The AFL is set to change its Next Generation Academy rules to disallow clubs having access to top talents under the program.
The AFL will put into place a 'protected' zone for NGA players in the first 20 picks of the draft.
It means from 2021 Academy players, such as Jamarra Ugle-Hagan with the Bulldogs and Lachie Jones for Port Adelaide this year, who attract bids in the first 20 picks will fall into the open pool with their NGA clubs not being able to match the bids.
Under the revised rules, players who attract bids in the 20-40 range will have to be matched under usual Academy rules while all players selected from pick No.41 onwards can be matched by their club using the next available selection.
The phase out of the NGA program will continue in 2022, with bids on nominated NGA prospects only able to be matched from pick 41 onwards.
The changes have come into place after an explosion of players, such as the potential No.1 pick Ugle-Hagan this year, joining clubs under the NGA rules in recent years, with Isaac Quaynor at Collingwood and Tarryn Thomas at North Melbourne other first-round selection under the Academies.
Clubs will be investing far less into the programs in coming years as a result of COVID-19s financial toll on the competition but the remaining links of the NGA rules allow for late prospects to still make their way onto an AFL lists through the assistance of the NGA scheme.
In other news, clubs were shown a proposal on Wednesday where there will be active and inactive lists in the AFL instead of a mid-season draft.
There will be three periods where clubs can nominate a previously undrafted or eligible player to their respective rookie lists throughout the season – after round four, eight and 12.
In the case of the same player being nominated by two or more clubs, the player will go to the team lower on the ladder under a rolling process.
The AFL will discuss the model further with both AFL and state league clubs over the next month with the view to finalising whether it is introduced in the 2021 Toyota AFL Premiership Season.
The pre-season supplementary selection period (SSP) will operate again next year and begin on January 6 through to the start of the 2021 season.