The AFL’s delisted free agency window opens on November 28 and will give a few lucky players another chance at the elite level.
Last year we saw Jarryd Lyons and Daniel Menzel among those picked up.
Lyons played 24 games for the Lions, averaging 24 disposals per game, while Menzel played seven for the Swans, kicking seven goals.
Previous examples like Tim Membrey, Joel Hamling, Mitch Robinson, Ricky Henderson, Matthew Wright, Lachie Keeffe and Michael Barlow show just how successful delisted free agency additions can be when they’re nailed.
This season looms as one of the strongest groups of delisted free agents since 2014 and here are a few of the players that deserve another shot.
Note: The likes of Jack Newnes and Tory Dickson have been linked to DFA moves, but are yet to be delisted.
1. Richard Douglas
The veteran of 246 games was moved on by the Crows, but has stated he wants to continue his career. The 32-year-old played the last seven games of 2019 and likely has enough in the tank to benefit a willing suitor.
Hypothetical targets: Gold Coast (need depth), GWS (Deledio replacement)
2. Nick Robertson
Robertson was a surprise delisting by the Lions after lining up in their Semi Final loss to GWS. The 24-year-old was linked with a move to the Giants in the trade period, however that did not eventuate. He played 73 games for Brisbane as a tough, inside midfielder.
Potential targets: GWS (already linked), Essendon (need inside midfielders), Fremantle (WA local)
3. Wylie Buzza
Buzza has been linked with a move to Port Adelaide according to The Age and will likely attract interest as teams look for ready-made key forward options. He played nine games for the Cats, stuck behind Tom Hawkins and Esava Ratugolea.
Potential targets: Port Adelaide (previous link), GWS (Patton replacement), Collingwood (key forward depth required)
4. Sam Murray
Murray’s manager has already come out and stated that his client wants to go on in 2020 and given he played 13 games for the Pies in 2018 before his ASADA suspension, he has the ability, it’s just a matter of a team wanting to take a punt on him.
Potential targets: Carlton (need half-back depth), Richmond (cheap Ellis replacement), Sydney (return to previous club)
5. Harley Bennell
Bennell seems the most likely to go around again in 2020, with his manager confirming on SEN that “half a dozen” clubs have shown interest. Bennell has apparently gotten over his troublesome calf issues and could reignite his career.
Potential targets: Sydney (previous link), Richmond (club culture), North Melbourne (outside class needed), Melbourne (outside class needed)
6. James Rose
Rose has had a dominant two seasons in the NEAFL, averaging 27 disposals per game for the Swans and kicking 35 goals in that time. The young midfielder couldn’t quite break into Sydney’s best side, but could thrive with greater opportunity.
Potential targets: Carlton (midfield depth), Gold Coast (general depth), Adelaide (return to South Australia)
7. Pat Kerr
In a similar boat to Buzza, Kerr is a 21-year-old key forward who could be worth a few more years of investment. The ex-Blue was second on the VFL goal kicking leaderboard before injuries and a drop in form late in the season saw him drop away.
Potential targets: Port Adelaide (need key forward depth), Collingwood (need key forward depth)
8. Kaiden Brand
Brand was likely squeezed out of Hawthorn’s list in favour of Sam Frost, managing five games in 2019. The key defender has played 43 games and is likely worth a shot for a team needing defensive depth.
Potential targets: Adelaide (key defensive depth), Melbourne (key defensive depth), North Melbourne (key defensive depth)