Day 5 was yet another slow one on the AFL movement front as the trade period failed to produce any major deals – Tim Kelly aside – yet again.
The only trade of the day was a pick swap between GWS and St Kilda, the Saints shipping off picks 6 and 59 to the Giants in exchange for two first-rounders; 12 and 18.
While it gives GWS an option to bid on academy player Tom Green, it allows the Saints a little more flexibility to pursue multiple trade targets – of which there are many for the club.
However, it may complicate a potential deal for Fremantle’s Brad Hill, who has requested a trade to St Kilda. Prior to the pick swap being confirmed, it had emerged that the Dockers were seeking pick 6 and a 2020 first-rounder in exchange for Hill. He still has two years left to run on his contract, and it’s been widely reported that the deal with GWS is a case of the Saints calling Fremantle’s bluff on their valuation of the star winger.
One player who won’t be moving this trade period is Essendon small forward Orazio Fantasia. Fantasia had been expected to request a trade to Port Adelaide, but it’s now emerged that he’ll be staying at Windy Hill in 2020.
Adelaide midfielder Brad Crouch, who is reportedly seeking a million-dollar-a-year deal, will also be staying put after being linked to a potential trade away from the Crows. He’s off contract at the end of next season, when he’ll be an unrestricted free agent.
Veteran Hawk Grant Birchall was the one player who completed a move today. The four-time premiership player, who was an unrestricted free agent, has inked a one-year deal with the Brisbane Lions which has the potential to be extended into 2021.
Port Adelaide’s Dougal Howard is the latest player to request a trade to St Kilda, although the Power have insisted he remains a part of their plans for next season.
“Dougal is aware that he is a highly valued, required player at Port Adelaide,” the club said in a statement.
“Given he is contracted to the end of 2022, the club will only entertain a trade with St Kilda if it is in our best interests to do so.
“We will discuss the situation with the Saints but if a suitable outcome for our club cannot be reached, Dougal is well aware that he will remain a Port Adelaide player in 2020.”
Kane Cornes has claimed the Power would seek a first-round draft pick for Howard if they were to trade him.
After seemingly edging closer to a move back to Carlton, there has been no development on the Eddie Betts trade. The popular small forward is likely to complete his return to the Blues in the coming days.
There was also no movement around Jack Steven’s proposed move to Geelong, with St Kilda and the Cats still yet to agree on a suitable exchange for the midfielder.
Some rumours were doing the rounds about Paddy Ryder potentially considering a switch to Carlton, but those have now been dismissed. Ryder has requested a trade to the Saints.