WITH the AFL Draft nearing teams are starting to make the final finishing touches with the veterans on their list. Wednesday marks the last day that players can re-sign with their team and one day later the delisted free agent period opens, leaving clubs free to sign players who have previously been delisted. Some of these players are more likely to find new homes than others with these eight near the top of the pile.
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Numbers That Matter: 26 years old, 117 games (1 in 2018), 39 goals
KICKING off the list somewhat surprisingly is Tom Liberatore, who we all expected to stay put with the Bulldogs. However, as the clock continues to count down, no offer has been signed by the famous Footscray name. There’s a high likelihood that some sort of deal or agreement is struck to keep Libba at the club, but it’s no longer a certainty.
Numbers That Matter: 26 years old, 108 games (16 in 2018), 73 goals
JORDAN Murdoch has been a solid servant at Geelong since arriving via the 2011 draft. Despite falling out of favour in Round 16, Murdoch earned a reprieve later this year to feature in the Cats final three games of the season. It might have done more bad than good with a seven touch performance against the Demons likely sealing the nail in his coffin. WIth Murdoch hailing from SA, don’t rule out the Crows or Port taking a rookie flyer on him to add some depth.
Numbers That Matter: 30 years old, 99 games (17 in 2018), 17 goals
IT’S unfair that Sam Rowe’s career game tally is stranded on 99, but sometimes life deals you a bad hand. Rowe knows all about that having battled back from testicular cancer in 2012 to stay on Carlton’s list for eight years. On the wrong side of 30, it seems like this could be the end of the road for his AFL career unless someone is desperate for ruck depth.
Numbers That Matter: 28 years old, 157 games (2 in 2018), 121 goals
PLAYING in a premiership in your first year of football is a rare feat. We saw Liam Ryan and Willie Rioli tick that off this season but way back in 2010 Jarry Blair was in their shoes. The former flag winner has been a regular for the Pies, but he has fallen out of the lineup lately playing just 14 games in the last two years. Someone could take a chance on him, but I have my doubts.
Numbers That Matter: 25 years old, 81 games (13 in 2018), 31 goals
ONLY a few days ago Freo’s former first-round pick celebrated his 25th birthday. With 81 games on his resume already and given his age, Sheridan will likely be offered a deal by someone once the delisted free agent period opens. Rumours have it the Giants are a team who is interested and it seems like Sheridan will be snapped up sooner rather than later.
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Numbers That Matter: 27 years old, 73 games (13 in 2018), 136 goals
THE hottest name in the free agent market right now is Dan Menzel. The former Cat missed over three and a half years of football thanks to multiple knee reconstructions. The former feel-good story struggled to close out 2018 and as a result, Geelong made the painful decision to axe the club favourite. He can still offer plenty of leadership and a team like the Saints or the Suns would be perfect to snap him up. Hell, I’d even take him at Freo.
Numbers That Matter: 27 years old, 70 games (12 in 2018), 2 goals
ONCE upon a time, Matt Dea saved the Bombers when they were at their lowest point. A former top-up player for the Dons following their supplement saga bans in 2016, Dea went on to add another 39 games to the career tally of 31 he previously gathered at Richmond. There’s a chance he gets rookie listed, but the VFL or another secondary league seems most likely.
Numbers That Matter: 25 years old, 69 games (10 in 2018), 35 goals
I was somewhat surprised to find out that Kerridge is only 25 years old. He already has 69 games under his belt at two different clubs with four seasons in Adelaide to begin his AFL journey. It seems like teams would rather take a chance on a draftee over someone who has already had two chances at jumpstarting a career and failed.
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