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Kevin Sheedy: ‘The AFL do have a problem’ with its expansion clubs

Former AFL footballer and supercoach Kevin Sheedy says “the AFL do have a problem” when it comes to the draft system.

The issue has heavily impacted the AFL’s most recent expansion clubs the Gold Coast Suns and the GWS Giants.

It is largely due to both clubs previous struggles to retain a number of highly rated youngsters, many of whom were top 10 draft picks.

Sheedy says the AFL need to address the issue which has left both clubs vulnerable.

“The AFL do have a problem,” Sheedy said.

“I think any area where the AFL decision makers make rules on drafting – if teams keep specifically taking players out of these newly developed clubs, then they definitely should get draft concessions better than anyone to make it a deterrent.”

In recent years, the Gold Coast have lost the likes of Josh Caddy, Jaeger O’Meara, Dion Prestia and Charlie Dixon, while Tom Lynch is also set to depart.

Similarly, the Giants have also seen Will Hoskin-Elliott, Taylor Adams, Tom Boyd and most notably, Adam Treloar move to rival clubs.

Sheedy did acknowledge the Gold Coast got it wrong early in their establishment.

“The Gold Coast keep appointing first year coaches, you need experienced people,” Sheedy said.

“They’ve finally got it obviously off the ground up there by getting Hawthorn’s football manager and the AFL’s managers – so that’s a positive.

“I hope Stuey Dew does a great job, but Guy McKenna hadn’t coached at senior AFL level, Peter Knights at the Brisbane Bears hadn’t really been a long-term senior coach.

“To me I thought the Giants got it right.

“For the Giants to do what they’ve done (it) has been an incredible story for sport in Australia.”

In the eight years the Gold Coast Suns have been involved in the AFL since their inception in 2011, they have not appeared in the finals once, with a 12th-placed finish in 2014 their best result.

In contrast, the Giants have made the finals three times in their seven-season history including this year where they have the chance to make it a third straight preliminary final appearance.


Listen to the full interview below: