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How your team can win this year's AFL trade period

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Roar Rookie
7th October, 2019

The AFL trade period began on Monday October 7 and runs through until October 16, and these nine days can determine the future of your club. Find out what your team are aiming for and how the deals get done.

I can’t see how Adelaide can possibly improve on last season’s ten wins with an exodus of players currently happening. Matt Crouch, Brad Crouch, Alex Keath, Eddie Betts, Cam Ellis-Yolmen, Hugh Greenwood, Sam Jacobs, Josh Jenkins, Riley Knight and Rory Laird are all rumoured to be potentially looking elsewhere for season 2020. Losing so many players should result in some sort of a rebuild at the club and will result in accruing stacks of draft picks.

The Crows have been linked to opportunity-starved Power forward Billy Frampton, which would be a nice get if Josh Jenkins is no longer at the club. Frampton should come cheap. They will certainly ask the question of South Australian local Jack Lukosius, especially if either Crouch brother ends up at the Gold Coast like the rumours suggest. But the Suns will be reluctant to let the former number two pick go.

Overall the aim for Adelaide should be to build for the future, and get as many draft picks as possible in the top 40. It seems as though Brad Crouch will be headed to the Gold Coast, so try to get pick one or two in return. But if that fails, settle for nothing less than Jack Lukosius.

After a stunning 2019 season where they finished second, the Lions seem content with their young list and haven’t really been mentioned in too much player movement. Natural development of their young guns should be Brisbane’s main focus this off-season. Cam Ellis-Yolmen has already joined the club via free agency, and he will add some grunt in the midfield.

The list needs a replacement for the retired Luke Hodge and that may come in the form of want-away sun Callum Ah Chee, who was a former top ten draft pick. Atill only 21 and with plenty of upside, he could turn out to be a welcome addition to Brisbane. Tom Cutler, Lewis Taylor and Nick Robertson are also seeking potential moves.

I can’t see Brisbane being big players this trade period. A few tweaks by bringing in Ah Chee and Ellis-Yolmen will be positive additions.

Carlton are primed for a big trade period. Tom Papley, Jack Martin and Eddie Betts have already said they want to come to the Blues.

The Blues may have to part ways with pick nine to bring in Papley while they’re trying to move a future second-rounder for Jack Martin, and Betts should come a lot cheaper. Should they land all three, the Blues’ small forward stocks will have fans excited that they can begin challenging for finals straight away in 2020. Sam Gray is also someone they may chase should they miss out on the other three mentioned.


The Blues are strongly linked with opportunity-starved Swans ruckman Darcy Cameron, who will offer great back-up should Matthew Kreuzer miss any time. Cameron would come cheap as he’s only played one game, but at the age of 24 and with a stack of WAFL and NEAFL footy under his belt, he’d be ready to go should he be required.

The Blues have enough young solid players on all lines in their best 22 but lack genuine small forwards. That will change this off-season. If the Blues land Papley, Martin and Betts, it will put them in good stead for the future, priming them to win the 2019 trade period.

Tom Papley

(Photo by Cameron Spencer/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Collingwood have battled the past few years with healthy key forwards and key backs. If they can add some depth here they could go a long way to securing that elusive premiership that they’ve come so close to the past two years.

Collingwood are jam packed with stars and their salary cap is a tight squeeze so looking for key position depth can prove difficult with not much money on the table. They’ll make a play at Power defender Dougal Howard and Saints forward Josh Bruce but will both be very difficult to land. The Pies won’t be making too many moves this trade period but they’ll be thereabouts again deep in September regardless.

Jamie Elliott’s future is also up in the air. He has been injury prone but put together a solid year this year. He wants three years but the Pies are set on a two-year deal. Melbourne are coming hard with a three-year deal on the table. Losing Elliott might give the Pies the freedom of chasing a key defender or a key forward so maybe losing his services isn’t the worst thing.

Essendon see themselves as a team that can contend next year so losing Joe Daniher is almost a doomsday scenario. The rumours surrounding Orazio Fantasia wanting a return back to Adelaide really hurt Essendon’s hopes of winning some finals. With Daniher as good as gone, Essendon should demand picks five and nine at the absolute minimum from the Swans. Then if Fantasia does in fact want to leave, package him up with pick nine and go really hard after Port skipper Ollie Wines.


Essendon have desired an inside mid bull like Wines since the retirement of Jobe Watson. Landing Wines would be a home run play but something Essendon might need to do to stay relevant in the finals race of 2020. Other Port Adelaide players in Sam Powell-Pepper and Dougal Howard have been linked to Essendon. They’re both solid players but wouldn’t offset losing their two best forwards in Daniher and Fantasia.

The list manager Adrian Dodoro is traditionally difficult to deal with during trade period and he won’t make it easy for Sydney to land Daniher without squeezing the best deal possible for Essendon. While losing a superstar, Essendon will definitely land some important pieces to be big-time players during the trade period.

Fremantle will no doubt be making a play for Tim Kelly despite him choosing West Coast as his preferred club. Fremantle have better draft picks to offer than their crosstown rivals to Geelong so don’t rule out the Dockers just yet. In saying, that I don’t think Fremantle’s main target should be Kelly. They will lose Brad Hill (St Kilda) and Ed Langdon (Melbourne) but should land pick five for Hill and Langdon should fetch a second-rounder from the Dees.

Fremantle need to build through the draft. They’ve got plenty of first-rounders from previous years developing nicely. They should go into this year’s draft with picks five, six and two second-round picks, which will continue to improve their list. Landing Tim Kelly won’t solve all the problems at Fremantle.

Geelong will feature prominently this trade period. Tim Kelly has already requested a trade to West Coast and are demanding three top 30 draft picks in return. Draft picks are great but Geelong are in a win-now mentality and losing Kelly, who finished top five in the Brownlow, is a disaster. Geelong should land four-time St Kilda best and fairest Jack Stevens for a pick in the late 30s, which will help ease some of the pain of losing Kelly.

Tim Kelly

(Adam Trafford/AFL Media/Getty Images)


With Kelly walking out and Geelong already saying they want draft picks, they should be able to make a pitch somewhere for a star to help out. I can’t see Geelong just sitting on a heap of draft picks when the clock’s ticking on stars like Gary Ablett.

Gold Coast
Stuart Dew has done an incredible job since coming to the Suns. He’s gotten rid of everyone who doesn’t want to be there and it seems like this year is the first season they won’t have masses of players requesting trades out of the club. Jack Martin and Callum Ah Chee are the only ones on the move out so far but they have already landed two-time Tigers premiership player Brandon Ellis through free agency.

They’re linked with both Crouch brothers and Hugh Greenwood but the most important thing the Suns can do is not trade either pick one or two. Their biggest problem so far has been retaining players. Draft best mates in Matt Rowell and Noah Anderson – who are touted as streaks ahead of the 2019 draft class – joining the club together will change the culture around the Suns.

Gaining ready-made players and seeing a few young guns continue to develop suggests the Suns are on the right track. This trade period is massive for them. Don’t pay overs for either Crouch brother and keep picks one and two, and the Suns might be big winners at the close of the trade period.

Greater Western Sydney
The Giants are littered with superstars and broke through for their maiden grand final appearance in 2019. Because of this, their salary cap is in a squeeze. Their biggest hole this year was their ruck stocks and Sam Jacobs looks set to join the Giants and help out in the ruck.

They’ve lost Adam Tomlinson and will lose Jon Patton, which doesn’t help, but they have enough depth to cover those losses. GWS won’t be very active this trade period.

The Hawks are always big players in the trade period and aren’t afraid to move high draft picks to get ready-made players. This year they are linked with former number one pick Jon Patton from the Giants. A third round pick is believed to be enough to get him to the Hawks.

Jonathon Patton

(Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)


Demons defender Sam Frost has also expressed interest in joining the Hawks. Frost would probably come fairly cheap and will almost certainly walk into their best 22, so that’s another solid acquisition for the Hawks.

If there’s one thing about Hawthorn, though, it is that Alastair Clarkson is never out of the race for anyone. He’ll have something up his sleeve so don’t count out a big play from the Hawks.

The Dees had a nightmare 2019. Injuries to key players contributed to a five-win season. They still have some quality across the board and look set to land Ed Langdon after Adam Tomlinson was a done deal on day one of the trade period, so don’t expect Melbourne to stay down for too long. Langdon won’t come cheap but it seems like pick 22 might get the job done.

Melbourne can make a serious statement this trade period by landing Jamie Elliott. He would be a great get for the Dees’ forward line and if healthy could land them an extra 40-plus goals next year.

North Melbourne
For a team that won ten games and missed finals, North Melbourne have been awfully quiet so far in trade talks. Their new list manager Brady Rawlings doesn’t start until December, which might be why they’re so quiet because they have nobody making the calls. At the moment, though, it seems that North Melbourne will be very quiet during the trade period.

Port Adelaide
For the Power to come out winning after this trade period they would need to land Orazio Fantasia and keep Dougal Howard. If Fantasia does want to join the Power then Essendon will want a fair bit for him. It is vital for the Power to keep some early draft picks with several key players over 30.

Paddy Ryder, Billy Frampton, Sam Powell-Pepper and Sam Gray all look likely to be playing elsewhere in 2020 but won’t bring much currency for the Power to stockpile early draft picks. Powell-Pepper might land a decent pick.

Coming off their second flag in three years, the Tigers aren’t missing too many pieces on their list. Richmond have lost Brandon Ellis and a few fringe players in Dan Butler and Kamdyn McIntosh are looking elsewhere for more opportunity so these might be the only deals Richmond will be a part of.

Richmond players with the 2019 premiership cup

(Photo by Ryan Pierse/AFL Photos/via Getty Images)

St Kilda
St Kilda are positioned to feature prominently. Brad Hill, Paddy Ryder and Zak Jones are all coming to Moorabbin. Ryder and Jones should be pretty straightforward deals but Brad Hill is contracted to Fremantle for another year. If the Saints manage to get Brad Hill and keep their first-round draft pick they’ll be massive winners. Blake Acres could be a part of the Hill trade in an attempt to keep the first-round pick. Premiership Tiger Dan Butler is also linked with a potential move to the Saints.

Josh Bruce will be headed out and the Saints should fetch a second-rounder for him, which isn’t the end of the world. Jack Steven is a tricky one for the Saints. Twelve months ago he probably goes for nothing shy of a first-round pick. Now Geelong think they can land him for a pick around 40. For St Kilda to win this trade period they need to land Brad Hill while somehow keeping a pick in the first round and also get something around pick 20 for Jack Steven.

It’s not every day a player of Joe Daniher’s calibre wants to join your club. It’s a tricky situation though. Sydney currently have pick five but are aiming to get pick nine from Carlton for Tom Papley. Maybe pick five and nine is enough to get Joe Daniher up to the Swans. Essendon won’t make it easy for Sydney because they’ll want as much compensation as possible for losing the All-Australian forward.

Tom Papley has said he wants to be a Blue and Zak Jones may be searching for a return back to Victoria, which would both be big losses. That is why the Daniher deal is so important. A forward line of Lance Franklin, Nick Blakey and Daniher would immediately catapult Sydney into a finals challenger.

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West Coast
The trade period for West Coast is simple: get Tim Kelly. If they fail for the second year in a row to land him, it will be a massive failure. It will cost them a bit in the way of draft picks but the deal should get done.

The premiership window is wide open for West Coast so adding A-grade talent should be the aim. Losing a few high draft picks shouldn’t be a problem at this point.

Western Bulldogs
The Bulldogs have already had Alex Keath from Adelaide and Josh Bruce from St Kilda come out and say they want to join the Bulldogs, which would give them much needed depth down in their key back and key forward stocks.

At this point nobody is wanting out of the kennel and it seems as though the Bulldogs would be keen to get the Keath and Bruce deals done early in the trade period and back in the squad they’ve got to start next season the way they played the back half of 2019.