Drop compensation picks, says player agent
PLAYER agent Marty Pask has urged the AFL to shed compensation picks to aid clubs and players during free agency.
Pask, the man who helped broker the deal that led to Bulldog Brian Lake shifting to Hawthorn, says the ''dreaded'' compensation pick, which must be used in the following national draft, needs to be shelved.
He claims Port Adelaide and St Kilda have already shown why change is required - the Power will secure one or two compensation picks for losing Danyle Pearce and Troy Chaplin, and the Saints will get one for losing Brendon Goddard.
Pask has predicted there won't be any more movement via free agency despite it running until October 22.
''The trade period will be full of trades this year but, unfortunately, free agency has fatigued and won't start again, particularly not when clubs are holding aces as compensation,'' Pask told The Age.
''Free agency was designed to allow a free-flowing and opportunistic process that can provide a pathway for players to secure a new club.
''It is apparent that clubs are using the compensation picks as a part of their planning when releasing a free agent from their club.
''As it stands, Port Adelaide and St Kilda have first-round compensation picks for losing their respected free agents.
''Both clubs can secure other free agents, particularly Port, which is in desperate need of mature players, but neither will. Both have succumbed to the loss of their mature more developed players and now will utilise the compensation picks to help ease the pain.
''But why should we reward clubs who have not been able to secure their talent? Similar to priority draft picks for poor finishing clubs, this process is rewarding mediocrity.
''Not only does it give clubs the opportunity of a free hit but it also creates a second chance to secure a highly credentialled younger player in the national draft.
''The clubs, in principle, are doing nothing wrong. In fact, what they are doing is smart. But the AFL needs to revisit this rule to ensure that it doesn't hold up opportunities in upcoming years.''
The AFL will not inform clubs which picks they have until October 19, when free agency ends.
The Saints, for instance, are expected to be given pick No. 13 for Goddard - immediately after their initial selection of No. 12, which they have already used in a deal for Tom Lee.
They are considering using that pick 13, if they get it, in a trade for Gold Coast's Josh Caddy.
''There are many potential flaws this compensation pick creates. The obvious, of course, is the logjam down the line,'' Pask said.
''Port Adelaide, for example, could potentially rate another one or two free agents but will not jeopardise their compensation pick.''