Port want to enter AFL top-up market

Port Adelaide is getting impatient about their appeal to the AFL for top-up players, fearing Essendon is stealing a march on new signings.

The Power want to enter the market to sign top-up players as replacements for their banned duo Paddy Ryder and Angus Monfries, suspended for the season by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

The pair were among 34 past and present Essendon players who CAS banned over their involvement in Essendon’s 2012 supplements scandal.

The Bombers have started announcing top-up players to replace their suspended players, but Port currently can only replace Ryder and Monfries with upgraded rookies.

Port on Tuesday made a formal submission to the AFL, requesting they be allowed, like Essendon, to sign additional former AFL players as replacements.

St Kilda and Western Bulldogs are also understood to be lobbying league headquarters, given they too have been hit by the ban of former Essendon players now on their respective playing lists.

“Port Adelaide is going to end up with less players on its list than what the Essendon Football Club is going to have,” Port’s general manager of football operations Chris Davies told SEN on Friday.

“That is based on dispensation that the AFL have given Essendon.

“If you enter the season with what’s happened with less than the team that has been largely responsible for what’s happened, then we think we’ve got a more than reasonable case.

“We just want to enter the market.”

Davies said the issue was a “distraction we could live without” but believed the club had a strong case for the AFL to alter its ruling.

“Clearly with Essendon starting to announce some of the players that they have as their top-up players, if we’re going to be able to do it we would ike to enter the market as soon as we possibly could,” he said.

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