Richmond Tigers coach Damien Hardwick takes an interest in AFL loan system

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Richmond coach Damien Hardwick has said he would like to see a loan system introduced in the AFL to give young players the opportunity to gain more playing time.

AFL club Gold Coast are in the midst of a ruck crisis, with co-captain Jarrod Witts (ACL) and youngster Matt Conroy (ACL) absent for the season and Zac Smith (knee) unavailable for at least a month.

As it stands, the Suns won’t be able to complete their ruck department until the June mid-season draft, but a football-style loan system would allow immediate reinforcement.

Hardwick cited the example of young Tigers ruckman Samson Ryan, who, due to the depth of Richmond’s ruck, is unlikely to be playing in his preferred position at the AFL or VFL level anytime soon, as a player who could benefit from it. .

Camera iconGold Coast ruckman Jarrod Witts is taken off the floor after injuring his knee at the weekend. Credit: Sarah Reed / AFL Photos/AFL photos via Getty Images

“Anything that gives a young player a chance to play, I love it,” Hardwick told reporters on Wednesday.

“We have a young child named Samson Ryan that we would like to loan (to the Suns).

“At the end of the day, this kid, we’re really excited about what he’s going to bring, but we’ve got Coleman-Jones, we’ve got Mabior Chol, we’ve got Samson – so he’s sitting there playing forward in VFL football. .

“Not that I would like to give them Samson if he plays against us, but anything that gives a player the opportunity to play at the AFL, I think we absolutely should think about.”

Loan schemes are common in world football, while the Australian A-League introduced an internal loan scheme for players under 23 in 2018.

Often, loaned players are not eligible to play against their parent club.

In the NRL last year, Melbourne’s Harry Grant and Wests Tigers’ Paul Momirovski traded clubs as part of a season-long loan deal, while some clubs also sent players in the form of loans to short term to the Warriors while based in Australia.

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