Clinton Young. Photo: Sebastian Costanzo
Hawthorn was angered and bewildered at the conclusion of the AFL’s first free-agency period, after losing premiership wingman Clinton Young for a late third-round draft choice.
The grand finalist was struggling to understand why compensation picks were attached to where clubs finished on the ladder and how Young, who agreed to join Collingwood yesterday as an unrestricted free agent, netted only pick 66.
Clubs who lost players were assigned compensation picks either in the first round, at the end of the first round, in the second round, at the end of the second round or in the third round.
The Hawks, who also lost defender Tom Murphy to Gold Coast for no compensation, are seeking clarification from the AFL’s manager of Total Player Payment assurance and advice, Ken Wood, who assigned the picks.
Clubs were told the compensation would not match what their players would have fetched on the open market, and that it was based on their age, new contract and other contract benefits.
Hawthorn football manager Mark Evans said there could be a ‘‘minimal difference’’ between a player the system determined to be a second- or third-round player.
‘‘That then becomes accentuated because the compensation is tied to our pick in the draft order for some unknown reason,’’ he said. ‘‘You could have two players of reasonably commensurate value, one at a club that’s finished low on the ladder and another at a club that’s finished high, and there could be more than 30 places difference between the compensation picks they draw.
‘‘How could anyone look us in the eye and tell us that’s a just system?’’
The Hawks had hoped to keep Young, who played 116 games and in the 2008 and 2012 grand finals and could not see why he was so lowly rated compared to other free agents.
St Kilda received a first-round pick, No.13, for Brendon Goddard’s defection to Essendon, while Port Adelaide was given two second-round picks — 30 and 31 — after losing Danyle Pearce to Fremantle and Troy Chaplin to Richmond. Geelong was not compensated for losing Shannon Byrnes to Melbourne, having recruited Demon Jared Rivers, while Adelaide received nothing for new Tigers forward Chris Knights.
The Demons finished with a third-round pick, No.49, after gaining Byrnes but losing Brent Moloney (to the Brisbane Lions) and Rivers. West Coast was handed a third-round pick (62) for losing Quinten Lynch to Collingwood.
‘‘Most of the other picks look to be around five to 10 picks away from where those players might have been picked in the draft. Our pick looks about 45 away,’’ Evans said. ‘‘Because we don’t know the formula, and because we didn’t get to see his contract given he was an unrestricted agent, we had no way of knowing what we were going to get.’’
Scott Gumbleton signed an improved one-year contract to stay at Windy Hill, leaving the Bulldogs free to pursue a trade for uncontracted West Coast midfielder Koby Stevens. Gumbleton had been offered a multiple-year deal to play for the Bulldogs next season and also drawn interest from Melbourne, Fremantle and, earlier, Carlton.
Stevens nominated the Bulldogs as his club of choice after also fielding interest from St Kilda and the Bombers.
The Bulldogs had considered Gumbleton their priority, as a key-position player, but his decision means the club can discuss a trade of pick 44 or 51 for the 11-game player.
Lachie Hansen re-signed for two years at North Melbourne, while Richmond traded ruckman Angus Graham to Adelaide. The Tigers gave away Graham and pick 50 for the Crows’ pick 40.
St Kilda was still pursuing young Sun Tom Hickey, with Collingwood also interested. The Suns want the Saints’ pick 13 for the promising ruckman.