Minimum nine-round season needed for AFL contract triggers

The AFL season will need to run for at least eight more rounds for many players' trigger clauses to come into effect.

It is common for players to have games triggers in their contracts, meaning that they get extra money or an extra year on their club's list if they play a specified amount of games for the season.

With the season being reduced from its normal 22 matches per team to a planned 17 because of the coronavirus pandemic, players had been informed that trigger clauses will remain on a pro-rata basis, meaning for example that a player with an 18-game trigger in a 22-round season would only need to play 14 matches to reach that trigger in a 17-round season.

However player agents were told at a teleconference on Tuesday that the season would need to run for at least nine rounds in order for any of these trigger clauses to come into effect. The AFL Players' Association confirmed the move on Wednesday.

It means that if, for example, the season only lasts six rounds, players who have trigger clauses won't have them fulfilled even if they play all six games.

An exception has been made for first- and second-year players and rookies, whose trigger entitlements – enshrined in the collective bargaining agreement – will remain, albeit at the 50 per cent discount agreed to between the league and AFLPA last month.

The trigger-clause development emerged as the league released its official list of restricted and unrestricted free agents for 2020.

Seven players have qualified as restricted free agents, meaning their respective clubs will be able to match bids on them should they not re-sign before the free agency period, which could still be eight or nine months away given the prospect of the 2020 season running until deep into December.

Adelaide's Brad Crouch, Essendon's Joe Daniher, former Melbourne captain Jack Viney, Port Adelaide's Brad Ebert and Greater Western Sydney trio Jeremy Cameron, Zac Williams and Aidan Corr make up the magnificent seven.

Eighty-nine players qualify as unrestricted free agents. That group includes West Coast stars Josh Kennedy and Andrew Gaff, Carlton veterans Marc Murphy and Matthew Kreuzer and Geelong bookends Harry Taylor and Tom Hawkins.

Melbourne’s Jack Viney is one of seven players who will be restricted free agents.Credit:AAP

Richmond's All-Australian defender Bachar Houli also fits into the unrestricted category, as do Hawthorn's Ricky Henderson and Essendon's Shaun McKernan, neither of whom have been at their clubs for the standard eight seasons to qualify for free agency but both of whom qualify because they have previously been delisted.

Brad Crouch (Adelaide)
Joe Daniher (Essendon)
Jeremy Cameron (GWS)
Aidan Corr (GWS)
Zac Williams (GWS)
Jack Viney (Melbourne)
Brad Ebert (Port Adelaide)


Rory Atkins
Ben Crocker (rookie)
Kyle Hartigan
Ben Keays (rookie)
David McKay

Jacob Allison (rookie)
Grant Birchall
Matt Eagles (rookie)
Ryan Lester
Corey Lyons (rookie)
Stefan Martin
Sam Skinner (rookie)

Eddie Betts
Levi Casboult
Hugh Goddard (rookie)
Matthew Kreuzer
Callum Moore (rookie)
Marc Murphy
Kade Simpson

Tim Broomhead (rookie)
Lynden Dunn (rookie)
Ben Reid

Tom Bellchambers
Martin Gleeson
Mitchell Hibberd (rookie)
Shaun McKernan
Will Snelling (rookie)
Jacob Townsend (rookie)

Hugh Dixon (rookie)
David Mundy
Thomas North (rookie)

Gary Ablett
Tom Hawkins
Lachlan Henderson (rookie)
Harry Taylor

Jarrod Harbrow
George Horlin-Smith
Anthony Miles
Josh Schoenfeld (rookie)

Sam Reid (rookie)
Tom Sheridan (rookie)
Zachary Sproule (rookie)

Keegan Brooksby (rookie)
Shaun Burgoyne
James Frawley
Ricky Henderson
Darren Minchington (rookie)
Paul Puopolo
Isaac Smith
Ben Stratton

Harley Bennell (rookie)
Mitch Brown (rookie)
Nathan Jones
Corey Wagner (rookie)

Majak Daw
Taylor Garner
Kyron Hayden (rookie)
Ben Jacobs
Jamie Macmillan
Josh Walker
Mason Wood

Wylie Buzza
Riley Grundy (rookie)
Trent McKenzie
Cam Sutcliffe (rookie)
Justin Westhoff
Boyd Woodcock (rookie)

Bachar Houli

Ryan Abbott
Nathan Brown
Jarryn Geary

Jack Maibaum

Brendon Ah Chee (rookie)
Hamish Brayshaw (rookie)
Andrew Gaff
Shannon Hurn
Mark Hutchings
Josh Kennedy
Jamaine Jones (rookie)
Will Schofield

Tory Dickson
Taylor Duryea
Ryan Gardner (rookie)
Billy Gowers
Lin Jong
Roarke Smith (rookie)
Matthew Suckling
Jackson Trengove
Easton Wood

Source: Read Full Article