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Blues cut Stocker, Hayes from AFL list

Carlton have axed former first-round draft pick Liam Stocker and Will Hayes from their AFL squad for next season.

The Blues famously selected Stocker with pick 19 at the 2018 national draft when they completed the first live trade with Adelaide.

The clubs swapped future first-round picks without knowing where each other would finish, while the Blues also received the pick used on Stocker.

He was drafted a midfielder but never developed into that role at senior level and played just 28 games in four seasons with Carlton, including six this year.

The 22-year-old spent most of 2022 playing in the VFL as a defender.

Stocker spoke up about his anxiety battles this year, talking about the panic attacks he has coped with throughout his career in a video for Beyond Blue.

He left the club’s Queensland hub in 2020 for personal reasons and did not play a senior game that year.

“Liam gave great effort during his four seasons here,” Carlton list boss Nick Austin said in a club statement on Monday.

“And while he was not able to solidify his place in the side this year, his capacity to continue to work hard was a testament to him.”

Former Bulldog Hayes managed just two appearances for Carlton, including his club debut as the medi-sub in round 17, after being recruited via the mid-season rookie draft.

“Although Will was only on the list for a short period of time, his efforts to earn a place in the side to play two games was a result of his work ethic,” Austin said.

“We thank both players for their contributions during their time at the club and wish them all the best for the future.”

North Melbourne have secured the signature of emerging wingman Curtis Taylor, who has signed on until the end of 2024.

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