Could the concept of giving certain players a 10-game contract be something worth looking at?
While calling Friday night’s semi-final between Richmond and St Kilda for AFL Nation, Garry Lyon noticed just how good Shane Edwards and Bachar Houli were in their side’s 31-point win.
Both Edwards and Houli have spent time away from the club’s Queensland hub this year for personal reasons, meaning they have only played eight and 11 games respectively in 2020.
After seeing how well they have played in the latter stages of the season, Lyon wonders whether giving certain players shorter-term contracts could ultimately be beneficial.
“This just occurred to me as I was watching the game (on Friday night),” Lyon said on SEN Breakfast.
“(Bachar) Houli and (Shane) Edwards and the hub situation, their partners are having a baby and it’s absolutely fine that they go home, they miss 8-10 weeks in the middle of the season.
“They’ve come back into this hub and have not missed a beat, Edwards I thought was the best player on the ground and Houli was in the best four or five.
“Would you ever get to the stage where you looked at a player and said, ‘In a 22-week season, we’ll contract you for 10 games’.”
In response to the idea, Tim Watson said it could be worth considering for some clubs if it meant they could get more out of their players.
“In a perfect world you’d like to be able to (give out 10-game contracts) with certain players,” Watson said.
“If you think about the players who went out in Edwards and Houli, Richmond were able to cover those players really adequately and easily and in some ways, we all thought, ‘How are they going to insert these blokes’ because their (replacements) were playing so well.
“There would be teams who would start out believing they could do what you’re talking about and giving these players weeks off, then you get injuries and pressure comes on your ability to play finals and make top four.
“What you say is an interesting point because (Edwards and Houli) now look like they’ve got plenty of football left in them.”