Liam Hunt not allowed to play with another Club
AFL Victoria has declared it will block 2017 Coburg best and fairest Liam Hunt from playing at another VFL club this year.
Hunt walked out on the Burgers two weeks ago and was cleared to Northern Football League club North Heidelberg.
The Lions delisted him after receiving “financial compensation’’ from North.
There has since been talk other VFL clubs will try to sign the tall onballer before the clearance cut-off at the end of June.
Williamstown coach Andy Collins today declared the club’s interest in Hunt, a member of the 2017 VFL team of the year.
He said AFL clubs recruiters had spoken about Hunt last year.
“Liam Hunt should be playing in the VFL, not local football,’’ Collins said.
But AFL Victoria state league and talent manager John Hook contacted Leader this afternoon saying that under no circumstances would the league allow Hunt to play at another VFL club his season.
“No,’’ he said. “The fact is, he was a contracted player at Coburg and he decided he wanted to go and play community footy at North Heidelberg,’’ Hook said.
“Coburg released him and now there’s some talk he might want to play VFL again. To me that would be exploiting the rules and I won’t allow that.
“Williamstown rang me about it when they saw the delisting by Coburg … and I told them there and then I would not allow it because of the possible exploitation of the rules … he (Hunt) made the decision that he didn’t want to play VFL and he wanted to play community footy. Coburg then made the decision to release him.
“But we cannot have this … because this would be a potential manipulation of the lists and of our rules, players saying they’re going to community footy and a week later saying, sorry, now I want to be on Williamstown or Richmond or whoever’s list.
“He’s made his decision. He’s made his decision he wants to leave VFL footy and play at North Heidelberg. That decision has been done between the two clubs. So if he wants to play VFL footy, fine. But it will be in 2019, not 2018.’’
Hook added: “I agree with Andy Collins. He should be playing VFL. But he should be playing at Coburg.’’
He said he was disappointed the Lions and Hunt had parted ways.
Hunt played against Frankston in Round 6 but was dropped for disciplinary reasons in Round 7. He told the Lions he was leaving the state league because of a combination of work demands, a lack of enjoyment and the chance to play with his brother Hayden at North Heidelberg.
Hunt told Leader last week: “I still feel like my VFL time is not done and I’m not sure if I’m going to finish off at another footy club for the rest of the year.
“I still feel like I’m young enough and good enough to give it a red-hot crack.
“I’m just not going to stay at local footy and be comfortable, that’s for sure, I still think I’ve got the drive to keep moving forward and keep going.”
Hook said clubs other than Williamstown had contacted him about Hunt and he had ruled out him being cleared this year.