Thursday, 5 July 2012
The AFL Players' Association is cracking down on player agents amid concerns about agents using social media to lure young clients, the afl.com.au website reported on Thursday.
Some junior club representatives claimed players as young as 15 were receiving congratulatory letters from player agents, and one club complained of a player agent organising and paying for a limousine for a potential client's school formal.
Clubs in Victoria's TAC Cup junior competition have also confirmed instances of players being approached by managers via facebook and Twitter.
This has resulted in a change to the AFLPA rules on managers approaching junior players.
AFLPA general manager Ian Prendergast has warned some agents about their inappropriate behaviour when contacting young and talented players.
"I have conversations with agents from time to time in relation to their conduct," he said.
"We've investigated and formally reprimanded a couple of agents in relation to breaches of the regulations over the last year."
The AFLPA will meet with player agents on Friday at the annual player managers' conference in Melbourne where the association plans to emphasise its policies of player managers recruiting junior stars.
The AFLPA guidelines allow accredited agents to initiate discussions with junior players only through a formal letter to their club.
"That change has been introduced not necessarily to address any problems that we're aware of but mainly to move with the new technologies," Prendergast said.
"We think it is inappropriate for an accredited agent to be contacting a player through social media before that player is actually signed with them."
Agents aren't permitted to contact players during the AFL Under-18s Championships or during the high-school exam period at the end of a year.