AFL 2021 | Coleman-Jones and Sydney Stack to return to Punt Road in early December

The club also declared at the time that the players would pay the $75,000 fine imposed however after push-back from the players’ managers and the AFL Players’ Association and with the emotion receding, the club acknowledged that a solution was likely to be reached between the player and the club although any agreement has been kept under wraps.

Neither player was in the team at the time the incident occurred however Richmond ruckman Ivan Soldo suffered an ACL injury in round 17 that ruled him out for the season so the Tigers were forced to play just one ruckman, Toby Nankervis, for the finals in Coleman-Jones’ absence.

After their initial anger subsided the Tigers hierarchy firmly committed to the two players with three-time premiership coach Damien Hardwick publicly backing the pair on the eve of the club’s preliminary final clash with Port Adelaide to learn from their mistake.

“We’re supportive of them as a club. We are incredibly disappointed in their actions but the fact of the matter it’s a learning opportunity for both of those boys,” Hardwick said.

“They can either sit there and think about what they have done and dwell on it or grow from it. We will continue to support those boys. They are Richmond men. We love what they bring when they are at their very best. They made a mistake and we will continue to invest in those boys.”

Stack returned to Western Australia and Coleman-Jones to South Australia after the incident.

Richmond have been quiet since the end of the season recording a small profit despite the huge dent on revenue caused by COVID-19. They also lost lively small forward Jack Higgins during the trade period as he became impatient for opportunity and decided to join St Kilda and traded running defender Oleg Markov to the Gold Coast.


The Tigers have picks 17, 36, 61, 79 and 97 in the upcoming draft but could keep a rookie spot open to add a player via the rookie draft or pre-season supplemental selection period.

Most of their squad will return to training in January with the AFL grand final played at the Gabba on October 24 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

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Lyon’s scathing assessment of “backyard operation” Treloar negotiations

Garry Lyon is in disbelief that the terms of Adam Treloar’s move to Western Bulldogs still haven’t been finalised.

It emerged this week that Collingwood and the Bulldogs were still negotiating the terms of Treloar’s exit, with AFL Media’s Damian Barrett reporting that the two parties remain as much as $200,000 apart on one season of his long-term deal.

The AFL recently granted the two clubs more time to work out the finer details of the contract.

The star midfielder’s lucrative deal was one of the key reasons why Collingwood were intent on finding him a new home during the recently-completed trade period as they battle salary cap pressure.

Lyon said the entire saga between Treloar and the two clubs sounded like “some backyard operation”.

“How can they be haggling over who’s paying what after the deal has been done,” he said on SEN Breakfast.

“How does that happen in the modern professional age?

“Clearly, they haven’t signed off on the contract, they would’ve thought that they were running out of time and just had to get it done and (both parties will) sort it out on the other side.

“The Bulldogs would’ve said ‘just know we’re not paying the $950,000 (of Treloar’s deal)” and Collingwood would’ve gone ‘no worries’, the deal is done and now Collingwood is saying that they won’t want to pay $300,000 (of Treloar’s salary).

“This sounds like some backyard operation.”

Tim Watson can’t understand why Collingwood and Western Bulldogs are so far apart on negotiations, questioning the “ambiguity” of the deal.

“It wouldn’t be a verbal haggle,” he said.

“Someone is documenting this and they’re saying ‘we’ll take Treloar, but we won’t be paying the $950,000 owed so you’re going to take to carry $300,000 of that for the next five years’.

“I write that down, I’m taking meeting (notes) from this particular negotiation so there’s no ambiguity here.

“How did the ambiguity happen?”

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The curly questions that AFL recruiters and coaches ask young footballers


Better-known these days as a player agent to some of the AFL’s stars, Marty Pask was once a bright-eyed prospect himself, taken by the Lions deep in the rookie draft at the end of the 2004 season. He went on to play eight senior matches for the Lions before a stint at the Western Bulldogs where he couldn’t break through for a senior game. Reflecting on his own experiences as a draft hopeful, Pask says clubs were needlessly mean-spirited.

“Back in the early 2000s it was an intimidating process where a lot of the time you’d sit and meet the coach and a lot of the time you felt you were a little bit more on the back foot,” Pask said.

“A lot of players and a lot of friends I had at the time would talk about different coaches in draft meetings and go, ‘Oh geez, good luck with him … or he’ll ask you where you think you should be in the best 22 next year and when you answer it he’ll say, ‘Oh, so you think you’re better than him do you?'”

Then-Port Adelaide coach Mark Williams developed a reputation for dishing up particularly brutal lines of questioning, which he explained as being a form of tough love.

Pask said such a hard-line approach was counterproductive.

Former Port Adelaide coach Mark Williams was famous for his draft questions.Credit:Glen McCurtayne

“Looking back, it was really quite pointless,” Pask said.

“I think the evolution of questions and where they are now are more about you as the individual, embracing difference, embracing personality. I think 20 years ago you felt you had to suppress your own individual qualities in a way. Whereas now it’s ‘You be you.’ And I think that’s great.”


Pask’s self-deprecating streak is clear to see however when he recalls one conversation he had before being drafted.

“I won’t say the coach or the club. But I was asked where I thought I could potentially play league footy. I said, ‘Oh look eventually I’d be more than happy to slot into a back pocket or full-back.’ At the time this particular club had an All-Australian key defender. I was told in no uncertain terms that I wasn’t as good as this player and I’d be kidding myself if I ever felt that. The good news is this coach obviously had great foresight because he was 100 per cent correct.”

Former Hawthorn recruiting manager John Turnbull, at the helm of the Hawks for the famous 2001 super draft in which they nabbed Luke Hodge and Sam Mitchell, says the Williams method was the exception rather than the norm.

Turnbull’s philosophy was relatively simple.


“It’s a matter of meeting with the lad, and his parents as many times as possible. Don’t try and catch them out,” Turnbull said.

He pointed to AIS academy trips overseas – now abandoned in the name of cost-cutting – as tremendous opportunities to better understand players and what makes them tick.

“We were in Ireland. There was a Melbourne-based player. There was a mother of player, getting the player’s gear and washing it. All the other players washed their own stuff. And then at breakfast time there was this player and his family sitting at a separate table to the rest of the touring party. And this continued through the rest of the trip. And I thought, good luck if he gets drafted interstate. And he did, he got drafted interstate, he stuck with them two years, he was on an AFL list for one [more] year and that was it.”

Home visits – shelved for much of this year because of COVID-19 – were and continue to be viewed by recruiters as telling.


Turnbull remembers one prospective draftee whose father hogged the conversation, detailing all the sporting achievements of his son.

“There was this glass cabinet in the living room, and it was full of trophies. And then in came his younger sister, who was as tall and athletic as him, and there was one little cup for her. There would have been 30 separate cups, ribbons. I was very wary.

“I sympathise with the recruiting people this year, because Zoom as we all know is so brief, semi-formal.”

Turnbull also made a point of noting how players interacted with their parents, particularly in the case of single mothers, noting that young boys’ respect towards the women in their lives was a great indicator of their character.


Bizarre questions have become something of a staple of the AFL draft combine, an event which was decentralised this year because of the coronavirus. Sydney last year showed prospective draftees five toys, asking them to pick one and explain why they had done so.

Mark Micallef is now a player agent after stints recruiting with Essendon and Gold Coast before a year as Fremantle’s list manager.

He says the curve balls have a place, to a point.

“The [club psychologist] is the one who generally asks the quirky questions. I was at Essendon when they asked some really quirky ones. ‘Count backwards in jumps of seven from 695, can you spell Gatorade backwards?’ Why they do it is just to see how the player performs under pressure. I’m a believer in it, to an extent,” Micallef said.

“I don’t believe in absolutely berating young men. I don’t think that works at all. But I do believe in quirky questions, just to throw players off guard a bit, are really important.”

These days Jack Fitzpatrick is an assistant coach with the Bulldogs’ AFLW side. Eleven years ago he was drafted to Melbourne alongside fellow beanpole Max Gawn. Fitzpatrick, who retired in 2017 after a couple of years at Hawthorn in which he was plagued by concussion, laughs at a story relayed to him by Gawn about the latter’s 2009 draft camp interview with Geelong.

Jack Fitzpatrick (second from left) next to Max Gawn after they were drafted to Melbourne.

Jack Fitzpatrick (second from left) next to Max Gawn after they were drafted to Melbourne.Credit:Getty Images

“Gawny being Gawny, he was telling them what he’s good at, and he was telling them he’s a footy encyclopaedia and he knows this and that and whatever else,” said Fitzpatrick.

“He told them, ‘If you name any jumper number I’ll be able to tell you the player that played in that number.’ So they picked the great Brisbane team of the early 2000s and asked, ‘Who wore No. 44?’ He spent however long and couldn’t work out who it was. Now of course, it’s Nigel Lappin. But the great part about that was that Nigel Lappin was actually in the room as he was coaching Geelong at the time! So Gawny’s looking at Nigel Lappin and still couldn’t work out that he was No. 44 for Brisbane.”


Micallef argues that these days, the dynamic between club and player has shifted considerably.

“I think sometimes now it’s almost gone into reverse, where a club has to sell to a player. Especially having worked for interstate teams, it holds a massive impact on the go-home factor and just making sure that if you invest in a kid with a high pick they are going to be there for a long time,” Micallef said.

“Clubs try to sell themselves to guys they are not going to be able to select in the draft, so in two, three, four years’ time when a club calls their manager and says, ‘Would player X be interested’, his first reaction is to go back to what his interview was like with that club.

“From a club perspective, the interviews are arguably more important than watching games.”


The virus has meant that clubs have much less football on which to judge the teenage talent, which Fitzpatrick – who slid in his draft year on the back of issues with chronic fatigue – says could have a dramatic impact on the eventual order.

“I, without a doubt, if the draft happened in January of my draft year, would have been taken in the top five and most likely in the top three,” Fitzpatrick said.

“I’ve been talking about this year and saying how hard it must be for the recruiters to work out who they are going to pick because without joking, if it was my draft year and this happened, I would have got drafted ahead of Dusty [Martin] and Nat Fyfe, and arguably Gawny would never have got drafted. That’s how different things can be.”

Pask prefers to take the view that this year presents great opportunities for clubs to find diamonds in the rough.

“I disagree with anyone that says it’s too hard to pick this year’s draft crop,” Pask said.

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AFL creates ’18 Collingwoods’ telling clubs to back end contracts

The league has begun visiting and briefing clubs about the cut to the salary cap and has told clubs it was up to them how they got under the salary cap and that they should back end contracts to fit under the cap next year.

Collingwood this year underwent an aggressive trade period in large part to address salary cap issues that were created by constantly back-ending contracts.

They dumped more than $2milion out of their salary cap for next year by trading out Adam Treloar, Jaidyn Stephenson and Tom Phillips.

Former Magpie Adam Treloar.Credit:Getty Images

“The advice from the AFL is to just back-end contracts to get under the cap. Fine. We will have 18 Collingwoods next year with everyone forced to push the problem down the road,” said one list manager who wanted to remain anonymous.

“We have worked for years to get our cap under control and keep it under control – as have other clubs – and the AFL advice is to blow it up again.

“We traded in good faith for draft picks that we may not be able to use because they announced these cuts after the trade period and the reality is we may not be able to bring in as many players.”

The AFL has told clubs that a player cutting their salary by 8.5 per cent next year can recoup 5 per cent of that cut the following year when the salary cap is hoped to normalise back to the pre-COVID levels.

One list manager said it was misleading to say reduced list sizes off-set the size of the salary cap cut.

While the reduced salary cap is spread among fewer players the clubs say it is only the lowest-paid players who were cut from lists and so the clubs’ players wage bill only reduced by about $80,000 per player.

The league has mandated new draftee’s wages will be cut by 10 per cent.

“The AFLPA was representing the players but who was the AFL representing? It wasn’t the clubs,” one club list manager said.

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Bendigo Pioneers’ Jack Ginnivan hoping for a double celebration of birthday and AFL club selection

He tried to make the most of the situation, working to build up his body with weights and running plenty. But when it came to playing footy, all he could do for a while was have a kick with a mate who lives 10 minutes away.

“The strength side was pretty easy with my mate. The actual works on the game was a little bit challenging,” Ginnivan said.

Bendigo’s Jack Ginnivan (with ball in hand) hopes for a double celebration on December 9.

But he is back training with his local club Strathfieldsaye and will be able to do a bit of work with the Bendigo Pioneers ahead of the draft.

“I get to train with some people that I hardly ever get to,” he said of training at Strathfieldsaye.


“Pioneers starts on Sunday so it’s good just to get those couple of sessions in before Pioneers starts and then we’ll get right into it.”

With AFL list sizes cut and having been denied the opportunity to stake his claim, Ginnivan is mindful that things mightn’t go his way on draft night.

“[I’m] pretty nervous at the moment. A lot of the year I was focusing on football, school was playing a little bit of second fiddle. But whatever happens on the night happens and you’ve just got to move on if it doesn’t work.”

He is mates with Port Adelaide’s Kane Farrell and North Melbourne’s Flynn Perez – both fellow Bendigo products – the latter of whom is advising him simply to keep working hard. He has also been counselled by Bailey Henderson, another ex-Pioneers player who missed out in the draft a few years ago and has since played with Richmond’s VFL side.


Henderson has urged him to “make sure you have that ‘plan B’ so you can adapt if it doesn’t happen.”

Ginnivan made headlines six years ago when he kicked 119 goals in a season for Newstead in a team coached by his father Craig.

Jack reflects proudly on that feat, which Craig made sure only got so far.

“It’s a pretty cool thing. Dad kicked 128 one year so he didn’t want me to break that so in the last couple of games he always used to chuck me in the backline. It wasn’t great!”

Other than training, preparing to get his driver’s licence and seeing his girlfriend Christijana, who he hasn’t seen much of lately while she’s been focusing on trying to get into a university law course, Ginnivan has taken some shifts as a lifeguard to fill his time over the coming weeks now that his year 12 exams are finished at Bendigo Senior Secondary College.

He’s also heading down to Melbourne this week for a combined Vic Metro and Vic Country training session; the last chance for Victorian talent to show their wares to AFL recruiters before the draft.

Away from football he’s eyeing a career as a policeman.

“Me and my mum used to watch a lot of crime shows when I was younger. I’ve always watched that and thought it was pretty cool. My cricket coach is a cop [too],” Ginnivan said.

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Curran to lift Coorparoo Women’s Footy to the next level

Luke Curran has joined the Coorparoo Kings’ Women’s as Head of Coaching, ten years of establishing and developing the Hyundai Brisbane Lions Academy.  Whilst he will recognise many familiar faces around the club, he’s keen to bring his knowledge and expertise to the existing program to ensure higher performance and success.

Existing coaches of Coorparoo Kings Women’s squad are keen to continue next season, still feeling the hunger for the premiership, despite winning the Development League premiership this year in a thrilling grand final.

Sam Haddad, Coorparoo Senior club President, said “This is a really exciting opportunity to draw on Luke’s expertise and build on our current program.  We’re always looking at ways to improve and having Luke’s contribution will bring a real blast to next season.”

Players who’ve participated in the Lions’ Academy are feeling in safe hands with Luke coming on board. Chelsea Chesterfield, a current Academy player, said “After being around Luke in Academy the past few years, I know he is a great attribute to have at our club.  I’m excited to see what he can bring to Coorparoo with his experience, coaching, and organisational side of things!  I also love his motivational quotes and videos!”

Already those motivational videos have been aired and had their impact.  Coorparoo is certainly looking forward to the 2021 season with pre-season training Tuesdays and Thursdays.

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The clubs most keen on SA draft hopeful

Draft hopeful Corey Durdin says there are two clubs showing more interest than others ahead of next month’s AFL Draft.

The talented small forward, who has been plying his trade in the SANFL with Central District over the past two seasons, has named Carlton and Fremantle as the teams who appear to be most keen on acquiring his services.

“During the programs with the SA hub we’ve had a chance to speak to every club, but there’s been interest from Carlton and Freo,” he said on SEN SA Breakfast.

“I probably can’t reveal too much, but they’re the main clubs that have sort of shown interest in me.”

The Blues have been widely linked with a small forward to take the mantle from the ageing Eddie Betts while the Dockers are also in the market for a player in that position having recently delisted Brandon Matera.

The South Australian U18 representative admits he could see himself donning the colours of the Adelaide Crows after conceding the enthusiasm shown by Port Adelaide hasn’t been as forthcoming.

“Not really any interest from Port, but a little bit from the Crows,” he added.

“I think it would be good to go there, I’d love it there. There’s definitely positions there. If it comes to it, I’d be happy to.”

Despite growing up a Kangaroos fan, the 172-centimetre teenager is looking to model himself on a certain diminutive Western Bulldogs player even though they operate in different parts of the ground.

“I used to barrack for North Melbourne because dad supported them but the closer it’s gotten to the draft, I sort of stopped going for clubs and followed certain players,” he said further.

“Talking about favourite players it would be Caleb Daniel.

“Similar in how we play and our strengths with the ball. I look at him and look how he pays. He obviously plays a different role at the moment in the backline but it is something I think I could do, transitioning into the AFL system.”

Currently running a Christmas casual shift at Dan Murphy’s, Durdin says he would be more than prepared to pack up and move if an interstate club were to call his name on December 9.

“Yeah, absolutely. I’m prepared for it,” he added.

“I pretty much cook for myself. I can look after myself well, I’ll be fine. I’ve got family if it were to be Melbourne.

“I’m ready for the next step. I’ve been playing against men for two years and I’m not scared, I’m not afraid, I’m ready to go.”

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Matthew Lloyd’s top 20 players of the 2020 season

Essendon great Matthew Lloyd has listed his top 20 players of the 2020 home and away season.

Speaking on, Lloyd revealed the 20 players that impressed him the most during what was an unprecedented year.

Geelong star Tom Hawkins topped Lloyd’s list after winning his first Coleman Medal with 49 goals.

The forward also recorded the most goal assists and score involvements, playing a key role in the Cats’ charge to the Grand Final.

Brownlow Medallist and Brisbane ball-magnet Lachie Neale came in second with Melbourne gun Christian Petracca making up the top three.

Below is Lloyd’s top 20 players of the home and away season:

  1. Tom Hawkins (Geelong)
  2. Lachie Neale (Brisbane)
  3. Christian Petracca (Melbourne)
  4. Travis Boak (Port Adelaide)
  5. Nic Naitanui (West Coast)
  6. Jack Steele (St Kilda)
  7. Taylor Adams (Collingwood)
  8. Marcus Bontempelli (Western Bulldogs)
  9. Darcy Moore (Collingwood)
  10. Harris Andrews (Brisbane)
  11. Caleb Daniel (Western Bulldogs)
  12. Dustin Martin (Richmond)
  13. Steven May (Melbourne)
  14. Patrick Dangerfield (Geelong)
  15. Jacob Weitering (Carlton)
  16. Jarryd Lyons (Brisbane)
  17. Cam Guthrie (Geelong)
  18. Charlie Dixon (Port Adelaide)
  19. Lachie Whitfield (GWS)
  20. Jackson Macrae (Western Bulldogs)

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Demons star “excited” by “A-grade” recruit

Ben Brown’s arrival at Melbourne has Demons star Max Gawn buzzing with excitement.

Brown, who kicked 287 goals in 130 games for North Melbourne, was traded to the Demons along with pick 28 and a future fourth-round selection with the Kangaroos receiving picks 26, 33 and a future fourth-rounder in return.

Gawn says the 28-year-old is the “A-grade” forward the club required to compliment the likes of Sam Weideman, Luke Jackson and Tom McDonald.

“We had a zoom call relatively early on, and he actually mentioned that he did a bit of ruck work. I said, ‘Ben just calm down, you’re a forward’, but I’m really excited,” Gawn told SEN’s Dwayne’s World.

“Our midfield can go to another level but our defence has certainly held up with Steven May and Jake Lever, so the forward line was something that we targeted to get an A-grade player in, and I definitely think Ben is that.

“He obviously had a down year this year but I’m excited, I really am. I’m really excited to see him work with Sam Weideman, Luke Jackson and Tommy (McDonald).

“It’s going to be exciting to see those four forwards battle it out. It’s going to be good to get a guy who’s kicked 250 goals in the last four years into our team.

Brown was restricted to just nine games in 2020 due to a knee injury.

The forward finished second in the Coleman Medal in 2018 and 2019, kicking over 60 goals.

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“I felt my brain had been re-wired”

Former Gold Coast and Melbourne defender Kade Kolodjashnij has opened up on his battle with concussions that forced him into premature retirement.

Speaking on Bob and Andy SEN on Wednesday afternoon, the former fifth overall pick of the Gold Coast Suns spoke candidly on how tough it was to battle through the repeated head knocks he endured.

“It’s been bloody tough to be honest with you,” Kolodjashnij admitted.

“The first few (concussions) were the toughest after playing pretty much every game through my first three seasons and finding myself on the sidelines. But at that time I was still pretty optimistic I would get back.”

Kolodjashnij spoke of the progressive nature the head knocks took on him as a person.

“In the early days I’d cop knocks and get back and I’d be fine,” Kolodjashnij said.

“Then as my career went along I just wasn’t pulling up well from these knocks. At the time I had very blurry vision, I just couldn’t process information, even out on the field I’d try to keep playing after a knock and just couldn’t read the play like I normally would.

“My symptoms were prolonged. I’d wake up the next day and have those really bad headaches and I’d struggle to get out of bed at times.”

One discussion the 25-year old Kolodjashnij had with the Melbourne club doctor in particular illustrates the trauma he endured.

“I remember telling the club doctor I felt my brain had been re-wired with the way it processes information,” Kolodjashnij said.

After 80 games in seven seasons for the Suns and Demons, Kolodjashnij believes it’s the right decision to walk away.

“I’ve had about 10-15 concussions in my career and it just gets harder and harder to try get back and with the knocks I’d get, the symptoms would get worse. The last knock took me about six months to get back just exercising,” Kolodjashnij said.

“To come to the decision I have today to retire, it all comes back to my health and wellbeing which is a priority in my life right now.

“There’s a lot of my life left to live so I’m just looking forward to that now.”

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