AFL star’s sad rejection after walk out
Star forward Cam McCarthy's bid to join a WAFL club for the rest of 2020 has been shut down by league officials.
The WAFC released a statement on Friday to announce the league has rejected McCarthy's request to play out the rest of the season with the South Fremantle Bulldogs as it violates league recruitment rules.
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In a dramatic 24 hours for McCarthy, the 25-year-old on Thursday stormed out of his Fremantle club after being informed by the Dockers he would not be offered a contract beyond the 2020 season.
Turning his attention to play out the season in the WAFL, McCarthy's hopes of returning to play in the AFL have been dealt a blow by the WAFC decision to rule him out for the remainder of the year.
"The West Australian Football Commission can confirm that AFL-listed players being released from their AFL contracts prior to the end of the season are not eligible to play in the WAFL competition in 2020 under WAFL Rules and Regulations," a WAFC statement read.
"The National Transfer Application Period (Rule 1.4.1) was extended in 2020 from June 30 to July 31 to provide eligible players with the opportunity to seek transfers to the WAFL from Leagues that were not proceeding due to COVID-19.
"The WAFC can confirm that there will be no further extension to the National Transfer Application Period in 2020 and that exemption requests submitted after the extended July 31 deadline have been declined to ensure that the integrity of the WAFL competition is protected over the remaining four rounds of the season.
"AFL-listed players being released from their AFL contracts prior to the end of the season will be permitted to participate in WAFL club training."
According to reports, the Bulldogs remain hopeful of McCarthy being granted permission to train with the club for the rest of 2020.
The club is also hopeful of keeping McCarthy on its books for 2021 should the star forward be overlooked by AFL clubs this trade period.
Fremantle confirmed McCarthy's departure on Thursday night in a statement from general manager of football Peter Bell.
"The club, Cam and his management have mutually agreed that Cam be released from his AFL playing contract for 2020," Bell said.
"We have been in discussions with Cam and his management about his future at Fremantle.
"We believed it was only fair to advise Cam as soon as possible that it was unlikely that he would have his contract extended beyond the end of the 2020 season.
"On that basis, Cam and his management discussed the situation with his family, and subsequently informed the club that he would like to seek an early release from his contract, which was mutually agreed to by all parties.
"Cam is very popular with our members and supporters, and on behalf of everyone at the club, we thank him for the contribution he made during his four seasons at Fremantle," Bell said.
"We also wish Cam all the very best for his future endeavours and the next stage of his career."
McCarthy was taken to hospital in June after collapsing during a non-contact training session in a mystery that stunned the AFL.
The Dockers then announced after days of speculation that McCarthy had been diagnosed with epilepsy.
"Cam has undergone various tests with specialists and a neurologist. Recently, the neurologist advised that Cam has epilepsy," Bell said in June.
"This will mean that Cam has to undergo some treatment, which involves medication for a period of time.
"Cam's working his way through that and the club will support him as well with our medical team."
McCarthy has not played for Fremantle since the club's Round 1 loss to Essendon.
The Dockers took an ill-fated gamble on McCarthy ahead of the 2016 Trade Period where the Dockers handed the Giants the No. 3 draft pick to the Giants in a deal that allowed McCarthy to return home to Western Australia.
It has not turned out how anyone involved in the deal would have hoped.
McCarthy played 48 games for the Dockers and was the club's leading goal-kicker in the 2017 season.
It could be enough to entice at least one AFL club to roll the dice on McCarthy during the 2020 AFL Trade Period.
Originally published as AFL star's sad rejection after walk out