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The Roar



The 2009 trade period revisited: How bad was the Fevola deal, really?

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3rd May, 2020
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That’s right folks, we’re going further back. Back to a simpler time before draft points and future pick swaps.

Why? Pretty much for those reasons. As I sat down to do the 2018 retrospective – originally planned to be the last in the series – it became pretty clear that it just wouldn’t be as interesting as the other pieces in the series.

Several of the trades (22 of 54, to be exact) were just pick swaps, with no players involved, and a whopping 32 of that season’s trades involved 2019 draft picks. That means we’ve only had one round for the players selected in those drafts to prove themselves, meaning it’s far too early to make any kind of call.

So, we’re jumping in the time machine and going back to 2009 – the year Brendan Fevola’s shock move to Brisbane grabbed all the headlines. Just how much did that cost them in the end? Let’s put everything in the spotlight!

If you’ve missed any pieces in the series so far, you can check out all of them here.

Trade 1

Hawthorn received: Josh Gibson and pick 69
North Melbourne received: picks 25 and 41

The Hawks made out like absolute bandits here, securing one of the most valuable pieces of their triple-premiership puzzle in Gibson while also sneaking in reliable small defender Taylor Duryea with pick 69.

Gibson insists he never requested a trade, Brad Scott is vehement that he wanted out, but that’s all moot. His intercept marking and supreme spoiling ability made him a nightmare for forwards to deal with right up until his retirement in 2017. His two best-and-fairests in premiership years (2013 and 2015) speaks volumes.


Duryea didn’t debut until 2013, but ended up being superb value for his pick. Currently with the Bulldogs, his tally of 132 games is second all-time behind North-turned-Geelong defender Brad Sholl from pick 69 (171).

Pick 25 Aaron Black had two pretty good seasons with the Kangas amid three ordinary ones before being traded to the Cats, while pick 41 Ayden Kennedy never debuted.

Winner: Hawthorn

Trade 2

Brisbane received: Andrew Raines
Richmond received: pick 44


Raines enjoyed the best years of his otherwise injury-riddled career with the Lions and was actually fairly decent as a tagger under Michael Voss, before quickly falling out of favour under Justin Leppitsch. Getting 67 games in five years out of pick 44 is pretty good value.

The Tigers certainly didn’t waste the pick on Matthew Dea – best remembered for his stint as an Essendon top-up – but he was delisted after 31 games over the same span.

Winner: Brisbane

Trade 3

Carlton received: Brock McLean
Melbourne received: pick 11

Pick 11 for Brock McLean could’ve been a blunder for the ages but, fortunately for Blues fans, the Demons couldn’t have picked a bigger dud from the diamonds.

In a draft that saw Nat Fyfe go at 20 (not to mention Daniel Talia at 13, Lewis Jetta at 14 and Jasper Pittard at 16), Melbourne somehow extracted Jordan Gysberts from the pile.

They got a second crack at pick 18 too, nabbing Luke Tapscott. Mamma mia.


Gysberts lasted just three seasons before being punted to North, where he was delisted without debuting.

So that means Carlton are off the hook. In fairness to McLean, he did get going after injuries ruined his first two seasons at the Blues – and it was something of a surprise to see him delisted at the end of 2014, but 63 games in five seasons for pick 11 would be a loss in just about any other circumstance.

Winner: Carlton

Trade 4

Western Bulldogs received: Barry Hall
Sydney received: pick 47

So… Barry Hall’s Bulldogs stint was actually pretty bloody good. I always remembered it as being short-lived and uneventful – but that’s just plain wrong.

Barry Hall

(Photo by Morne de Klerk/Getty Images)

He may not have got the Doggies over the hump, but Big Bad Bazza kicked a whopping 80 goals in his first season – an equal career-best. That dipped to 55 in his second and final season, but he only played 15 games! In fact, that final season of his career saw him post his best goals-per-game average. Unreal!


The Swans flipped this pick to Brisbane in a masterful trade sequence that set them up for a decade of success, however, so I’m going to split the points.

Winner: genuine win-win

Trade 5

Brisbane received: Amon Buchanan, Brent Staker and pick 47
Sydney received: Mark Seaby, picks 28, 39 and 55
West Coast received: Bradd Dalziell, picks 22 and 118

There’s a fair bit to unpack here, but the Lions need to get marked down immediately for trading away a young (albeit reportedly homesick player) in Dalziell, alongside pick 28, and getting two out-of-favour veterans in return.

Buchanan and Staker did everything asked of them, but this was a poorly calculated move made by a first-year coach badly overestimating the quality of their list after one good season. Ryan Harwood went okay at pick 47, however.

That said, it probably has to be the Eagles who take the loss here. They gave up two established players alongside two draft picks and only got 28 games out of Dalziell and one out of pick 22 Gerrick Weedon. Dalziell’s drop-off after a blistering debut season is one of the greatest mysteries nobody discusses.

While researching this piece I found an absolute pearler of an old Reddit comment from 2014 on Dalziell’s delisting that I just had to share.


This aged terribly! (Photo: Reddit)

Seaby’s Swans stint was ruined by injury, but they got two premiership players and a desperately unlucky small forward who should’ve been from their haul here and take the points.

Winner: Sydney
Loser: West Coast

Trade 6

St Kilda received: Andrew Lovett
Essendon received: pick 16

Although it was entirely for non-football reasons, St Kilda’s acquisition of Lovett will always go down as one of the biggest trade disasters ever.

The million-dollar midfielder had his contract terminated just four months after the trade. First he was charged with being drunk in a public place in November 2009, then in February 2010 he was charged with rape – a charge he was subsequently acquitted of.

The fact they essentially traded Luke Ball for him is the real kicker though.


The Bombers almost squandered this pick in an iffy trade, but would’ve had to really stuff it up to lose this one.

Winner: Essendon

Trade 7

St Kilda received: Brett Peake
Fremantle received: pick 48

Peake’s first two years with the Saints were the best of his career and were more than enough to justify the price even if he did plummet out of favour in 2012.

Jesse Crichton played 18 games for the Dockers – not a disaster for pick 48 – but not enough to break even.

Winner: St Kilda

Trade 8


Port Adelaide received: Jay Schulz
Richmond received: Mitchell Farmer and pick 71

Wow, what a bargain!

Schulz was probably the reason Port didn’t go completely winless during Matthew Primus’ tenure and he stepped up massively during Ken Hinkley’s honeymoon years too. All in all, they got 275 goals (fourth in Power history) in just 123 games from a guy they paid absolute peanuts for.

Farmer had only played three games by that point and managed 28 more before being delisted, while Ben Nason – the white guy with dreadlocks – was delisted after two seasons.

Winner: Port Adelaide

Trade 9

Brisbane received: Xavier Clarke
St Kilda received: pick 60

This was so close to being a double-doughnut. Clarke played just one game for the Lions – amassing four disposals – before a knee injury at training ended his career.


I actually went to the effort of checking whether this was the fewest disposals in club history and, amazingly, it’s not! Leigh Ryswyk (remember him? no?) also had four touches in his lone game in 2005, but Darren Bradshaw (three) and Michael McLean (one) are well ahead – although McLean played for the Bears too, so that probably doesn’t count.

The Saints used pick 60 on former Kangaroo Jesse Smith – who was Nathan Freeman before Nathan Freeman – but he never debuted.

Winner: nobody

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Trade 10

Collingwood received: Darren Jolly
Sydney received: picks 14 and 46

Jolly changed clubs twice in his career and won a flag in his first season with the new team both times. He should’ve requested more trades!

In all seriousness, he never quite got the recognition he deserved as a ruckman and was dominant in both grand finals in 2010.

The Swans landed a gem in Lewis Jetta with pick 14, who was also dominant in a premiership year – leading the club with 45 goals in 2012.

Lewis Jetta flies high for the ball

(AAP Image/Dean Lewins)

Both clubs would do this trade again in a heartbeat.

Winner: genuine win-win


Trade 11

Sydney received: Shane Mumford
Geelong received: pick 28

This is really difficult to evaluate.

Big Mummy was only with the Swans for four seasons, but became a fan favourite quickly. While he was injured for much the 2012 decider itself, it’s hard to see the Swans getting there without him.

That said, the Cats did extremely well with pick 28, landing the ultra-consistent Mitch Duncan. He cemented himself in Geelong’s best 22 very quickly and was arguably the single biggest beneficiary of Gary Ablett’s departure to Gold Coast. Yes, even more so than the Suns.

They both have a premiership medal around their necks, but it’s really hard for me to look at the value Duncan has given Geelong over a considerably longer period of time and not give them the points.

Winner: Geelong

Trade 12


Sydney received: Josh Kennedy and Ben McGlynn
Hawthorn received: picks 39, 46 and 70

I still maintain this off-season by Sydney is one of the very best any team has enjoyed this side of 2000 and this trade is the crown jewel.

Picks 39 and 46 weren’t even theirs to begin with and they managed to land two of their most important players of the 2010s in Kennedy and McGlynn with them.

Kennedy’s resume doesn’t need elaborating, while McGlynn flies under the radar despite slotting 167 goals in his 127 games with the Swans. He does have the unfortunate honour of being the only player on the list throughout Sydney’s three grand finals last decade to miss 2012 and play in the losing two.

The Hawks landed an absolute gem at 46 in current captain Ben Stratton – so this by no means one-way traffic – but pick 39 Sam Grimley sees them fall short. Pick 70 was used to promote Matthew Suckling off the rookie list, which is something too.

Winner: Sydney

Josh P Kennedy Sydney Swans AFL 2017

Josh Kennedy (R). (AAP Image/David Moir)

Trade 13


Hawthorn received: Shaun Burgoyne, pick 58
Essendon received: Mark Williams, picks 24, 33 and 89
Port Adelaide received: Jay Nash, picks 9, 16 and 88
Geelong received: picks 40, 42 and 56

A bit of something for everyone here, but the Hawks clearly won big.

The fact Burgoyne was the oldest player involved in this deal but has outlasted all but four of the players drafted when this went down is mind-boggling. Pick 58 Rhan Hooper (an ex-Lion) didn’t work out, but that’s entirely irrelevant in the face of Silk’s glittering CV.

Only the Hawks could trade pick nine for a then-28-year-old and come out laughably on top.

The Bombers get a tick for offloading Nash, but they also gave up picks 16, 42 and 58 to acquire Williams – who only managed four games – and move down the order. Their blushes are saved by landing Jake Carlisle with pick 24, but pick 33 Anthony Long never debuted.

Port probably come out the worst here, having lost Burgoyne and surrendered picks 24, 40 and 56 to get eight-gamer Nash, and two first-rounders. Jasper Pittard did well from pick 16, although pick nine Andrew Moore was a bit of a disappointment.

Geelong, on the other hand, snuck in some value by netting Allen Christensen with pick 40 and Nathan Vardy with 42. Pick 56 Josh Cowan only played 16 games, but overall this is a good haul considering they moved down the order in this deal.

Gold: Hawthorn
Silver: Geelong
Bronze: Essendon
Copper(?): Port Adelaide


Trade 14

Geelong received: Marcus Drum
Fremantle received: pick 49

I have no recollection of this trade. Dylan Roberton played 37 games for the Dockers before crossing to the Saints, which is enough to get the points here given Drum never played for the Cats.

Winner: Fremantle

Trade 15

Brisbane received: Brendan Fevola and pick 27
Carlton received: Lachie Henderson and pick 12

We finish with the one you’ve all been waiting for. This might not look catastrophic on paper, but this really was a disaster for the Lions – not that I needed to tell you that.

Fevola’s 48 goals from 17 games with Brisbane was a steep decline from the three returns of 80 or more he managed in the previous four seasons, with his termination due to off-field issues almost single-handedly bankrupting the club. They won their first four games in 2010 and looked absolutely unbeatable too – how did it fall apart so badly after that?

Brendan Fevola of the Lions looks dejected

(Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

Henderson chipped in with 25 goals in 2010 before finding his true calling as a solid defender for the Blues.

Kane Lucas didn’t quite forge the career you’d hope for a pick 12 – only managing 42 games – but that’s 42 more than the Lions got out of pick 27 Callum Bartlett.

Mitch Duncan and Jack Gunston were the next two picks, by the way.

The real kicker, which doesn’t get discussed enough, is Fevola’s arrival squeezing out Daniel Bradshaw. Injuries may have curtailed his brief stint with Sydney, but to discard an absolute champion like that after his five-goal heroics in the elimination final against Carlton must have rubbed a lot of people the wrong way.

Winner: Carlton

It’s been an absolute pleasure doing this series for you and I’ve loved reading all of your comments – yes, even the negative ones. From here on, I’ll probably pick the more interesting years rather than just going year-by-year – 2008 had just six trades, for example, so it’s not worth it. In any case, keep checking back on The Roar!