Free agency to increase AFL trades: Eade - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Free agency to increase AFL trades: Eade

25/02/2010 06:00:53 PM Comments (0)

Western Bulldogs coach Rodney Eade expects trading to "go through the roof" as AFL teams adapt to free agency.

Clubs continue to react to Tuesday's historic announcement, with the league to have a limited system of free agency for the first time in late 2012.

As AFL operations manager Adrian Anderson revealed some more detail of how the system would work, Hawks coach Alastair Clarkson praised club president Jeff Kennett for voicing his concerns about the potential effects.

Adelaide coach Neil Craig said free agency would put the spotlight on the environment at a club, pointing to the Crows' ability to fend off Gold Coast interest in key forward Kurt Tippett.

Like most in the AFL, Eade felt free agency would come into the game at some point and he is generally supportive.

He expects trading, rather than free agency itself, to increase sharply once the new system starts.

"I really believe, I don't know that the free agency will go through the roof, I think a by-product will be trading will increase greatly," Eade said.

"I reckon clubs will be scared of the free agency, but I reckon it will free up trades a bit, I think that will go through the roof."

Kennett has been the one notable dissenter so far, slamming the league's decision to introduce free agency.

"They have produced a bowl of spaghetti," Kennett said.

Anderson said Kennett was "well entitled" to his opinions, but added the Hawks had backed free agency.

Clarkson said the game would face big challenges over the next two years, with the introduction of the expansion clubs and the onset of free agency, and backed his president for being prepared to voice a contrary opinion in the game.

"I admire our president for at least having the courage to speak his mind and put it out there," Clarkson said.

"There's a wave of emotion that perhaps suggests we should go to free agency, at least he's prepared to put his hand up and say 'no, I have some genuine concerns about where it could take the game'.

"He makes some good, solid points."

Anderson also revealed on Thursday that players' wages would help determine how clubs are compensated if they lose players through free agency.

Clubs will receive draft picks if they have a net loss of players, but on Tuesday the league said the formula was yet to be worked out.

"It will be based on a formula that looks primarily to the amount the player is being paid," Anderson told SEN.

"If he's paid at the top end of players in the competition, then the compensation will be at the higher end as well."

Craig said Tippett's decision last October to stay at the Crows, rather than take a lucrative contract with Gold Coast, showed the important of a club making it attractive for their players to stay.

"That's probably a good example for us, Kurt was happy to stay in this environment, he felt comfortable here, he felt it was going to help him maximise his potential," Craig said.

"So it was good feedback for us, he's been well remunerated as well, but that (environment) is probably the competitive advantage clubs are going to have to look for, because the salary cap's not going to change."

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