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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 29 November 2014
SATURDAY 29 NOVEMBER 2014 29 SPORT AFL simplifies tribunal system The AFL has overhauled its controversial tribunal system, saying the changes will make it more simple. The league has abandoned the use of base demerit points, with offences to be categorised as suspensions or fines. There will also no longer be any carryover points for any offences. Rather than rate conduct in any offence as negligent, reckless or intentional, the match review panel will now rule whether it is intentional or careless. The current system had been in place since 2005 and was becoming increasingly unpopular because of inconsistent rulings and penalties. The match review panel will now issue fines and two- or three-game suspensions. More serious cases will be referred directly to the tribunal. The bad record provision will be made more simple so a player will receive a maximum of an extra game on his penalty. Players can still take discounts for early pleas, one of the key features of the old system. A player's eligibility for the Brownlow Medal will still rely on whether he was suspended during the season. There will also be more fines for low-level offences, but the match review panel can suspend repeat offenders in a season. "The AFL has been examining the MRP process for more than 12 months, and our focus has been to retain the excellent parts of the system while simplifying its operation and ensuring that appropriate penalties are in place for offences," said AFL operations manager Mark Evans. Spartans enter pre-season The club is still on the lookout for strong players to help the team enter the VADA Club 18 section With their minor premiership still in the minds of the Hawthorn Spartans, the team has entered pre-season training this week. Starting their 2015 campaign on Wednesday at the Alphington Grammar ovals, the Spartans are working on getting a strong team back together. Some players have retired or moved on, and while the side is slightly depleted, the team has some new players to throw in the mix. The club still has a lot of work to do to get ready for a new league. Promoted since their minor premiership this year, the club will now venture to the top division now of the VAFA Club 18 Section. For interested players hoping to join the Greek sponsored amateur club, contact George Demetriou at firstname.lastname@example.org or 0409 022 909. Key dates for pre-season training: December 3, 10 and 17 at Alphington Grammar, 18 Old Heidelberg Road, Alphington, Victoria. Number 1 draft pick Paddy McCartin (C) with the top 10 draft selections. PHOTO: AAP/DAVE HUNT. St Kilda eyes rebuild with Paddy McCartin The Saints hope McCartin will be the successor to captain Nick Riewoldt as their main key forward Hawthorn Spartans back in training mode. PHOTO: KOSTAS DEVES. Paddy McCartin and Hugh Goddard could prove St Kilda's version of the boom 2004 draft that helped set up Hawthorn for AFL domination. After weeks of speculation, the Saints used the No.1 pick at Thursday night's draft on the Gold Coast to recruit McCartin. They hope he will be the successor to captain and alltime great Nick Riewoldt as their main key forward. The Saints used their next selection at 21 to recruit Goddard, another key position player and the cousin of former St Kilda star Brendon. AFL talent manager Kevin Sheehan compared McCartin and Goddard to when Hawthorn used pick No.2 in the 2004 draft to recruit Jarryd Roughead and then called out Lance Franklin at No.5. "The Saints might just have their bookends," said Shee- han of the former Geelong Falcons TAC Cup teammates McCartin and Goddard. Roughead and Franklin became one of the league's most formidable key forward double acts. Two months ago Roughead became a three-time Hawthorn premiership player, while the lure of a massive free agency deal sent Franklin to Sydney this season after two flags with the Hawks. Saints coach Alan Richardson said they had high hopes for McCartin, but know he will need time. "We didn't call out the name to win the Rising Star next year," Richardson said. "Long term, we think he's going to be the man. "There will be a fair bit said about the fact he's a forward and we need him - but it's as simple as we rated him as the best player." The Saints have been im- pressive with their No.1 picks - Riewoldt was the first name called in 2000 and Brendon Goddard joined them two years later. Their key forward succession plan swung into action within seconds of McCartin walking off stage once his name was called at the draft. He immediately was talking to Riewoldt on the phone. "It was unbelievable - I walked out and they passed me a phone and I saw his face there,” McCartin said. "He's one of the best forwards the game's ever seen so I'll go in there, be a bit of a pest, annoy him and learn as much as possible." It completes a massive week for the Saints, who finished last this season. On Monday, Riewoldt announced he would keep playing for at least two more seasons. But the Saints' problems on and off the field were also highlighted when they revealed a $2.4m loss for the year. The Saints chose McCartin ahead of midfielder Christian Petracca, who then went to Melbourne at pick No.2. The Demons used the third Paddy McCartin has been picked to become a successor to Nick Riewoldt. PHOTO: AAP/DAVE HUNT. selection on Petracca's friend Angus Brayshaw, another onballer. There were few major surprises in the first round, although Nakia Cockatoo was a bolter. The midfielder went to Geelong at No.10 - their first top-10 draft pick since current captain Joel Selwood in 2006. Cockatoo was injured this year and his only game was the AFL grand final curtain raiser - where he was best afield.
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