North Melbourne AFL Club Sees Draft Windfall: Up to Four First-Round Picks to Rebuild Struggling Team

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The North Melbourne club is in line for a potential windfall, as they stand to receive up to four picks in the opening round of the AFL draft this year. This comes after being granted a series of draft concessions, one of which is a priority pick at the conclusion of the first round for the next two seasons. These concessions were extended in light of four seasons of underperformance.

The AFL’s incoming chief executive, Andrew Dillon, has verified the decision of the league commission to provide two years of support to the Kangaroos, who have not been able to go beyond the 17th position in the last four years.

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The club already has the No.2 and 14 picks in the first round of this season’s draft and stands a chance to gain another to compensate for the impending departure of free agent Ben McKay to Essendon.

The allocated assistance package comprises an additional first-round selection at the end of the AFL National Draft in 2023 and two supplementary selections at the end of the 2024 AFL National Draft. The Kangaroos are also expected to gain two rookie list spots for the 2024 season, replicating the benefit they received in 2023.

The team, which has managed to secure only 12 victories in the last 84 games, approached the AFL in search of aid. Dillon acknowledges the difficulty faced by a struggling team and emphasizes the importance of a strong competition for the AFL and its fans.

An endorsement of the club’s leadership led by President Sonja Hood, CEO Jennifer Watt, and the board convinces the AFL of North Melbourne’s trajectory towards improvement. This assessment validates the delivery of the special assistance package for the overall augmentation of the football program, reinforcing trust in the team’s staff, players, and supporters.

Despite its two-year term, the AFL Commission maintains the discretion to reevaluate the arrangements in 2024, contingent on the club’s on-field performance.

Jennifer Watt expressed gratitude to the AFL for considering the club’s difficulties and voiced optimism regarding the newfound flexibility for the club and coach Alastair Clarkson to draft budding talents, vital for advancement in the competition. They have communicated closely with the AFL to develop an assistance package, seeking improvement both on and off the field.

The official confirmation of gaining additional selections will allow North Melbourne more maneuverability towards progress, with ambitious plans to bring in both emergent draftees and experienced AFL players.

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