Trent Bianco and Matthew Ling. Pictures: AFL Photos

Here's everything you need to know, including how to watch, ahead of the 2024 Mid-Season Rookie Draft.

What is the AFL Mid-Season Rookie Draft?

The Mid-Season Rookie Draft (MSD) is the only chance clubs have during the season to add players to their list. Outside the Trade Period and National Draft at the end of each season, the only opportunities clubs have to sign new players is during the Pre-Season Supplemental Selection Period – which runs over summer – and the MSD.

The MSD was reintroduced in 2019, having been scrapped way back in 1993. It's designed to limit the impact long-term injuries and premature retirements can have on a club and allow teams to replenish their list for the second half of the season.

When is it?

The 2024 AFL Mid-Season Draft will be held this Wednesday, May 29, between rounds 11 and 12, from 7pm AEST.

How can I watch?

The only place to watch the 2024 AFL Mid-Season Rookie Draft is on and the AFL Live Official App. Gettable co-hosts and draft experts Cal Twomey and Riley Beveridge will lead the coverage along with host Nat Edwards and roving reporter Sarah Olle from 7pm AEST on Wednesday, May 29. See every pick as it happens and get instant analysis of what the new signings can mean for the second half of the season.

How many players are likely to be picked up?

Up to 26 list spots could be available on the night, although clubs do not have to fill a vacant spot if the player they want is not available. Just 13 players were picked up last year.

Twenty-four players who had interest from clubs have undergone medical testing, while others outside that group are also in the mix. More than 120 players have nominated so far.

Any familiar names in contention?

Former Magpie Trent Bianco, ex-Demon Kyle Dunkley and delisted Power big man Brynn Teakle are among the familiar names who have nominated for the draft.

Former Sydney first-round draft pick Matt Ling has also emerged as a candidate after being part of the group of 24 players to undergo AFL medicals.

To be eligible, players must have nominated for and been overlooked in the National Draft last year, been previously listed by an AFL club, or played a minimum of three games in the WAFL, SANFL, TSL or VFL.

How many clubs have a pick? How many do the Kangaroos have?

Clubs must have a vacant list spot in order to take part and currently, only Geelong, Greater Western Sydney and Sydney are without potential vacant spots.

List vacancies can occur through a retirement or if a player suffers a long-term injury and is moved to the inactive list.

North Melbourne is yet to confirm its list vacancies but may have up to two available spots, along with Carlton, Collingwood and the Western Bulldogs.

Brisbane (potentially four picks), and Richmond and Adelaide (three) are the clubs with the most vacant positions.

Essendon, Fremantle, Gold Coast, Hawthorn, Melbourne, St Kilda and West Coast all have one open spot.

Clubs have until Tuesday to open a vacancy on their list.


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How is the draft order decided?

Like the National Draft, the Mid-Season Draft order is determined by ladder position.

As the team at the bottom of the ladder after round 11, North Melbourne will get the No.1 pick if the Roos confirm a list vacancy, with the second-last team with a list vacancy to have the No.2 pick, and so on.

Who are the MSD successes from past years?

The MSD's most famous success story since it was reintroduced in 2019 is Marlion Pickett, who famously debuted in a Grand Final at the age of 27 after being drafted in the middle of that season.

Collingwood's John Noble last week became the first mid-season draftee to reach the 100-game milestone, while Sam Durham and Jai Newcombe are among the other regular AFL players who got their start in the MSD.

While 18-year-olds in the National Draft every November are always key to a list build, clubs have shown a willingness to gamble on older players.

The first nine rounds of this season alone saw one 24-year-old (Collingwood's Joe Richards), two 25-year-olds (North Melbourne's Toby Pink and Richmond's Mykelti Lefau) and two 26-year-olds (Geelong's Shaun Mannagh and Collingwood's Lachie Sullivan) make their AFL debuts.


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