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A SIGNIFICANT change to the Academy and father-son bidding system has been proposed to prevent clubs from making ‘dummy bids’. 

Under the current system, which was introduced in 2015, clubs which have rights over aligned players are given the option to match with their next pick or number of picks after a bid comes, dependent on how many draft points they need to make up to equal the total of the number where the bid is placed.

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But experienced and senior Sydney list and recruiting boss Kinnear Beatson has put forward a revamp to the system to avoid clubs from placing bids on players purely to force a rival to select them.

Beatson told the Road to the Draft podcast that the current system needed a change. 

“I don’t think it’s ever perfect,” he said.

“The one problem I do have with it is if you finish high on the ladder and you play off in the preliminaries or the Grand Final and your pick is 16, 17 or 18 and you’ve got an elite talent that you’ve legitimately done the work with in your Academy and someone at pick seven to 10 bids on your player, given that your pick is 16, 17 or 18, you’ve really got no option but to match the bid.

“But if the rules were that if you bypassed on the bid and you came up in the draft order to the very next pick, then game on. You’ve got a decision to make. But at the moment you’re disadvantaged because of finishing high on the ladder.”

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For example, in 2014 the Swans had first access to Academy star Isaac Heeney. They held pick 18 at the draft that year but matched a pick from Melbourne, which came at pick No.2, for Heeney.

Although that was under the AFL’s previous bidding system, under this scenario in current times the Swans would have had to match the points associated with pick two and then moved up the board to select him at No.2.

But Beatson believes the market price assessed by a club that puts in the bid for an Academy or father-son player means their tied club should still be able to move up the order if they don’t decide to match the bid. 

“My understanding of the bidding system is to try to find market value for the player. At the moment it can be a little bit subject to fake bidding to force clubs to match a bid and there’s no incentive in that particular situation not to match the bid, because your pick’s going to be at 18,” he said. 

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“But if a club is saying legitimately that Isaac is pick 2 and we disagree with that because we rate the player with the very next pick higher then OK, let Isaac go into the talent pool because that’s the market value determined by other clubs, and we’ll have the next pick.

“To me that would be a better option. We’ve floated that a little bit with the AFL but with not a lot of traction as yet.” 

The Swans will again be busy at the bidding table at next month’s NAB AFL Draft with Academy prospects Braeden Campbell and Errol Gulden tied to the club. 

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The pair are among more than 10 players who are likely to find homes via father-son or Academy links at this year’s heavily compromised draft.

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