KFC SuperFooty TV: Is it time for a player loan system in the AFL?

The Gold Coast Suns are in the midst of a ruck crisis.

Skipper Jarrod Witts has suffered an ACL injury and will miss the rest of the year.

Zac Smith will be on the sidelines for another month, third string option Matt Conroy is recovering from an ACL injury and Sam Day is out indefinitely.

The big man drought prompted Richmond coach Damien Hardwick to pitch a player loan system, suggesting one of his young players could hypothetically join the Suns for a short period of time.


“We’ve got a young kid by the name of Samson Ryan that we’d love to loan them,” Hardwick told reporters on Wednesday.

“At the end of the day this kid – we’re really excited about what he’s going to bring – but we’ve got (Callum) Coleman-Jones, we’ve got Mabior Chol, we’ve got Samson.

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Jarrod Witts injured his knee against the Crows. Picture: Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

“So he’s sitting there playing forward in VFL footy. Not that I’d like to give them Samson if he’s playing against us, but anything that gives a player the opportunity to play at AFL [level] we should look at, absolutely.”

But could the system actually work? Michael Warner, Jay Clark and Jack Watts debated the topic this week’s episode of KFC SuperFooty TV.

“I’m sure a couple of my old coaches would have liked to have loaned me down to old Brighton for a few weeks over the years,” Watts joked.

“If it can help, when teams get in a real rut like the Gold Coast are with one position and it is probably mainly going to be a ruckman, it can have a pretty big effect on their year.”

However, not everyone was a fan of the radical plan.

“That’s their (the club’s) fault,” Warner said.

“They should have a back-up. I know they’ve got injuries but to me it is a war of attrition. List management is, at the start of the year, ‘I’ve got my list, you’ve got your list and who survives to the end has the best list’.”

Clark said the mid-season draft was enough respite for clubs.

“If kids are going well in the VFL, SANFL or whatever, bring them up but I don’t think you could loan out or trade a player mid-season,” he said.

Also on this week’s episode the guys spoke about Jack’s favourite goal, Kozzie Pickett, Harry McKay’s next deal and plenty more.

Originally published asKFC SuperFooty TV: Is it time for a player loan system?

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