SANFL congratulates the five SANFL Statewide Super League players selected in the AFL mid-season rookie draft and wishes them well for a successful AFL career that extends beyond the remainder of season 2019.
However, we will continue to stand firm in our opposition to a mid-season draft.
The AFL’s decision – made contrary to feedback provided by the SANFL and other State Leagues – to enable its clubs to add players from State League team lists midway through the season will have a significantly detrimental impact on SANFL clubs who work hard to develop their players and teams lists and position themselves for success.
Affected SANFL clubs now face the remainder of their 2019 season without key players – and, in the case of West Adelaide Football Club, two of its best midfielders in Will Snelling and John Noble.
It will not be possible for West Adelaide, South Adelaide and Glenelg football clubs to find replacements for their players taken in the mid-season draft at this stage of the season and there is no compensation for player loss – with only a partial reimbursement of pre-committed player payment expenses being offered.
We are proud of SANFL clubs’ successful development of our strong pool of talent in SA, and the players who represent the competition with distinction. As such, SANFL’s disapproval of the mid-season draft should not be represented in anyway as opposition to the pathway of players to the highest level of Australian Football.
This mid-season disruption comes at the expense of our SANFL clubs, their coaches, players, volunteers, members, sponsors and supporters.
We have a strong and vibrant State League competition, the fabric of which should be cherished and protected. Decisions made that erode the vibrancy of the competition are not in the interest of Australian Football.