Dustin Martin suffers hamstring setback; McLachlan on North priority pick bid

In today’s AFL briefing, your daily wrap of football news:

  • Hamstring setback for Dustin Martin.
  • AFL chief would ‘be staggered’ if North Melbourne didn’t apply for a priority pick.

Check back throughout the day for updates.

Season in doubt for Martin after hamstring setback

Roy Ward

Richmond superstar Dustin Martin has had a setback in his recovery from a hamstring injury and is expected to be out for several more weeks, putting him at risk of missing the rest of the season as the Tigers fight to cement a finals spot.

The Tigers tweeted a brief update on Friday stating Martin would be “sidelined for the medium term” after an “aggravation in his hamstring”.

Dustin Martin (left) has had a hamstring setback.Credit:Getty Images

Martin has been out of the side since he was subbed out of the win over West Coast on July 3 and it’s likely the Tigers will be cautious in deciding when they bring him back into the side after this latest setback.

There are five rounds remaining this season, with the Tigers playing Fremantle at Marvel Stadium on Friday night.

The Tigers had hoped Martin would be on track to initially return in round 20, before the setback occurred.

The Tigers tweeted they wouldn’t give a further update on Martin until it was necessary.

‘I’d be staggered if they didn’t apply’: McLachlan on North priority pick bid

Roy Ward

AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan would “be staggered” if North Melbourne did not apply for a priority pick this year, as the club has flagged it will do, while he has yet to lock in his departure date.

The Kangaroos are currently 2-15 and last on the ladder, are looking for a new coach after parting ways with David Noble and have had a number of experienced staff leave their football department in the past year including national recruiting manager Mark Finnigan and head of player personnel Glenn Luff.

AFL boss Gillon McLachlan with commission chairman Richard Goyder after he announced he is vacating the CEO’s role.Credit:Getty Images

“It’s for others to work out whether they have a good or bad case, but I’d be staggered if they didn’t apply,” McLachlan told 3AW on Friday.

“I’m sure they will.”

McLachlan also ruled out any financial support from the AFL towards paying Alastair Clarkson’s wage should he opt to coach the Kangaroos.

“No,” McLachlan said. “I have enough problems around me without paying coaches’ salaries.”

McLachlan said he still hadn’t set a date for when he will finish in the role as he has a list of tasks he wants to complete.

The search for his successor continues, and he will continue until the AFL commission wanted him to finish.

“I have a little list of things to do, and they are all pretty problematic at the moment,” McLachlan said.

“There is a process going on parallel [to find his successor]. I’m going to take some time out after this so when it works for Rich [chairman Richard Goyder] and the commission and I have all this stuff done – whatever date that is, it will be then.

“I’m not [stressed about it]. I think I was pretty clear about that in my [resignation] presser.”

The AFL is finalising its plans for grand final week as the game returns to the MCG this year for the first time since 2019, and he said a four-day festival of football would be run at the Olympic precinct to lead up the game.

He added that using the Yarra River for the grand final parade would give fans, especially children, a better viewing platform than the usual street parade and McLachlan expects an announcement to come next week.

Four AFLW games will also be played in the precinct ahead of the grand final with Punt Road Oval hosting a double-header on the grand final eve public holiday, Collingwood playing Essendon at AIA Centre (formerly Olympic Park) and Richmond playing Brisbane at Punt Road on grand final morning.

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