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Buckley tips end of AFL import recruiting

Expected reductions in AFL playing-list sizes will reduce clubs’ willingness to take chances on project players, while the Category B rookie system and Next Generation Academy programs could also be in the gun.

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“Appreciate your international players because it’s probably going to be a lot harder for them to get into the top level and a lot harder for us to find them than it may have been in previous decades,” Buckley told fans in a live chat through Collingwood’s social media channels.

“We spent a bit of money to do that and maybe the industry may not be able to afford it because we have to look after first things first, but that’s yet to be seen.”

Cox has stayed in Melbourne during the AFL shutdown period while Keane and Tohill returned to their home country.

Buckley said the Magpies were working with AFL and government officials to get the Irish pair back to Melbourne ahead of a possible return to training this month.

“Getting the boys back from Ireland is a logistical challenge at the moment,” Buckley said.

“The regulations of our Australian border control to support our fight against this virus is part of it, so we’re working with the government and with the AFL to get our Irish boys back.”

AAP

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