It has been reported that up to six current AFL players may have signed with the new Gold Coast team for 2011. With the new franchise receiving a truck load of concessions to help kick start their AFL debut next year, it seems they are already targeting the players they want, despite the fact they are contracted to their current clubs this season.
The names of these players are yet to be revealed, but Sydney Swans coach Paul Roos said that if the reports were true then the league should publish the names of these players.
“My message is that if the AFL and the AFL Players’ Association are saying that it’s within the rules and there’s nothing wrong with it, [then] come out and tell us who the players are,” Roos said.
Roos also added that he would not approve of any Swans player signing with the Gold Coast at such an early stage.
“I certainly wouldn’t be happy if a player had signed 12 months out from my footy club,” he said.
Other football codes have recently had problems when players signed with other clubs mid-season putting teams, players and fans in an awkward situation.
“We have been in the fortunate position where we haven’t had to deal with that situation that clearly has become a bit uncomfortable for rugby league people and obviously of recent times for the A-League,” he continued.
The Gold Coast may have bigger plans ahead as they attempted to lure some big names to the club. It’s no
secret that Gary Ablett Jnr is on top of their wish list and the number one player in the competition could be tempted by a bumper deal worth more than $1.5 million a season, which is more than he could be offered by Geelong under their salary cap.
With Ablett recently splitting with girlfriend Lauren Phillips, Geelong fans fear that the 25 year old may move north next season.
Gold Coast mayor Ron Clarke believes that Ablett would fit in perfectly at the AFL’s 17th club.
“They couldn’t have picked a more perfect time or player. He’s spectacular, he’s talented and his family are up here,” Clarke said.
Ablett’s brother Nathan signed with the Gold Coast last year, after walking out on Geelong in 2007 and his legendary farther also lives in the area. Clarke believes this could be the deciding factor in signing the Brownlow Medalist.
“His dad and brother are living up here now and so to me it would be ideal (for him to move),” he said.
Geelong may have to accept a draft pick as low as 26 for Ablett if the star makes the move. The compensation rule allows the Cats to store their pick up to four years which means they may get a better pick down the track, but if they choose to use the pick in next years compromised draft then they may have to wait until the end of the extended first round of picks.
From 2012 the Cats will be able to use their compensatory pick immediately after their first round selection, but with their premiership window closing, the Cats might be forced to use it this year.
After entering their under 18 team in the TAC Cup last season, the Gold Coast will play in the VFL competition this season before entering the AFL in 2011.
The club will receive nine first-round picks in November’s national draft and the right to recruit one uncontracted player from each of the current 16 clubs.