SANFL teams
In May 2019 the AFL conducted its first ever mid-season draft. The controversial draft allows AFL clubs to draw from state leagues to replace injured players after round 10, irrespective of the impact it has on state teams.

Five SANFL players were taken in the draft, with their SA clubs to receive no compensation. West Adelaide lost its two best midfielders, Glenelg lost the league’s top goalkicker and South Adelaide lost its ruckman.

No one is arguing that players should not be given the opportunity to play at the highest level.

But surely this could still be achieved by ensuring the draft takes place at the end of the season.

There are those in Melbourne who believe that the SANFL and other state competitions are just “feeder comps” to the AFL.

With respect, however, that is not the case. People follow their SANFL clubs in the hope that they will see them win the flag. And the main aim of any SANFL club is to win premierships.

Having a player drafted to play in the AFL is the cream, it is not the cake.

To dismiss the SANFL and other state comps as merely “feeder comps” for the AFL is completely disrespectful to the SANFL and its stakeholders.

This mid-season disruption comes at the expense of our SANFL clubs, their coaches, players, volunteers, members, sponsors and supporters.
Jake Parkinson, CEO, SANFL

We have a strong and vibrant state league. Decisions made that erode the vibrancy of the competition are not in the interest of Australian football.
Jake Parkinson, CEO, SANFL

The AFL have made a decision they see as being in the best interests of the AFL competition. The question is whether it’s in the best interests of the football industry.
Tom Hurley, Football Operations Manager, SANFL

The AFL has put its footmark on this and it shows little or no regard for any other league in Australia. We, like an AFL club, have our own aspirational goals, our budgets, we have sponsors, we have members, we have players. If any player, staff member or any other member of the club gains promotion through legitimate means then it’s terrific…but we’ve got a greater duty of care for the game.
Glenn Elliott, CEO, Glenelg Football Club

There’s no direct compensation. We’ve got a system where money flows up and down, we provide funding to the SANFL.
Andrew Dillon, AFL

The problem for the SANFL, the West Australian Football League and the various other state competitions is the AFL is both a competition and the “keeper of the game”. There is arguably no independent body balancing the best overall interests of the sport.
Neil Cross

The mid-season AFL draft looks set to cause an ‘unmanageable situation’ for state leagues
AFL criticised for having ‘little or no regard’ for state teams after players get poached in mid-season draft
AFL 2019: ‘Pillaged’ SANFL clubs have every right to be angry about mid-season draft