AFL lists 2021: Veterans Grant Birchall, Eddie Betts, Shane Mumford dropped from senior squads amid cost cuts

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Catherine HealeyThe West Australian
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Veterans Eddie Betts, Shane Mumford and Grant Birchall are all off to the rookie list.
Camera IconVeterans Eddie Betts, Shane Mumford and Grant Birchall are all off to the rookie list.

With the AFL announcing the salary cap decrease and amended rookie list rules, see all the list changes made on Wednesday.

Birchall dropped, Cox dumped

Cedric Cox is heading back to WA.
Camera IconCedric Cox is heading back to WA. Credit: Michael Willson/AFL Photos

Brisbane’s Cedric Cox has officially been delisted, just one month after he requested a trade back home to WA.

In a statement, the Lions confirmed Cox’s delisting was one of a number of list changes that also saw veteran Grant Birchall dumped from the senior list.

The Lions have now committed to re-signing Birchall – a four-time premiership player with Hawthorn - in the rookie draft, along with teammates Connor Ballenden and Rhys Mathieson.

Cox, originally from Halls Creek in the Kimberley’s, was taken by the Lions with pick 24 in the 2016 national draft.

He managed 13 games in his first three years at Brisbane, after making his debut in 2017, but failed to play in 2020.

“Unfortunately, we’ve had to farewell Cedric Cox and Mitch Hinge. We thank them both for their contributions to our Club and wish them all the best,” the Lions said in a statement.

Hinge will now head to Adelaide as a delisted free agent.

Betts drops out of squad

Carlton veteran Eddie Betts has dropped down to the rookie list for 2021.

With the AFL demanding clubs make a nine per cent decrease in Total Player Payments for 2021, the re-worked rookie list allows players to still play senior footy – but with $80,000 of their contract outside the salary cap.

“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,” Blues head of football Brad 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.”

Beams’ career now over

Collingwood and Dayne Beams have officially parted ways after a settlement was reached.

Beams, who remained contracted at the Pies, hasn’t played senior footy since 2019 after stepping away from the game for mental health reasons.

Dayne Beams is officially out at Collingwood.
Camera IconDayne Beams is officially out at Collingwood. Credit: Michael Willson/AFL Photos

“Some time ago it became apparent to me that the demands of the game, which for many years I thrived on, were not helping my recovery,” Beams said.

“Once I understood this it was easier to put my wellbeing and that of my family first.”

Giants’ big man retained as rookie

Shane Mumford will play on in 2021, from the Giants rookie list.

The 34-year-old, who has played 201 AFL games, will head into his 13th season under the new rookie list rule changes.

“With Shane, we know what he’s been able to provide on the football field, and his work beyond the field with our young rucks is equally as important,” Giants general manager of footy Jason McCartney said.

“Along with new recruit Braydon Preuss and young rucks Matt Flynn and Kieren Briggs, we feel we’re well placed to have a range of players vying for that position.”

The Giants also announced new deals for Daniel Lloyd and Callum Brown, while Sam Reid has been delisted with a promise to be re-drafted next month.

Another veteran heads to rookie list

Gold Coast has confirmed Jarrod Harbrow will move onto the rookie list for 2021.

He’ll be joined by Jack Hombsch, Jordan Murdoch and Zac Smith out of the senior squad.

Harbrow has played 188 games for the Suns since crossing from the Western Bulldogs.

Bulldogs make deal with Smith

The Western Bulldogs have delisted Roarke Smith with a promise to re-draft the 24-year-old next month.

Roarke Smith is set to get a Bulldogs lifeline.
Camera IconRoarke Smith is set to get a Bulldogs lifeline. Credit: Matt Roberts/AFL Photos

“Roarke showed some really promising signs during 2020, especially late in the year where he played the last four games including our elimination final,” Dogs list manager Sam Power said.

“At his best, we believe he can be an important player for us.”

Ben Cavarra and Will Hayes were delisted.

Saints recruit signs on

Jake Carlisle has signed a new one-year deal.
Camera IconJake Carlisle has signed a new one-year deal. Credit: Quinn Rooney/AFL Photos

Jake Carlisle has put pen to paper on a new deal at St Kilda, signing a one-year contract extension.

The former Bomber managed 13 games in 2020 before making the tough decision to leave his teammates in Queensland ahead of the finals to be at the birth of his child.

“Jake brings strength and a big body to combat some of the game’s bigger forwards, and we saw how important that ended up being in our return to finals,” Saints list boss James Gallagher said.

“With Jake recently becoming a father of three, we were happy to be patient as he weighed up his future and decided what was best for his family.”

Jack Lonie has also signed a one-year deal, along with rookie Sam Alabakis.

Demon forced into retirement

Former top five draft pick Kade Kolodjashnij has failed to overcome his battle with concussion symptoms and has officially retired from the AFL.

The talent junior has managed just two games in the past two seasons after arriving from the Suns.

“It’s disappointing it has turned out like this,” he said.

“I think coming into the AFL system you don’t expect to be retiring at 25 years old, but I have been fortunate enough to be at two great clubs.

“Unfortunately concussion got the better of me over the last four years or so.

“I wouldn’t take anything back, I have learnt and grown so much and just looking forward to the next phase of my life.”

Kade Kolodjashnij, shaking hands with Demons head coach Simon Goodwin, has been forced into retirement.
Camera IconKade Kolodjashnij, shaking hands with Demons head coach Simon Goodwin, has been forced into retirement. Credit: Quinn Rooney/AFL Photos

Brooksby gets AFL lifeline

Keegan Brooksby has managed just 15 AFL games in six years - but he’s earned a chance for another season after snaring a rookie list spot.

The 30-year-old will remain at Hawthorn after the club this morning confirmed they’d again grant him a rookie position despite featuring just once last year.

Hawthorn announced Changkuoth Jiath had also earned a new deal, but the news wasn’t as good for Harry Jones and Matthew Walker, who were delisted.

Roos make MORE changes

Defender Ed Vickers-Willis has become the 12th player cut by North Melbourne this off-season in a remarkable club shake up.

Shaun Higgins (Geelong) and Ben Brown (Melbourne) have also departed after a disastrous 2020 season.

Will Walker heads onto the rookie list for 2021.

Tigers dump rookie

Derek Eggmolesse-Smith’s Richmond career is over with the club not offering the 22-year-old a new deal.

Eggmolesse-Smith arrived at the Tigers as a rookie from the club’s academy and made his debut in 2019.

He played in Richmond’s 2019 VFL premiership and travelled with the team to Queensland after Bachar Houli’s decision to remain at home.

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