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Silvagni ally demoted in Carlton recruiting shake-up

Brodie signed a long-term contract and was given a salary increase in January when other clubs began to make inquiries as to his availability.

It continues a period of off-field change for the Blues, who last year sacked list boss and club legend Stephen Silvagni, citing a conflict of interest with his two sons Jack and Ben on the list.

The situation upset several people at the club, including both players, and Silvagni departed after delivering some home truths to the club’s board.

Silvagni was replaced by then Western Bulldogs recruiter Nick Austin, son of Carlton premiership player Rod.

“We feel the restructure will give us the best chance to optimise our best performance under the new climate and, moving forward, that will set us up for the future,” Austin told the AFL website.

The relationship between Silvagni and Brodie goes back to their time at Greater Western Sydney, where the pair was handed a host of top-line draft picks.

A club source has told The Age that Brodie was given a significant pay rise and a multi-year extension prior to the COVID-19 pandemic hitting, to safeguard him against being poached by other clubs.

The recruiting department at Carlton had an indifferent year in 2019.

Its members were on different wavelengths when it came to the attempted recruiting of several players, namely Sydney’s Tom Papley and Richmond’s Brandon Ellis.

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“The role of the national recruiting manager isn’t going to be what it was previously, it’s going to be lifted significantly,” Austin said.

“There’s been things you could delegate to recruiting officers in the past … tasks such as club visits to gather information on players, home visits, hub testing days, all of those things we’re going to have to do ourselves now.

“The national recruiting manager is going to have to drive that. He’s going to have to take control of everything. That will mean more travel year-to-year, because the workload is not going to be reduced but the full-time hands on deck are.”

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