Correspondence: Noel Judkins. Photo: Pat Scala
A part-time Collingwood recruiter has been sacked for passing on information about players to Essendon, an action that prompted the Magpies to alert the AFL about possible draft tampering.
Collingwood dismissed recruiter Noel Judkins immediately after the 2013 draft in November, having discovered what is understood to be about 30 emails between the popular veteran recruiter and Essendon recruiting manager Adrian Dodoro.
The emails are understood to have included scores of player critiques.
Got your back: Mark Thompson and Adrian Dodoro. Photo: Pat Scala
Dodoro had approached Judkins, a former senior recruiter at Windy Hill, about returning to the club in a recruiting role, an offer that Judkins subsequently accepted. That is understood to have prompted a flow of emails between the pair.
Collingwood's IT department is understood to have discovered the emails in August and moved to marginalise Judkins from detailed discussions from that point.
Judkins, who was the Essendon recruiter before moving to Collingwood in 1997, has worked part-time over recent years. He would be sent video of players to review and had access to scouting reports and other recruiting information.
Collingwood recruiting manager Derek Hine dismissed Judkins immediately after the draft. Collingwood chief executive Gary Pert then contacted acting Essendon chief executive Ray Gunston and presented him with the emails.
Collingwood also contacted AFL integrity officer Brett Clothier and legal counsel Andrew Dillon to alert them to the matter, believing that Dodoro's behaviour, in particular, could have had the potential to constitute behaviour prejudicial to the draft.
Essendon is understood to have dealt with Dodoro and both Collingwood and the league were satisfied that no further action should be taken.
Judkins told the AFL website that he had not leaked to Essendon details of Collingwood's draft strategies.
''All I know is that Adrian [Dodoro] approached me to go back [to Essendon],'' he said.
''I emailed him quite a few times, but there was nothing to do with Collingwood's [draft] strategies or anything.
''I just made comments about Essendon's list - as you would if you were going for a job.''
The unusual correspondence between Dodoro and Judkins occurred as Essendon was being investigated by the AFL for its supplements regime, which occurred in an environment of what the club accepted was pushing the boundaries.
Collingwood and the AFL declined to comment on Friday, while Essendon told Fairfax Media the matter had been dealt with and there would be no further action taken.
Essendon had been excluded from the first two rounds of the draft (the Bombers later traded back to pick 26), while Collingwood had picks 6, 10, 65 and 77.