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Radical change for TAC cup
Body: [quote]Radical change for TAC cup By Caroline Wilson December 8, 2005 New rules may help more former TAC Cup players get a place on an AFL list, despite missing out at a national draft. Photo: Ken Irwin Nineteen-Year-Old footballers will be allowed to play in the TAC Cup next season in the first age-related rule change in the under-18 competition's 14-year history. In a move likely to be applauded by most AFL clubs, along with advocates of the old under-19 system, Football Victoria will next week ratify a one-year trial period allowing each of the 12 TAC clubs to field two 19-year-olds in 2006. The move is also being greeted in some sections of the industry as a bid to combat a dearth of young talented ruckmen as well as an acknowledgement that VCE students playing in the under-18 competition often battle with double demands of school and sport. While Football Victoria chief Ken Gannon denied the move was a step towards the old system, he confirmed that "special cases" would now be given a second chance at entry into an AFL club. "We're allowing the clubs to apply for a maximum of two 19-year-olds per club with the cut-off date of April 30," Gannon said. "We get cases of players who have put all their energies into gaining a good VCE score and will perform better against the backdrop of university. "Then there are the seven-foot gangly ruckmen who might need an extra year to develop and other players might deserve a second chance because they missed being drafted due to injury." Essendon coach Kevin Sheedy said: "I think it's a pretty good idea. Who made the decision? There's been a shortage of ruckmen for years and when you think about it, it will also keep kids in Victoria possibly longer." Two years ago, several AFL clubs, along with key development officials, pushed for the TAC Cup age to be lifted by a year but the move, while hotly debated, was rejected by Football Victoria, which also oversees the VFL competition. "We can't justify it going to an under-19 competition for a whole range of reasons," Gannon said. He said the trial rule change was unofficially passed at a planning meeting 10 days ago and had not yet been communicated to AFL clubs. "We're not geared up to handling the whole drink-driving side of it, the prospect of older players mixing with younger players, and you have to remember that players are being drafted at 17 and a half and for every player we hold back, another younger player misses out on being drafted. We will trial this for a year and clubs will only be able to apply to us to field their own players from their own areas." Sandringham is one TAC club that has applauded the move, club chief Wayne Oswald confirming the team had already earmarked two over-age footballers to remain in the team next season: Brighton Grammar students Jake Muir and Andrew McGuiness. Muir is 194 centimetres and regarded as a potential AFL ruckman. McGuiness, a midfielder, captained his school in football and cricket this year but performed poorly at the draft endurance tests and has been invited back to Sandringham after making the decision to concentrate on football. Oswald said a condition at Sandringham would be that the 19-year-olds would not be allowed to captain the TAC team or win the best-and-fairest award and that the prospect of 19-year-olds playing against 16-year-olds would be carefully managed.[/quote]
Edited by: admin on 28/12/2008 - 02:16