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The Trades – Consider all this, and we haven’t even started!


Melbourne’s Jack Watts is nabbed by the Cats in round three this year. Could it be happening again on a more permanent basis? PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES

The Trades – Consider all this, and we haven’t even started!

Benjamin Savona    

WHAT WE KNOW SO FAR…

The AFL free agency period kicked off on Friday with the first of what is expected to be a plethora of moves in the 2017 “silly season”, clubs, players and player managers preparing for Monday, when the trade period officially begins.

One of the earliest rumoured moves came to fruition on Friday morning, with the Western Bulldogs lodging paperwork to acquire Port Adelaide utility Jackson Trengove.

Trengove, 26, is a restricted free agent, which means Port Adelaide has three days to match what the Bulldogs have offered the swingman, however considering his inability to break into the Power’s best 22 at the end of the 2017 campaign, it would be a left-field move. The deal is estimated to be worth $2 million dollars over four years.

Tom Rockliff finally nominated Port Adelaide as his club of choice. The former Brisbane captain has been connected to multiple clubs over the last three weeks, including Carlton and Essendon, but Port’s head of football Chris Davies confirmed Rockliff’s intentions on AFL Trade Radio early on Wednesday.

“We’re pleased that Tom has shown a willingness to come to our footy club. Now it’s up to us to work with his management.” Davies said. Brisbane coach Chris Fagan has not ruled out the Lions matching the bid for one of the club’s favourite sons.

There is always one trade storyline that has the potential to get ugly and this year’s seems set to involve Adelaide for the second year running.

Jake Lever has officially informed the club he is seeking a trade to “a Victorian club” according to Adelaide’s football department, however, Lever personally has nominated Melbourne as his preferred destination.

Adelaide has expressed extreme disappointment in the young defender’s decision and is steadfast that it will do the deal that is most beneficial for the club.

Essendon appears to have become a destination club this off-season, with three stars nominating Tullamarine as their preferred destination in 2018.

Greater Western Sydney small forward Devon Smith and Gold Coast rebounder Adam Saad have both informed their respective clubs of their intention to join the Bombers, who will now look to facilitate a trade.

The third player to express interest in Essendon is Bulldog Jake Stringer, however this decision hasn’t been publicly confirmed by either party at this stage. Essendon is going to have to shake its “hard to deal with” tag inherited under list manager Adrian Dodoro’s watch.

Carlton list manager Stephen Silvagni’s old connections to GWS appears to be another intriguing narrative line this year, as it was last year.

Young Giants midfielder Matthew Kennedy has requested a trade to Carlton this week, after playing 16 games this season. Selected at pick 13 in the 2015 national draft, the youngster has shown he is an extremely versatile player who is rated extremely highly at the Giants. They will want adequate compensation.

Meanwhile, not much to be said about Gary Ablett right now that isn’t already known. Ablett wants to come home, Gold Coast wants Mitch Duncan in return (good luck with that) and both parties will be bartering heavily up to the deadline. Watch this space.

St Kilda has been linked to most superstars who were coming out of contract this year, including Nat Fyfe, Josh Kelly and Dustin Martin. However, with no success on any of these fronts, the Saints have looked toward contracted players.

It has been reported they have tabled contracted Giants defender Adam Tomlinson a lucrative five-year deal. Conversations surrounding the 24-year-old will commence between both parties on Monday, but having played 23 games this season, it’s hard to see the Giants letting go such a required player.

Luke Hodge has officially informed Hawthorn that he is interested in coming out of retirement to continue his career with Brisbane.

The Lions have reportedly tabled a two-year offer to the club champion, which would also focus on a transition into coaching. Despite being retired, Hodge will still need to be traded to Brisbane or go through the pre-season draft, but considering how the Hawks dealt with the Sam Mitchell and Jordan Lewis situations last year, a late draft pick may get the job done.

Adelaide small forward Charlie Cameron has also let the Crows know of his intentions to continue his football career at Brisbane.

The conversations surrounding Cameron started during the season, to the distaste of coach Don Pyke, however, this deal seems likely to get done in the first week. Brisbane has a strong draft hand and will have to pay overs to get a contracted star out of the state.

One of Essendon’s young guns, Aaron Francis, has requested a move back to South Australia, the Herald Sun reported on Friday.

Francis has battled injury in his two years at the club and has to date managed only five senior games. It is expected both Port Adelaide and Adelaide will make a play for the No.6 draft pick, making Essendon even busier in what looks like a very active trade period for the Dons.

THE RUMOURS

There are plenty of uncontracted (and contracted) players searching for new homes over the next two weeks and there is even more rumour and innuendo surrounding the majority of them.

Richmond has an abundance of talent that was pushing for selection via its very successful VFL team all year.

Having found a premiership formula, plenty of talented players were left on the outer for senior selection. The most talented may well be Anthony Miles, who played a vital role in 2016, but was squeezed out of the line-up by Dion Prestia’s arrival.

Richmond, understanding a player of his quality can’t stay in the “Magoos” for another season, is happy to explore situations that give him more opportunity.

Early whispers suggested Miles would have conversations with Essendon, but given latest developments with the Bombers, this would now seem unlikely. Sydney, which is still looking to fill a hole for a contested-ball winner left by Tom Mitchell, may have interest. And the jungle drums are also beating out of Hawthorn regarding Miles.

Sam Lloyd had a big year in Richmond’s reserves side, capping it off with a best-on-ground performance in the VFL grand final loss.

Geelong has been the first club linked to the mid forward at this stage. The slight on Lloyd has been an alleged unwillingness to tackle and work defensively, something that the Cats have suggested they won’t tolerate.

Another Tiger, Ben Lennon, attempted to be traded Carlton last season to no avail, and it seems likely the half-forward will again request a trade. Early talk suggests there is still a connection between Lennon and Carlton, but a lot will need to transpire for that deal to get done.

Some other names to look out for this trade period coming out of Richmond are Jake Batchelor, who had a solid season in defence, Reece Conca, who is expected to attempt a return to Western Australia, and, shockingly, even one of the small forwards that helped build a premiership game style … watch this space.

Fremantle high-flyer Hayden Crozier was linked to the Western Bulldogs very early in the piece and the murmurings haven’t gone away. He is one of the shorter-priced favourites to go through at the start of next week, which would be a handy pick up for the Dogs.

And staying in the west, Andrew Gaff’s name continues to float on the rumour mill, despite his manager Paul Connors’ insistence the contracted Gaff will remain at West Coast next year.

This may well be one of those pesky rumours that won’t disappear until the buzzer on the last day of trade period. St Kilda is still extremely interested in the wingman.

Jack Watts, meanwhile, has gone from rumour, to possibility to likely. Melbourne appears to have well and truly fallen out of love with the former No.1 draft pick and is shopping him around.

Despite saying he would be shocked and upset if he was to be traded, Watts has most definitely been checking out his options. Port Adelaide is the team most strongly linked to the forward, who toured the Power’s facilities last week.

Plenty of other clubs will also be interested after what many view to have been Watts’ best season to date. Geelong sources have suggested the Cats are one, their attention turning to Watts after being informed Stringer would not seek a trade down the highway.

Port Adelaide livewire Jarman Impey’s name also popped up this week and hasn’t gone away.

Some reports suggest the little man has requested a trade to Hawthorn, however ex-teammate Trengove said on Friday morning that he had been working on getting Impey to join him at the Bulldogs.

Despite the tongue-in-cheek nature of the comments, the Dogs will ask the question of Impey’s management, as many teams look to replicate a small, quick Richmond team.

Steven Motlop is no stranger to trade week, having been shopped around regularly by Geelong to no avail over the past two off-seasons.

It could be third time lucky, though, as Motlop has been connected to a number of clubs including North Melbourne and Port Adelaide.

Former Port star Kane Cornes said on Friday on AFL Trade Radio that Adelaide had also thrown its hat into the ring and would make a large play. As is always the case with the Motlop name in October, there’s plenty more yet to play out.

It’s been a very eventful prelude to trade week … stick with Footyology for more!

3 Comments
  1. Interesting to hear one of the small forwards from Richmond would possibly want out. My guess would be Bolton given that he is from WA. Can’t see Richmond allowing that to happen. Also, Jason Castagna is out of contract but is a rookie so he will be probably be upgraded to the senior list.

  2. Love footyology

  3. Kane Cornes was never a star

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