General Manager – Recruiting and List Strategy Kinnear Beatson sits down with Sydney Swans media following the completion of the 2020 trade period. 

The list management team now turn their attention towards the National Draft in December.

Read the full interview below.

Swans Media: What is ahead for the list management team ahead of the National Draft in December?

Kinnear Beatson: The process for us will be to follow up on all of the available information of players that we are considering in the draft. That will be things like medicals, psychology reports and character references. A large percentage of that has already been carried out by Simon Dalrymple and Ross Monaghan. Chris Keane and I will continue to look at how the club can continue to improve our hand in the draft in terms of accumulating draft value index points if we wish to match bids for Swans Academy players. Next week we will have a meeting with the coaches to give them an outline of the players that are likely to be considered at selection 3 and what the rest of our plans for the draft will be. We will also give them a bit of an idea of the machinations of the bidding system and the ramifications that has on this year’s draft but also potentially the 2021 draft.

SM: How difficult has it been planning for this year’s draft given the lack of development football and travel due to COVID-19?

KB: Whilst we have been able to watch a fair bit of football from other states this year via live streams, we still haven’t been able to get to watch them live in person. The preference would be to watch them live to be able to look at things like body language, defensive attributes and work ethic when things aren’t going there way. All of those things are critically important when we are making a decision on players. It has also been complicated in that we haven’t been able to watch the Victorian kids at all other than a couple of practice games way back in March. We have barely seen what has happened to those players bodies and how they have changed over that six-month period. We are hoping that AFL Victoria will get permission to run a few training sessions with those kids where recruiters can go and watch them, but we are waiting on clarification on that from the Victorian government. 

SM: From what you have seen what is this draft pool like?

KB: It is an interesting draft for a number of reasons. At the elite end of the draft there are quite a number of talented talls which of recent years hasn’t been the case. There is a couple of players coming back from knee injuries in Elijah Holland and Tanner Bruhn who are both very good players. So those sorts of situations are going to have to be assessed. There are also a lot of players available to clubs through Father-Son, Next Generation and Northern Academies so that is going to have an impact on the draft. 

SM: How exciting is it that we currently hold pick 3 in the Draft?

KB: To have a live pick that high in the draft is really exciting. The last time we had a pick that his was when we matched the bid for Callum Mills at pick 3. History suggests that the earlier they are taken in the draft the more likely they are to have long and successful careers in the AFL. Simon (Dalrymple) has been focussing on that pick and talent for the majority of the year and my focus has been around list strategy and the trade period.

SM: Delisted free agency is also an option over the next few months, do you see the club getting involved in that process?

KB: You never say never but we are more likely to proceed with our plans for the draft. We may have a look at players that may be available as rookies depending upon AFL rules which we still haven’t had confirmed in writing from the AFL. We understand the difficulties for all parties including the AFL and Players Association regarding the new CBA but it has made it difficult for clubs in terms of planning when you don’t know what list sizes and the total player payment will be.

SM: Kinnear thanks for your time today and good luck.

KB: Thanks for having me.