Richardson supports free agency in AFL - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Richardson supports free agency in AFL

29/05/2009 07:48:46 PM Comments (0)

Veteran Richmond star Matthew Richardson has thrown his support behind free agency being introduced in the AFL, but allayed fears it would lead to disloyalty among players.

Richardson, at 34 the oldest current player, said he supported the AFL Players' Association's moves to have free agency introduced by 2012 to provide an easier pathway for players to switch clubs.

"I think that free agency should come in, definitely," Richardson told FM radio station Vega on Friday.

"People say they're worried that all the big stars would leave clubs and move clubs, but over the history of the game not a lot of the real big names have actually moved clubs.

"Chris Judd (leaving West Coast for Carlton after the 2007 season) was one of the only ones, and we've just seen Nick Riewoldt re-signing (with St Kilda).

"Most players like to be one-club players, but there is going to be circumstances where free agency would be very, very good, so I'd support it."

Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson was also in support of a mechanism that allowed players to move clubs to rejuvenate their careers.

But Clarkson proposed the re-introduction of the mid-season draft, which was scrapped in the early 1990s.

Clarkson said the mid-season draft would help clubs address injury concerns, and also provide opportunities to young players in state competitions to earn a promotion.

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