Drama and destinations: AFL TRADE WRAP

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Drama and destinations: AFL TRADE WRAP

The AFL Trade Period is an annual convention on player movement. Surrounded by tension the week-long negotiation is held at Etihad Stadium, Melbourne.

The AFL Trade Period is an annual convention on player movement. Surrounded by tension the week-long negotiation is held at Etihad Stadium, Melbourne.

Nils Versemann

The AFL Trade Period is an annual convention on player movement. Surrounded by tension the week-long negotiation is held at Etihad Stadium, Melbourne.

Nils Versemann

Nils Versemann

The AFL Trade Period is an annual convention on player movement. Surrounded by tension the week-long negotiation is held at Etihad Stadium, Melbourne.

Jackson Lavell Lee, Reporter

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The 2017 Trade period saw two of the biggest superstars of the AFL over the past decade traded, and while West Coast landed an important inside midfielder, Fremantle delivered the most fruitful trade period in its history.

The trade period can be complicated and confusing, with player loyalty seemingly a thing of the past, so here is a wrap up of the player movements:

Fremantle made stunning late movement by gaining the second selection to complement their fifth selection at the November 24 draft. In a major coup for the club list manager Brad Lloyd held off until the 11th hour to secure pick two in a trade with the Gold Coast for youngster Lachie Weller. Fremantle will now enter the draft with two picks inside the top five, as well as picks 41, 66, 71 and 82, its best draft situation since landing Paul Haselby and Matthew Pavlich in 1999. The Dockers also received classy rebounding defender Nathan Wilson from GWS and deadly goal sneak Brandon Matera from Gold Coast. However, lost previous high draftees Harley Balic to Melbourne and Hayden Crozier to the Western Bulldogs.

The Western Bulldogs gained classy 23-year-old Crozier who told ECUDaily he was excited to join a speedy young team with recent premiership success.

“I’m looking forward to a new start with a great team in premiership contention,” he said.

The Bulldogs also gained reliable defender Jackson Trengove and quality key forward prospect Josh Schache from Brisbane for only picks 25 and 40. Their spine looks strong which may compensate for the awkward departure of premiership forward Jake Stringer to Essendon.

The Bombers were arguably the best performers at the trade table. List Manager Adrian Dodoro negotiated masterfully, luring the dynamic but troubled Stringer, gifted GWS midfielder/forward Devon Smith and lightning-quick backman Adam Saad. Essendon relinquished no players but handed over picks 11, 25 and 30 and future second and third round picks. The Premiership window is open at Essendon but they will be absent from the draft until pick 48.

The focus for the West Coast was developing the team’s standing in the draft, receiving three second-round picks; 21, 26 and 37 from Gold Coast for a future first-round pick and pick 50. The Eagles identified the need for a tough inside midfielder with quality goal sense and acquired Brandon Ah Chee from Port Adelaide.

Reigning Eagles John Worsfold Medalist, Elliot Yeo said he was looking forward to being reunited with Ah Chee, as the two played for WA in the National under 18s championships.

“Hopefully we’re playing alongside each other again in the midfield this year,” he said.

Although Port Adelaide lost four experienced players, they were the big movers early in the trade period landing ball magnet Tom Rockliff from the Lions, excellent finisher Jacks Watts from Melbourne and dynamic midfielder Steven Motlop from Geelong. They will however enter the draft as late as pick 46.

Geelong delivered the best Cinderella story, reunited with prodigal son Gary Ablett. The premiership player, Brownlow medalist and multiple best and fairest winner was the most talked about trade prospect and since the death of his sister last week, an emotional farewell was finally accommodated by the Suns.

Gold Coast received pick 19 and a future second-round pick for Ablett but were subsequently robbed in the dying stages of the draft by Fremantle. They needed a marquee player with skillful and tough Weller singled out as the future of the Suns midfield. Ex-Port Adelaide defender Aaron Young and Harrison Wigg from Adelaide bolster its experience.

After the early departure of Rockliff, the Brisbane Lions won the services of dual Norm Smith Medal winner and triple premiership captain Luke Hodge. Frustrated Hawks coach Alistair Clarkeson wanted more for heroic Hodge, who went with pick 44 in return for pick 43 and 75. The Lions also managed to secure freakish forward Charlie Cameron from Adelaide for pick 12 but lost former number one pick Josh Schache. Brisbane holds first-round picks one, 15 and 18.

Hawthorn weren’t happy to lose Hodge so cheaply but gained speed and flare in Jarmen Impey and pick 68 from Port Adelaide.

Melbourne sent Jack Watts to Port for pick 31 and got their man in Jake Lever early, after the key defender left grand finalists Adelaide in dramatic circumstances. The Demons looked to develop their young talent receiving Balic from Fremantle and hold third-round picks 29, 31, 36 and 47.

Adelaide were reportedly filthy about losing Lever but left the trade table delighted having practically stolen reliable defender Sam Gibson from North Melbourne for pick 91. They were finally able to broker a deal for silky on-baller Bryce Gibbs and pick 77 trading pick 10, 16 and 73 to Carlton.

Although losing Gibbs is a big blow for The Blues they retained picks 3, 10 and 30. Carlton subsequently sent a flurry of complicated trades to opposing clubs giving away picks 28, 40, 58, 77 and 95 for Promising midfielder Matthew Kennedy from GWS, potent and pacey Darcy Lang from Geelong and back up ruckman Matthew Lobbe from Port Adelaide.

Blues list manager Stephen Silvagni told Carlton media he was reasonably happy with the outcomes.

“It certainly helps our midfield depth. We’re well placed in terms of getting young talent into our football club,” he said.

Reigning premier Richmond as well as GWS, North Melbourne and Sydney received only draft positions while Collingwood nabbed Sam Murray and St Kilda brought in Logan Austin. All made minimal movements but are eagerly looking forward to the Draft combine.

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Drama and destinations: AFL TRADE WRAP