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Falcons boss raises draft concerns

Geelong Falcons Talent Manager Michael Turner. (krockfootball.com.au Image/Al Packer)

GEELONG Falcons regional manager Michael Turner has questioned the purpose of the AFL’s Rookie Draft after several talented youngsters were overlooked in the 2017 version.

Turner’s immediate focus is on the welfare of those Falcons who missed out on finding homes in either the national or rookie draft – most noticeably best-and-fairest Cassidy Parish along with fellow premiership players Cooper Stephens, Ethan Floyd and David Handley.

But he’ll be raising concerns over the value of the Rookie Draft with AFL Victoria, the AFL and the AFLPA after 16 of the 43 picks were used on recycling players.

“I don’t think the Rookie Draft was ever set to draft recycled players and the AFL needs to seriously look at a mid-season draft,” Turner told krockfootball.com.au

“The history of the Rookie Draft has always been about giving new talent a chance. But in recent times, players that have been delisted have been hanging out for the rookie draft so they can get another chance.

“There’s been a lot of players who have come through the rookie draft over the years and gone onto have great AFL careers.”

The likes of Stewart Crameri (Geelong), Dylan Buckley (GWS Giants), Lindsay Thomas (Port Adelaide), Matt Shaw (Carlton), Roarke Smith (Western Bulldogs), Matthew Hayball (Geelong), Adam Oxley (Collingwood) and Claye Beams (Brisbane) were chosen by AFL clubs in the rookie draft ahead of some new blood.

Turner said he would contact those Falcons overlooked today and discuss their football future options with them, their parents and managers.

“We looked at getting anywhere between five to 10 (players) drafted and we got five picked up overall,” he said.

“I would have been happy to get eight – four drafted and four rookied. I’m more disappointed for the players than anything because it’s about them getting opportunities.”

Matt Ling (Sydney), Tom McCartin (Sydney), James Worpel (Hawthorn), Gryan Miers (Geelong) and Josh Jaska (Gold Coast) were Falcons to find new AFL homes.

Twitter: @GreenBradley