Half-forward Ricky Petterd ought to be a target for clubs in the upcoming national draft. Photo: Sebastian Costanzo
Melbourne has delisted eight more players as the radical overhaul of their senior list proceeds following the club's busy trade period.
Former senior regulars Matthew Bate, Ricky Petterd, Jamie Bennell and Liam Jurrah were will not be offered a contract with Melbourne in 2013, and Lucas Cook and rookies Jai Sheahan, Leigh Williams, Kelvin Lawrence are also being moved on.
The moves mean that seven players drafted below pick 35 at the national draft are now considered superfluous to Melbourne's needs, as coach Mark Neeld finishes assessing the playing stocks after a year in charge.
Bate, 25, played 102 games for the Demons since 2006 after being selected with pick 13 at the 2004 national draft. He played 12 games this season and only 19 in the past two seasons. Originally hailed as a leading forward, the 192cm left-footer was never settled in a permanent position after being tried in the midfield at VFL level.
Half-forward Petterd, 24, impressed with his courage and aerial ability early in his career, after being taken with pick 30 in 2006. Dogged by injuries thoughout his Demons career, he strove to add a defensive element to his game in 2011, but appeared to have lost confidence in his four appearances this season, and jumping Jack Jermey Howe may have taken his role at Melbourne. Petterd has managed 54 games, only twice stringing together more than 15 matches in a season.
Skilful, pacy, lightly-built flanker Jamie Bennell was nurtured through 51 games at both ends of the ground in three seasons by former coach Dean Bailey, but he played only six times this year under new coach Mark Neeld, before sustaining a season-ending knee injury in round 16.
Liam Jurrah is facing serious assault charges and had requested to be traded to a South Australian club to be closer to family. Originally recruited by Collingwood from a remote Northern Territory town, the often spectacular forward played 36 games, kicking 81 goals, after being nabbed in the 2009 pre-season draft. He was best by various injuries this season and played just one game in 2012. Jurrah was a Rising Star nominee in 2009, and led the Demons goalkicking in 2011, when he managed 18 games.
Key forward prospect Lucas Cook was Melbourne's no.10 selection in the 2010 national draft. He failed to register a senior game.
After the retirement of former captain Brad Green, senior players Jared Rivers (Geelong) and Brent Moloney (Brisbane) were allowed to move as free agents, and utilities Stefan Martin (Brisbane) and Cale Morton (West Coast) were traded. Melbourne has now offloaded 14 players since it ended the 2012 16th, with four wins.
The Demons are bringing in prized father-son selection Jack Viney, as well as senior recruits Chris Dawes, Shannon Byrnes, Cameron Pedersen and David Rodan. Highly-regarded key position prospect Jesse Hogan has also been recruited, but as a 17-year-old will be ineligible to play in the AFL until 2014.
Winds of change blow away high draft picks
High draft picks leaving Melbourne:
Cale Morton 4, 2007
Jordan Gysberts 11 2009
Lucas Cook 12, 2010
Matthew Bate 13, 2004
Jared Rivers 26, 2002
Ricky Petterd 30, 2006
Jamie Bennell 35, 2008
High draft picks still at Melbourne:
Jack Watts 1 2008
Jack Trengove 2 2009
Colin Sylvia 3 2003
James Frawley 12 2006
Nathan Jones 12 2005
Jack Grimes 14 2007
Lynden Dunn 15 2004
Luke Tapscott 18 2009
James Strauss 19 2008
Jeremy Howe 33 2010
Max Gawn 34 2009
Rory Taggert 36 2011
MORE TO COME