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The Trades – Day 2: Shiel’s big decision makes Dons’ day

Eyeing off a new footballing home. Dylan Shiel will accept less money to play for Essendon in 2019 if the Dons can do a deal with GWS. Photo: AFL MEDIA

The Trades – Day 2: Shiel’s big decision makes Dons’ day

Ronny Lerner    

The second day of the AFL trade period provided a bombshell, pun intended, and it had nothing to do with the only confirmed player movement of the day.

After much contemplation, GWS star midfielder Dylan Shiel pulled a shock by requesting a trade to Essendon.

The race for the 25-year-old’s signature was believed to be down to four – Carlton, St Kilda, Hawthorn and Essendon.

The Bombers were considered to be the least likely of the quartet to land Shiel, but they’ve ultimately trumped their competitors in what continues a golden 12 months for recruiting manager Adrian Dodoro, who netted Devon Smith, Jake Stringer and Adam Saad last year.

The Blues and Saints, in particular, reportedly threw big-money offers at Shiel, but the 135-gamer has seemingly taken less cash in order to pursue what he deems to be a likely tilt at success with the Bombers.

Given the way Essendon finished the 2018 season as one of the form teams in the competition, denied a finals berth due to their horrendous 2-6 start, the club will run out of excuses if they manage to facilitate a trade for him.

The top four should be their aim next year and a finals spot would be a non-negotiable, otherwise the heat will be turned right up on coach John Worsfold.

Essendon is probably lacking only one more genuine star midfielder, and in Shiel they will get him. Add him to an on-ball division that features Zach Merrett, Devon Smith, Dyson Heppell, David Zaharakis, Kyle Langford, Andrew McGrath, Darcy Parish, David Myers and ruckman Tom Bellchambers, and the red-and-black faithful have a lot to get excited about.

Shiel still has a year to run on his contract with the Giants, but due to their significant salary cap issues, the expansion club had been open to offloading him this trade period.

Amidst all the hubbub surrounding Shiel, another player actually joined a new team on Tuesday, with West Coast premiership ruckman Scott Lycett headed back to his junior club Port Adelaide.

The Power lodged a bid for the restricted free agent on Saturday and after much mulling, the Eagles ultimately decided against matching it. Lycett will now join Port Adelaide on a five-year deal reportedly worth $3 million.

The 26-year-old had his best season this year, stepping up to the plate in Nic Naitanui’s absence and playing a crucial role in the Eagles’ surprise flag.

Given how well he worked with Naitanui and Nathan Vardy at West Coast, he is sure to form a formidable partnership with All-Australian ruckman Paddy Ryder at Alberton.

The Eagles received pick 20 in this year’s draft as compensation for losing Lycett and will likely try to package that up in a deal, possibly with their pick 22, to get star Geelong midfielder Tim Kelly who wants to return to WA.

The other surprising tidbit to emerge from the second day of the trade period was that new Fremantle football boss Peter Bell is reportedly trying to work out a way to offload Harley Bennell just two months after he signed a new deal with the Dockers.

The troubled former Sun has only managed two games in three years at Freo with recurring calf problems and other well-publicised off-field issues railroading his stint with the Dockers.

It remains to be seen whether any other club would be willing to take on Bennell and his significant baggage, meaning the forward may well have played his last AFL game.

We’ve still got eight days left in the trade period and other big names to watch out for are Lachie Neale, Chad Wingard, Jesse Hogan, Dan Hannebery, Jared Polec, Steven May, Mitch McGovern, Rory Lobb and Aaron Hall.

1. Reece Conca (Richmond) joined Fremantle as an unrestricted free agent. Tigers received pick 37 as compensation.
2. Luke Dahlhaus (Western Bulldogs) joined Geelong as an unrestricted free agent. Bulldogs received pick 25 as compensation.
3. Lincoln McCarthy, pick 54 and pick 57 (Geelong) traded to Brisbane in exchange for picks 42 and 60.
4. Tom Lynch (Gold Coast) joined Richmond as a restricted free agent. Suns received pick 3 as compensation.
5. Anthony Miles, Corey Ellis and a future third-round pick (Richmond) traded to Gold Coast in exchange for a future third-round pick.
6. Carlton traded pre-listed Nathan Kreuger (South Adelaide) to Geelong in exchange for pick 42.
7. Scott Lycett (West Coast) joined Port Adelaide as a restricted free agent. Eagles received pick 20 as compensation.

1 Comment
  1. Can some please explain to me how the trade between Richmond and GC is allowed. Clearly it is a sweet heart deal designed to add compensation to the GC for the loss of T Lynch and has saved Richmond the need to facilitate a genuine trade in the event the GC matched the Richmond free agency terms.

    While unlikely due to the relative abilities of each clubs list it is in theory possible that Richmond could give GC to players and a higher draft pick in exchange for a lower draft pick. surely they’re should be a rule preventing any possibility of a scenario such as this occurring. GC should be forced to give Richmond a 2019 2nd round selection, or Richmond include a 2019 4th round selection.

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