Hawthorn champion hopes Dermott Brereton hopes he’s wrong, but says the Gold Coast are in for a very tough year.
The AFL off season is upon us and every club is scouting the country’s best talent on offer to further their chances at September glory.
As we reach the last two months before clubs head back to training for 2019, here is what is happening with your club in this off season.
The Crows are almost a certainty to lose forward Mitch McGovern to Carlton as he has requested a trade to the Blues, whilst VFL-leading goal kicker Tysan Stengle from Richmond has requested a trade home.
Andy Otten played only the 8 senior games this season and could be a valuable trade option as an experienced defender.
The 2018 national draft is set to be a South Australia-dominated draft with the likes of Jack Lukosius and Izak Rankine to go high first round. As Adelaide have had serious troubles of losing extremely talented players back home, landing some home-grown can set them up for a promising future.
Brisbane are set to be the improvers of season 2019 and a big post season can boost the chances of the first top eight appearance since 2010.
Talks are of Fremantle superstar Lachie Neale being traded to the Lions bolstering their young midfield.
The last few seasons the Lions have proved to be very strong in the draft, picking up emerging players Cam Rayner, Al Witherden and Hugh McCluggage who are set for big futures.
If they can maintain decent picks and capture Neale they will be set for an incredible 2019.
Carlton have some very big decisions to make in the off season this year.
Inconsistent key forward Levi Casboult is looming to be finding a new home and can be used in securing picks to land another big name to add to the midfield.
An ideal off season for the Blues is landing GWS midfielder Dylan Shiel, Adelaide’s Mitch McGovern, Collingwood’s Alex Fasolo and keeping pick one of the National Draft for Geelong Falcons’ running machine Sam Walsh.
Injuries and lack of key defenders played a big part in Collingwood losing on the last day in September in 2018.
The Magpies will need to be go hard for a big shutdown key defender this off season, Gold Coast co-captain Steven May is set to be the target but will be harder to secure now after the Pies re-contracting Darcy Moore.
Alex Fasolo has spent a lot of time on the sideline and in the VFL, he looks to be on the move to Carlton and he can be used for the Pies to get busy in the trade period and land a key defender.
Essendon will be looking to resurrect their off season as they picked up three big players in 2017 yet dropped four positions on the ladder and outside of the top eight.
The Bombers need to secure a contested ball midfielder to go with the abundance of outside ball users they have.
20 year-old Gold Coast Sun Will Brodie was touted as a possible number one pick in 2016, the strong contested ball player could be viewed as a possible target for the Bombers or Western Bulldogs premiership player Tom Liberatore could join the midfield stocks and his ex teammate Jake Stringer.
Defender Aaron Francis requested a trade home to South Australia in 2017 yet wasn’t completed, it is crucial for the Bombers to keep Francis on their list If they want to appear in September again in 2019.
The Dockers will need to be very active in the off season if they are to improve from 2018.
Already landing Richmond midfielder Reece Conca, they are facing a tense week with 2018 Best and Fairest winner Lachie Neale.
Neale is set to be on the move to Brisbane, however the Dockers won’t let him go easily.
If Neale goes to Brisbane and they receive pick 4 and 5 in the draft, Max and Ben King are two key position players from Sandringham who can be targeted if they are resetting for the future.
If they are looking to find experienced players, homesick Melbourne player Jesse Hogan and GWS ruckman Rory Lobb are realistic chances to be secured by the Dockers as Lobb has nominated Fremantle his club of choice.
Geelong midfielder Tim Kelly is looking to be traded home to Western Australia and his preferred option is the Eagles, but with West Coast Re-signing Gaff and McGovern this year, a big name like Kelly will be difficult to fit in opening the door for the Dockers to replace Neale.
The Cats are always very strong in the off season in landing stars but this year are facing the unfamiliar position of trying to keep a star on their list.
Already losing defender Lincoln McCarthy and looking very likely to lose midfielder Tim Kelly, the Cats are going to need to go big in the off season this year to stay in contention.
If West Coast are able to fit Kelly into the fold, Geelong have requested the Eagles first pick from the 2017 draft Jarrod Brander who is able to play key back or key forward.
Previous Geelong Falcon and current Sydney utility, Gary Rohan sets to be on the move home after some difficult times off the field this year and Brisbane Ruckman Stephen Martin is being heavily pursued by the Cats.
After securing Western Bulldog free agent Luke Dahlhouse and with several second and third round picks in the National draft, the Cats will not feature as much as they have previously in the trade period.
The Suns have un-surprisingly let Tom Lynch go without matching the Tigers offer.
Yet are facing the disastrous possibility of losing both co-captains with Steven May looking to want to go home to either Collingwood or Melbourne.
The Suns infamously gave away their second pick last year for Lachie Weller, this year the second pick for the National draft is appearing to be Jack Lukosius who is ready to perform at the elite level.
The Suns could score a lot from the highly touted second pick in Lukosius if they flirt the offer with both Adelaide clubs.
The Suns are looking to lose players such as Jack Scrimshaw, Aaron Hall, Steven May and Kade Koldojashnij to rival clubs which means they will be very active in this years post season.
Corey Ellis, Anthony Miles, Jacob Townsend, Nathan Freeman, Alex Johnson, Jack Hombsch and Taylor Duryea would all fit into the fold at Gold Coast very nicely for more AFL opportunity.
Greater Western Sydney
The Giants have a lot of clubs circling their elite young talent.
Injured Tom Scully is being heavily followed by Richmond, Dylan Shiel is being perused by a number of Melbourne clubs and ruckman Rory Lobb has nominated Fremantle as a preferred home if he is to move to Western Australia.
Jeremy Finlayson looks to be joining North Melbourne and injured Will Setterfield is looking to join Carlton.
Whilst Stephen Coniglio and Josh Kelly are also being followed for their contract conclusions for free agency in 2019.
Unfortunately for the Giants they don’t have a large salary cap to play with, which does not help when matching offers from rival clubs for big names.
Hawthorn ruckman Jonathon Ceglar is looking to join the Giants as a replacement if Rory Lobb is to go and they have recently been interested in Western Bulldog Mitch Honeychurch.
The Hawks are set to have a busy post season in the hunt for Dylan Shiel.
Hawthorn would be the best option for Shiel as they are already in the vicinity of the top four and would be heavily assisted by young gun Jaeger O’Meara and Brownlow medallist Tom Mitchell.
However, they could lose Jonathon Ceglar, Taylor Duryea and Teia Miles in the chase for Dylan Shiel.
Carlton key forward Levi Casboult has been linked to the Hawks and would provide a decent option for the Hawks to surround their medium forward brigade.
Melbourne fell agonisingly close to their first grand final appearance in 18 years and a strong post season could help them achieve that in 2019.
With Collingwood re-signing defender Darcy Moore, Melbourne are in the box seat to land Gold Coast co-captain Steven May.
If they fail to land May, Jordan Roughead had his best year in 2016 playing as a key defender for the Bulldogs. He was crucial to their long-awaited premiership and could be an option to bolster the backline.
They are looking to lose Jesse Hogan, Dom Tyson, Aaron Vandernberg and Dean Kent to rival clubs but North Melbourne Brayden Pruess ruckman reportedly desires to play alongside Max Gawn at Melbourne in 2019.
North are consistently in the mix for big name players and this year is no exception.
Although have looked to have landed Gold Coast’s Aaron Hall and Port Adelaide’s Jared Polec, North have missed out on West Coast star Andrew Gaff.
North have a big chance to secure Tarryn Thomas through their academy and father son prospect Bailey Scott has nominated North as his club of choice.
Also reportedly to have met with Sydney players, Gary Rohan, Nic Newman and Alex Johnson this year and are all realistic options.
Tiger Jacob Townsend would fit into North’s forward structure well with the retirement of Jarrod Waite and is reportedly looking for a bigger opportunity for consistent AFL time.
Several Port Adelaide players are being chased by Melbourne clubs but the Power have been reasonably quiet in who are they trying to land.
Scott Lycett is the main player they are publicly going for to assist Paddy Ryder in the ruck.
Players such as Jared Polec, Karl Amon and Jack Homsch have all received attraction by other clubs.
Whilst key midfielder Chad Wingard is being followed heavily by Western Bulldogs and Hawthorn, Wingard’s management has had recently made it clear he is after a big contract and it will be interesting if any clubs are willing to offer it to him.
Aaron Francis should be on the radar of Port as he requested a trade home to South Australia last season and was phenomenal in the round 23 clash against them this year.
Currently with pick 9, Power could use picks they receive from Polec, Amon, Homsch or Wingard to go after pick 2 currently held by the Suns for Jack Lukosius who trained with them during the year as an academy student.
Richmond have finally got their man; Tom Lynch is officially a Tiger with Gold Coast electing not to match their offer.
The Tigers have lost a bit of depth with Reece Conca, Corey Ellis and Anthony Miles all moving to rival clubs whilst Tysan Stengle has requested a trade home to South Australia.
Premiership forward Jacob Townsend is looking elsewhere for more opportunity at the elite level.
The Tigers are reported to be hunting Adelaide injured midfielder Brad Crouch and GWS Tom Scully but both are being denied by their clubs.
With the addition of Lynch, the Tigers wont be as influential in the off season as other clubs.
The Saints are going to be very active in this years post season.
Sydney premiership midfielder Dan Hannebery has requested a trade to the Saints and seems to be very encouraged with the Saints list.
The Saints have also just offered an enormous contract at GWS elite midfielder Dylan Shiel, with pick three in their armoury, the Saints are a big chance to land both midfielders.
It is essential for the Saints to maintain pick three if they are to only secure Hannebery.
Hannebery although a star, is ageing and not worth such a high first round pick with such a young list around him.
With pick three the Saints are rumoured to pick up Max King from the Sandringham Dragons who was struck down to an ACL injury early this year and has been doing recovery with the Saints medical staff.
However, South Australian Izak Rankine would be an ideal pick for the Saints forward line with his raw pace and his ability score miraculous goals.
Tom Hickey has completed a medical at West Coast and is looking to join the reigning premiers with the departure of Scott Lycett.
Fortunately for St Kilda fans, 2018 best and fairest winner Jack Steven has denied any interest to join the Cats after recent speculation.
Sydney are commonly big movers in the off season when strengthening their list, in recent years landing Lance Franklin and Kurt Tippett.
Sydney are set to lose Gary Rohan, Dan Hannebery and Nic Newman to Melbourne clubs but are going heavily for Demon Aaron Vandenberg and Roo Ryan Clarke.
With 29 goals between first and second for leading goal kickers at the club, Sydney should be targeting a forward.
Levi Casboult, Daniel Menzel and Paddy McCartin could all be targeted by the club in order to become more effective when driving the ball forward.
The reigning premiers will be doing their all to secure Geelong midfielder Tim Kelly who reportedly wants to return home to be with his young family and nominating West Coast as his preferred option.
After recently landing Andrew Gaff, landing Tim Kelly will be all the more difficult.
The Cats have seemingly requested Jarrod Brander in return which is an ideal trade for the Eagles.
Scott Lycett seems certain to move home to South Australia and join Port Adelaide’s list which makes West Coasts ruck stocks bleak with the injury of Nic Naitinui.
Tom Hickey, Tim English and Rory Lobb will all be chased by the Eagles in order to give the best delivery to their midfielders.
The Bulldogs are desperate to emulate their form of the 2016 finals series and in order to do so they will need to capture a big name player in the off season.
The Bulldogs have made it public they are after Chad Wingard to boost their midfield and forward-line cartel.
With the departures of Luke Dahlhouse and Marcus Adams, they will need to maintain midfielders Tom Liberatore and Mitch Honeychurch. Defender/backup ruckman Jordan Roughead attracting attention from other clubs but will need to be held onto unless being used to land Wingard.
The Bulldogs would benefit tirelessly from the additions of Daniel Menzel, Nic Newman or Taylor Duryea.