Joe Daniher, son of Bombers champion Anthony Daniher, is one of the potential first-round picks. Photo: Paul Rovere
THE AFL will put a new format in place for father-son bidding this year, to deal with the number of potential first-round picks likely to be nominated and prevent the system from being manipulated.
Rather than offer the nominated players to clubs one by one, in reverse ladder order, the league will instead present them as a group.
For example, should the ladder remain the same, Gold Coast will first be asked if it would like to bid its No. 1 pick on any of the nominated players.
Essendon and Melbourne have already committed to Joe Daniher and Jack Viney, while Collingwood is still considering James Stewart, the son of 115-game player Craig. Lachlan Hunter, son of former Footscray defender Mark, is being contemplated by the Western Bulldogs, while Damian Bourke's son Jordan could opt to sign with Geelong as a father-son pick or with the Suns as a Queensland zone selection.
Should Gold Coast bid, hypothetically, for Daniher, Essendon would then be asked if it wanted to match the bid with its next available pick. If the Bombers did that, the Suns would then be given the opportunity to bid for one of the other players. Those remaining would be offered to GWS, Melbourne and the rest of the clubs, in reverse ladder order.
This process means that Essendon would not, as an example, be able to find a loophole in the system that snuck Daniher through to the second round.
Under the previous format, there would have been potential for the Bombers to bid their first-round pick on, say, Stewart, if he was the first player offered up for bids. Had Collingwood declined to match that bid the Bombers could have taken him, then used their next choice, in the second round, to snare Daniher.
Clubs must nominate their father-son draftees by the end of draft camp, the week after the grand final, with bidding held at the start of the trade period the following week.
Daniher and Viney are considered definite first-round talent, while some clubs consider Stewart a possible late first-round or second-round prospect.