The AFL’s brutal roster culls have continued with the Gold Coast Suns on Thursday confirming seven of their players would not have their contracts renewed next season.
After playing four games for the Suns, former first-round draft pick Corey Ellis was one of the unlucky seven named.
Josh Schoenfeld, Mitch Riordan, Sam Fletcher along with academy graduates Jesse Joyce, Jacob Dawson and Jacob Heron were also informed they would need to look elsewhere if they wish to take part in the 2021 AFL premiership.
Watch the 2020 Toyota AFL Finals Series on Kayo with every game before the Grand Final Live & On-Demand. New to Kayo? Get your 14-day free trial & start streaming instantly >
Meanwhile, two other squad members who have battled injury since signing with the Suns in 2018 — former Geelong player George Horlin-Smith and ex-Tiger Anthony Miles — announced their retirements on Thursday.
Miles said: “I probably haven’t had your typical 10-year career, but I am extremely grateful for the opportunities that my journey has afforded me.
“The people I have met throughout the industry have helped to shape the person I am today, and that’s something that won’t be lost on me as I take the next steps in my career.”
Horlin-Smith said: “My time at Geelong afforded me a host of experiences, including my debut game, however I want to also thank the Suns for the opportunity they gave me to continue my career.
“I will forever be grateful for the people I have met throughout the AFL, but I want to also take this opportunity to acknowledge the hard working support staff that work tirelessly to help us, as a playing group, perform at our best every week.”
Former St Kilda coach Ross Lyon has called on the Sydney Swans to sign GWS Giants star Jeremy Cameron.
Sydney finished 16th on the AFL ladder this year after recording just five victories in their 18 regular season encounters.
After Lance Franklin suffered a season-ending injury during the coronavirus lockdown, the Swans were starved of high-quality tall forwards.
But since Cameron is yet to finalise his whereabouts in 2021 and beyond, Lyon has pleaded for Sydney to target the 27-year-old while they can.
“They’ve got a tall dilemma. They need to get a key back and ruck in and another key forward that steps up and supports Buddy,” Lyon explained on Channel 9’s Footy Classified.
“If I’m the Swans, I’m sitting there thinking Cameron’s in our backyard out of contract, maybe you’re having a crack at him.
“If you’re going to look at someone you may as well start at the top and he’s free. That would put the cat among the pigeons.”
Despite having a year remaining on his contract, Port Adelaide utility Jack Watts has announced his retirement, effective immediately.
A former No. 1 pick, Watts notified the club of his decision this week. After signing with Port Adelaide in 2017, the 29-year-old suffered a serious leg injury last year, and has not played a competitive game since.
He kicked 161 goals in 174 games since making his AFL debut in 2008.
READ MORE: AFL world reacts to bold move
“I have been thinking long and hard about my future for a while and contemplating retirement,” Watts said in a statement.
“Since my injury, I feel my body has let me down and I have been struggling with the physical and mental requirements of getting back to the level of fitness that’s required at AFL level.
“Speaking with Ken (Hinkley) and Chris (Davies) and my manager in the last few weeks, it feels like the right decision for me to step away and look for new challenges in the next phase of my life.
“I feel lucky to have had 12 years in the game and while there have been some challenges, there have also been some amazing memories both at Melbourne and Port Adelaide.
“I’m so grateful for all of the opportunities and experiences footy has given me and the friendships I will take with me away from the game.
“I’m not sure what the future holds just yet but I’m looking forward to some time away from the limelight.”
Port Adelaide senior coach Ken Hinkley said: “We all know Jack’s football ability, and we would have liked to have seen him on the field a lot more for our club.
“People might not realise just how important and loved he is around our playing group because of his character.
“Jack always has a way of lifting everyone’s spirits, even when things weren’t going so well for him in the last couple of years. He’ll be missed around the group.”