Best On Ground: Door still open for delisted cohort

WORTH A PUNT?: Former St Kilda footballer Matthew Parker is searching for a new AFL club. Picture: Morgan Hancock
WORTH A PUNT?: Former St Kilda footballer Matthew Parker is searching for a new AFL club. Picture: Morgan Hancock

THE trade period is over but the door remains open for players searching for a new AFL home.

Delisted free agency gives clubs a chance to select a footballer without giving up anything in return; a freebie if you like.

If it doesn't work out then there's no harm done. If it's a success then hats off to the shrewd recruiting team.

Josh Walker became a mainstay for North Melbourne in 2020 - his strong marking a highlight - after he was let go by Brisbane and former St Kilda regular Jack Newnes settled into life at Carlton, playing 17 games and kicking the match-winner against Fremantle.

The Supplemental Selection Period also provides a path to the elite level.

This year former Geelong small forward Jamaine Jones earned an early club debut for West Coast before a season-ending hamstring injury. He was picked up in March.

SECOND CHANCE: Jamaine Jones, pictured opposed to Port Adelaide's Connor Rozee, is now a West Coast Eagle. Picture: Getty Images

SECOND CHANCE: Jamaine Jones, pictured opposed to Port Adelaide's Connor Rozee, is now a West Coast Eagle. Picture: Getty Images

The rookie draft can reignite careers too.

Ben Keays established himself in Adelaide's midfield this season after being squeezed out of Brisbane's best 22 and Lachie Henderson was one of the feel-good stories of the year.

Geelong axed key defender Henderson at the end of the 2019 season, only to give him a lifeline as a rookie.

He went onto play in the grand final.

So who of this year's delisted group will a club take a punt on?

Injury-prone key defender Matthew Scharenberg is a former top-10 pick who looked the part when he took to the field for Collingwood. He's still only 25 too.

Mature-age rookie Matthew Parker burst onto the scene with St Kilda in 2019 but found it tougher to earn a spot in year two.

Dynamic with pace, a club could find a spot for him.

Oscar McDonald is a key backman who was let go by Melbourne after 81 games in six seasons. At 24, he's only just coming into his prime.

Will a club land a bargain buy?

This week's edition of Best On Ground was written by Warrnambool Standard sports journalist Justine McCullagh-Beasy.

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This story Door still open for delisted cohort first appeared on The Standard.