AFTER the completion of the 2012 AFL season the league will be revolutionised by the introduction of free agency.
For eligible players this will give them the ability to leave their current club, bypassing the draft and trade periods, and essentially pick their next employer themselves. For the AFL, this will be an unprecedented change.
In the lead up to the introduction of free agency Football Nation is running a series of articles by guest writer Sam Mills that will focus on what free agency will do to your club at the end of the season.
The 31-year old says that he wants to go on for a 15th season at the club and his coach John Worsfold says he is still part of the best starting side. However, the 2006 Norm Smith Medalist has had some injury problems this season, namely repeated shoulder dislocations. He made his return to the side in the Eagles win against the Cats, having not played since round two. I’m tipping Embley to stay on at the club for another season as West Coast charge their way into being a top 4 side. He is an unrestricted free agent.
There are differing reports coming out of West Coast. An article dated 5/07/12 says that Daniel Kerr has signed a new two-year deal, while an article on 29/07/12 says that he has just begun negotiations. Whatever has happened, Kerr will reamin at the club next season. After a few years below his standard on the field, Kerr has returned to form this year, averaging 22 disposals from 19 matches. The 29-year old is an unrestricted free agent.
The power-forward has recently come out in the media saying that he wants one more contract, and who wouldn’t when the Eagles are playing this well. The 29-year old has kicked 30 goals so far this season and looks threatening in the forward-line. He may be squeezed out of the side when all of LeCras, Kennedy and Darling are playing together, so a move to play more football next season may look enticing. He was however born in Perth, so that would be unlikely. Lynch will be there next year. He is an unrestricted free agent.
The 28-year old’s future at West Coast doesn’t look very goodr. Nicoski hasn’t played a match this season and has been ruled out for the remainder due to a hamstring injury. Something that is on his side however, is his 2011 season. From 25 games he kicked 41 goals and showed that he is still a great player at his best. West Coast seem to be developing players well in his absence, so next season he may not get a regular game. The unrestricted free agent might be tempted to go elsewhere to get game time, but he is a Perth boy, so the chances of that may not be big. He is an urestricted free agent.
The Eagles’ future is sound for the moment, with some great young players coming through. They have also already locked away Sam Butler, Darren Glass and Matt Rosa, who were coming out of contract at seasons end. Most if not all of th players above will remain at West Coast, wanting to be a part of this exciting new Eagles era.