurn and Will Schofield both over 30, however Josh Rotham has shown in the past fortnight that he's up to the level. The Eagles added Keegan Brooksby as ruck insurance post-draft last year and don't have any current availabilities.

Western Bulldogs

Mid-season availabilities: One (Liam Picken retirement)
What they need: Key defender
Filled to March 15: Nil

Aaron Naughton's move to attack is the ultimate 'robbing Peter to pay Paul' scenario. Naughton has shown signs as a promising key forward but his move, coupled with another knee injury to Dale Morris, leaves a gaping hole in defence. The Dogs moved Buku Khamis from a Category B to the primary list post-draft last year, so Liam Picken's retirement leaves one position available for a ready-made defender. 

50 players in the frame

Jack Blair – North Adelaide (SANFL)
26yo, 206cm, 108kg 
Rugby convert who won a flag with AFL Sydney club UNSW-Eastern Suburbs before training with the Swans leading up to last year's drafts.

Corey Gault – Swan Districts (WAFL)
26yo, 200cm, 100kg
Three years since he was last on Collingwood's AFL list, looms as a readymade forward/ruck option. 

Corey Gault, shown on debut for Collingwood in 2015, shapes as a readymade choice. Picture: AFL Photos
Corey Gault

Jeremy Goddard – Claremont (WAFL)
21yo, 202cm, 95kg
Played alongside Tim English in WA's under-18 team three years ago and had 68 hitouts from his opening two WAFL matches this season.  

Michael Knoll – South Adelaide (SANFL)
25yo, 205m, 100kg
Crossed from Box Hill. Former basketballer who replaced Keegan Brooksby and Hayden McLean on South Adelaide's list.  


Frank Anderson – Northern Blues (VFL)
21yo, 186cm, 83kg 
Attended a state screening in 2018 and has made the step up this year from Eastern Football League club South Croydon.

Josh Clayton – Werribee (VFL)
23yo, 191cm, 87kg
Tall midfielder who played two games for Brisbane before starring in the NEAFL for Southport last year then moving home to Victoria. 

Jye Bolton – Claremont (WAFL)
27yo, 187cm, 84kg
Fresh off his second Sandover Medal as the WAFL's best and fairest, the former Pie has averaged 36 disposals to start 2019.

Jye Bolton has been the WAFL's dominant player in recent years. 
Jye Bolton

Josh Deluca – Subiaco (WAFL)
22yo, 179cm, 80kg
Former Docker starred in last year's Subiaco premiership with 29 disposals and has led the way for the Lions to start 2019. 

Sam Fisher – Northern Blues (VFL)
21yo, 181cm, 78kg
Former Sydney rookie with some dash. Was invited to train with Carlton's AFL pre-season group ahead of last year's Rookie Draft. 

Nathan Freeman – Frankston (VFL)
23yo, 183cm, 85kg
Delisted by St Kilda at the end of 2018, Freeman had interest from Gold Coast before moving to the VFL where he has dominated in his first two games.  

Nathan Freeman finally made his debut near the end of 2018, only to be delisted soon after. 
Nathan Freeman

Matt Hanson – Werribee (VFL)
23yo, 187cm, 81kg 
A foot issue ruined his 2018 season, but this super-fit onballer is big and strong and in the mould of Geelong's Sam Menegola.

Mitch Hibberd – Williamstown (VFL)
22yo, 191cm, 90kg
The ex-Kangaroo boasts elite endurance and is showing promise in his new role as an inside midfielder after previously being used mostly as a defender or wingman.

Cody Hirst – Eastern Ranges (TAC Cup)
19yo, 180cm, 67kg
Given a second chance as an over-age player at the Ranges, the youngster with pace to burn was in conversations last season as a speculative rookie selection and has been named in this year's Vic Metro squad. 

Cody Hirst is playing in the NAB League as an over-ager. Picture: AFL Photos
Cody Hirst

Tristan Hobley – Subiaco (WAFL)
18yo, 182cm, 74kg 
This ball magnet was best afield in last year's WAFL Colts Grand Final and considered unlucky not to find an AFL home. Has admirers.

Campbell Hustwaite – Collingwood (VFL)
18yo, 184cm, 78kg
Co-captain of Dandenong's under-18 side last year, has crossed to Collingwood's VFL outfit after being overlooked as a rookie selection. 

Campbell Hustwaite in action during last year's TAC Cup Grand Final.

Marcus Lentini – Coburg (VFL)
19yo, 184cm, 79kg
Accumulates the ball at will in the VFL. Could he become a Ben Cavarra type that clubs just can't continue to ignore?

Mitch Maguire – Canberra (NEAFL)
20yo, 176cm, 80kg 
The NEAFL's reigning Rising Star recipient may be small but packs a punch in the clinches. Trained with Sydney before last year's drafts.

Michael Manteit – Southport (NEAFL)
22yo, 189cm, 85kg 
The former rookie-listed Magpie claimed the Sharks' best and fairest in their premiership-winning 2018 campaign and made the NEAFL Team of the Year.

Damian Mascitti – Box Hill (VFL)
26yo, 190cm, 86kg
His blistering elimination final for Port Melbourne against Box Hill last year, where he kicked four goals among 26 disposals, convinced the VFL Hawks to recruit him.

Damian Mascitti's exploits for Port Melbourne took him to Box Hill. Picture: AFL PhotosMascitti

Luke Meadows – Box Hill (VFL)
24yo, 186cm, 85kg 
Graduated in recent seasons from a half-back to a fully fledged midfielder, and showed in Hawthorn's intraclub match he can cut it with AFL players.

Luke Meadows emerged as an AFL prospect in the WAFL last year.
Luke Meadows

Marlion Pickett – South Fremantle (WAFL)
27yo, 184cm, 84kg
Genuine interest from Gold Coast last year before he was overlooked. Could a 10-week contract appeal for the WAFL's Tim Kelly 2.0?

Mitch Riordan – Dandenong (TAC Cup)
19yo, 187cm, 82kg
Speedy onballer has returned as an over-age player after testing at last year's State Combine despite a year ravaged by injury. 

Mackenzie Willis – Southport (NEAFL)
23yo, 182cm, 82kg
Cut from Gold Coast after rupturing an ACL, but has made an outstanding start to the 2019 NEAFL season.

An ACL injury saw him leave the Suns, but Mackenzie Willis has been great in 2019. Picture: AFL Photos

Tom Wilson – Northern Blues (VFL)
27yo, 176cm, 76kg
What the Blues skipper lacks in height, he makes up for in aggression at the contest. Claimed his third club best and fairest last season.

Tom Wilson has made his name at the Northern Blues. Picture: AFL Photos
Tom Wilson

Key forwards

Ryan Gardner – Footscray (VFL)
21yo, 197cm, 93kg
The defender-turned-forward has managed six goals from his opening two matches of 2019 after being cut by Geelong at the end of last season.

Will Kennedy – Western Jets (TAC Cup)
18yo, 198cm, 88kg
Moving from Sandringham to Western Jets as an over-age player, could provide an option for a club looking for a future key-position prospect. 

Liam McBean – Glenelg (SANFL)
23yo, 202cm, 98kg
Made recruiters stand up and take notice with a bag of nine against Adelaide's SANFL side last week, just his second game back after a year travelling. 

Former Tiger Liam McBean has made an instant impact in his return to footy. Picture: AFL Photos
Liam McBean

Nathan Mullenger-McHugh – Box Hill (VFL)
21yo, 196cm, 88kg
Straight from the Western Bulldogs to the Hawks' leadership group. Will continue to develop as a key-position player. 

Hugo Munn – Sturt (SANFL)
19yo, 197cm, 91kg 
About a dozen AFL clubs spoke to the talented teenager last year and he is exactly the type of player who could thrive in an elite system.

Dillon O'Reilly – East Fremantle (WAFL)
18yo, 193cm, 79kg
Son of former Cat, Docker and Blue Stephen, Dillon presents as a third forward option after playing for WA's under-18 outfit last year.

Dillon O'Reilly hopes to follow in the footsteps of his father. Picture: AFL Photos
Dillon O'Reily

Luke Surman – Norwood (SANFL)
21yo, 196cm, 111kg
Was on Hawthorn's list, but quit in May 2017 after losing his passion for footy. The Jon Patton-type has matured and wants another shot.

Key defenders 

Aaron Black – Geelong (VFL)
28yo, 192cm, 85kg
Impressed as a key defender at AFL level last year before he was delisted following a ruptured ACL. First game back in the VFL last week and could be a smokey.

Sam McLarty – Williamstown (VFL)
20yo, 198cm, 96kg
Cut from the Pies after two seasons, he trialled at Sydney on the eve of the SSP closure before being overlooked in favour of Hayden McLean. 

Ex-Pie Sam McLarty hasn't given up on his AFL dream. Picture: AFL Photos
Sam McLarty

Harry Nolan – Coburg (VFL)
19yo, 195cm, 94kg
Has garnered interest as an athletic key defender who has done the job on AFL-listed players in the VFL. Strong endurance.

Michael Talia – Norwood (SANFL)
26yo, 194cm, 93kg
Has matured after he was best remembered for off-field incidents in his last stint as an AFL player at Sydney. Still takes the No.1 forward at SANFL level. 

General forwards

Cole Gerloff – Norwood (SANFL)
19yo, 185cm, 82kg 
Has trimmed down in response to queries about his lack of pace and is showing promise in a high half-forward role.

Cory Gregson – Glenelg (SANFL)
22yo, 175cm, 78kg
Finally over the foot woes that hampered his four-year, 39-game stint at Geelong and has returned to his junior club ready for a second chance.

Ex-Cat Cory Gregson appears to be injury-free at last. Picture: AFL Photos
Corey Gregson

Ben Kennedy – Williamstown (VFL)
25yo, 176cm, 81kg 
Played mostly as a midfielder for Collingwood and Melbourne, but has transformed into a goalsneak after Ben Cavarra and Lachie Schultz were drafted last year.

Sam Lowson – Coburg (VFL)
23yo, 182cm, 84kg 
Is creating some AFL buzz thanks to his goalkicking nous and trademark defensive pressure after rising from the now-defunct VFL development league.

Corey Rich – Frankston (VFL)
22yo, 183cm, 83kg
Rich booted six goals in last year's Young Guns game and hasn't stopped impacting the scoreboard. Also getting some midfield minutes.

Corey Rich is a goalkicker who's getting more midfield time. Picture: AFL Photos
Corey Rich

Hayden Sampson – South Adelaide (SANFL)
19yo, 177cm, 71kg
Playing as a high half-forward, the son of 1997 premiership Crow Clay tested at last year's National Draft Combine. 

Tyron Smallwood – Claremont (WAFL)
19yo, 179cm, 77kg
Played WA under-18s last year at the National Championships before playing two of his three League matches as finals. Has four goals from two games this year.  

Tyron Smallwood impressed in big games at the end of the WAFL season. 

Adam Tipungwuti – NT Thunder (NEAFL)
22yo, 175cm, 65kg
Amid interest from GWS last year, the cousin of Essendon's Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti trialled at the same Rookie Combine as AFL-listed pair Jay Lockhart and Ben Cavarra. 

General defenders 

Angus Baker – Canberra (NEAFL)
20yo, 191cm, 87kg 
Already picked up a NEAFL Rising Star nomination this season and continues to win a mountain of possessions across half-back. Trained with the Swans last year.

Campbell Floyd – Geelong (VFL)
23yo, 187cm, 74kg
The half-back attracted interest from Sydney last year and despite an ankle surgery this summer, has started 2019 strongly. 

Sydney showed some interest in Geelong VFL's Campbell Floyd last year. Picture: AFL Photos
Campbell Floyd

Ryan Hebron – Werribee (VFL)
21yo, 186cm, 82kg 
The one-time Swans Academy member is a versatile and quick left-footer who uses the ball well and is rarely beaten. Crossed from Sydney Uni.

Harry Marsh – Subiaco (WAFL)
25yo, 189cm, 86kg
Received interest ahead of last year's NAB AFL Draft following his delisting from the Swans. Subiaco's recent history of drafted players only helps his cause.

Declan Mountford – Claremont (WAFL) 
Back on the AFL radar after spending time at Arden St. Can play down back, on the wing or in a run-with role and has a big motor.

Former Kanga Declan Mountford is looking to shine in the WAFL. 
Declan Mountford

Bailey Rogers – Claremont (WAFL)
22yo, 185cm, 82kg 
Damaging half-back who draws comparisons to Adelaide interceptor Tom Doedee with his ability to read the play.

Max Spencer – Werribee (VFL)
21yo, 186cm, 91kg
Departed Queensland after eight games for the Suns and is equally adept manning small and tall opponents.