Footystats, footy's best kept secret The forgotten drafts

Footy's best kept secret ...

The forgotten drafts, 1981, 1982 ...


The forgotten drafts, 1981, 1982

They are noted in our Chronology and in the Victorian Football League Annual Reports of the time but elsewhere the drafts which were held by the VFL in 1981 and 1982 are almost never referred to, and for all purposes never took place, but they did and several players from other competitions took the opportunities presented to them as described below.

Each season when the League publishes its "Season Guide" more than 150 pages are devoted to all details of the drafts held beginning in 1986.

However ...

Page 29 of the VFL Annual Report of season 1981 records that in November, 1980, the VFL Board of Directors resolved to adopt a totally new approach to the recruitment of interstate players. The Permit Regulations of the League were amended to provide that, in future, players could only be registered with VFL Clubs through being drafted at an Interstate Selection meeting.

Previously, players were registered on Form 4's and clubs vied with each other for the signatures of the outstanding players from interstate clubs.

In accordance with the regulations of the "draft", the club which finishes at the 12th position has first choice at the Selection Meeting. The Premiership team has 12th choice. This procedure is then repeated with the 12th club on the ladder having 13th choice, and the Premiers, 24th.

The history-making first Interstate draft took place at VFL House (82 Jolimont Road, Jolimont) on Tuesday, 8th October, 1981 with the following players being selected by the clubs

  1. Melbourne, Alan Johnson (Perth, W.A.)
  2. Footscray, Neil Craig (Sturt, S.A.)
  3. St Kilda, Grant Campbell (East Perth, W.A.)
  4. South Melbourne, Mark Naley (South Adelaide, S.A.)
  5. North Melbourne, Craig Holden (Swan Districts, W.A.)
  6. Richmond, Peter Hofner (Port Adelaide, S.A.)
  7. Hawthorn, Ken Judge (East Fremantle, W.A.)
  8. Essendon, Wayne Otway (East Perth, W.A.)
  9. Fitzroy, Dean Turner (East Perth, W.A.)
10. Geelong, Tony McGuinness (Glenelg, S.A.)
11. Collingwood, Chris Carpenter (Launceston, Tas.)
12. Carlton, Ross Ditchburn (Claremont, W.A.)
13. Melbourne, Danny Hughes (Port Adelaide, S.A.)
14. Footscray, Trevor Klisby (North Adelaide, S.A.)
15. St Kilda, Geoff Linke (South Adelaide, S.A.)
16. South Melbourne, Phil Brooksby (South Adelaide, S.A.)
17. North Melbourne, Tom Warhurst (Norwood, S.A.)
18. Richmond, David Tiller (North Adelaide, S.A.)
19. Hawthorn, John Platten (Central District, S.A.)
20. Essendon, Stephen Copping (Glenelg, S.A.)
21. Fitzroy, Chris McDermott (Glenelg, S.A.)
22. Geelong, Greg McAdam (North Adelaide, S.A.)
23. Collingwood, Scott Knight (Launceston, Tas.)
24. Carlton, Chris Velde (Glenelg, S.A.)

Interstate Draft 1982

The second Interstate Selection (draft) meeting was held at VFL House (120 Jolimont Road, Jolimont) on the 19th October, 1982.

The League, attempting to make the competition more even, replaced the Form 4 method of Interstate recruitment, in which clubs vied for outstanding players, with the draft system in November 1980. The first meeting was held in October, 1981.

The club finishing in 12th position has first and thirteenth choice at the selection meeting. The Premiership team has 12th and 24th choice.

Players chosen in the initial draft who played VFL football in 1982 include Alan Johnson (Melbourne), Wayne Otway and Stephen Copping (Essendon) and Geoff Linke (St Kilda).

Copping, from Glenelg, S.A., was only 20th choice but had a particularly successful season.

Ross Ditchburn (Claremont, W.A.) played in Carlton's 1982 Premiership team.

The following players were selected by clubs for the 1983 season:-

  1. Footscray, Andrew Purser (East Fremantle, W.A.)
  2. St Kilda, Alan Sidebottom (Swan Districts, W.A.)
  3. Collingwood, Gary Shaw (Claremont, W.A.)
  4. Geelong, Baden Harper (Claremont, W.A.)
  5. Melbourne, Keith Thomas (Norwood, S.A.)
  6. Swans, Peter Motley (Sturt, S.A.)
  7. Fitzroy, Bill Lokam (North Adelaide, S.A.)
  8. Essendon, Brenton Phillips (North Adelaide, S.A.)
  9. North Melbourne, Richard Cousins (Central District, S.A.)
10. Hawthorn, Rod Lester-Smith (East Fremantle, W.A.)
11. Richmond, David Palm (West Perth, W.A.)
12. Carlton, John Simpson, Woodville, S.A.)
13. Footscray, Peter Walker (East Launceston, Tas.)
14. St Kilda, David Grant (City South Under 16's, Tas.)
15. Collingwood, Carl Herbert (Mayne, Qld.)
16. Geelong, Brad Hardie (South Fremantle, W.A.)
17. Melbourne, Ray Holden (West Perth, W.A.)
18. Swans, Greg Anderson (Port Adelaide, S.A.)
19. Fitzroy, Grant Fielke (West Adelaide, S.A.)
20. Essendon, Anthony Antrobus (North Adelaide, S.A.)
21. North Melbourne, Gary Macintosh (Norwood, S.A.)
22. Hawthorn, Greg Hodson (West Torrens, S.A.)
23. Richmond, Mark Howsley (Kedron, Qld.)
24. Carlton, Chris Gray (Swansea, Tas.)

Draft 1986

The first of the *National* drafts was conducted at VFL House on November 26, 1986 when 13 of the 14 clubs bound for the 1987 season participated. West Coast did not take part. Brisbane had first choice and were able to selected six players before the draft commenced

  1. Matthew Campbell (North Adelaide, SANFL)
  2. Stephen Connelly (Central District, SANFL)
  3. Ben Harris (Port Adelaide, SANFL)
  4. Neil Hein (Norwood, SANFL)
  5. Colin McDonald (Woodville, SANFL)
  6. Mark Mickan (West Adelaide, SANFL)

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