Carlton legend Eddie Betts has made the sacrifice to drop himself to the club’s rookie list for 2021 in a bid to solve a Blues list-management headache.
Betts confirmed his decision to play on for one more year two weeks ago with the Blues announcing the 33-year-old will go around one final time.
Blues head of football Brad Lloyd said in a statement on Wednesday Betts agreed to the “selfless” act to allow the Blues to enter the 2020 AFL Draft without needing to de-list further players.
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Betts’ sacrifice will still allow him to extend his career into a 17th season.
The value of his contract signed earlier this month is not impacted by his demotion.
“We approached Eddie about the possibility of making this decision and as soon as Eddie knew how this opportunity would help the club, he agreed straight away,” Lloyd said.
“Eddie’s selfless act is another example of how committed he is to our football club, his teammates and his willingness to do whatever he can to help this group in its pursuit of success.”
The Blues have also confirmed midfielder Matthew Kennedy will be retained for 2021 on the club’s rookie list.
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Eddie may be the most loved player in footy.Source:News Corp Australia
The Blues were prepared to select Kennedy in the pre-season draft later this year, but have now ensured there is no risk of losing him by placing him on the rookie list.
“It is also a terrific result that we have been able to re-contract Matthew now, without having to endure the wait until the rookie draft. Matthew was keen to stay at the Club and we wanted to keep him, so to have that finalised now is a great outcome for all parties.
“We would like to acknowledge the AFL for delivering a rule this off season that removes that unnecessary anxiety that can exist in the lead up to a draft for uncontracted players.”
The two moves come after the AFL confirmed some big changes for squad management next year.
Clubs have been advised that for the 2021 a maximum of two players who were previously on a club’s 2020 Primary List can be transferred to the club’s 2021 Category A Rookie List.
The Blues’ wheeling and dealing before the national draft is now concluded.
Betts kicked 13 goals in his 15 games in the COVID-19 impacted 2020 season and said Carlton felt like “home” when his new contract was announced earlier this month.
“I’ve loved every minute of being back home at the cub this year, but it hasn’t felt the same without all our members and supporters, I can’t wait to play in front of them and play for them again next season,” Betts said.
“My number one priority next year will be playing good football and doing everything I possibly can to help this club win games and earn the success we have been working towards.”
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