The quietest trade period for a decade still created some headlines, but in the end Carlton and Adelaide obtained the best players to change clubs. Here’s a wrap of each club’s moves.
In: Jordan Dawson
Out: Jake Kelly
Draft picks: 4, 33, 75, 80
Having endured a few nervy moments in their dealings with the Swans, the Crows would be pleased to have landed their man in Dawson early on deadline day for only Melbourne’s future first-round pick, a deal that rival clubs thought was pretty fair. The South Australian had an outstanding season with Sydney and is young enough that he can play a key role when Adelaide next contend for the flag. The no-frills but dependable Kelly headed back to Victoria after eight solid years’ service.
Jordan Dawson is now a Crow.Credit:Getty Images
In: Darcy Fort
Draft picks: 14, 18, 41, 54, 60, 76, 90
The Lions had precious little salary cap space with which to work so were always going to need to be targeted in their approach. List manager Dom Ambrogio identified ruckman Fort as the man to fortify Brisbane’s big man stocks, and while the situation dragged on until the final day of the trade period, the Lions acquired a player who they feel can provide important support to Oscar McInerney.
In: George Hewett, Lewis Young, Adam Cerra
Out: Sam Petrevski-Seton
Draft picks: 25, 64, 82
Blues president Luke Sayers is spruiking Carlton as a destination club and at least on the face of it he is right, with the Blues still holding enough cache to land arguably the most exciting prospect to move in the trade period in Cerra. After a little bit of to-ing and fro-ing the Blues landed the midfielder from the Dockers inside the first week, ensuring there were no final day nerves on Royal Parade. Hewett provides defensive grit and leadership in the midfield while Young has shown his quality in defence at the Dogs and could be handy cheap acquisition. Petrevski-Seton’s time at Carlton petered out though, and to lose him for pick 52 should be considered a disappointing result given he was such an early selection five years ago.
Adam Cerra in his new colours.Credit:Carlton FC
In: Nathan Kreuger, Patrick Lipinski
Out: Max Lynch
Draft picks: 27, 36, 46, 48, 55, 58, 78, 79
A year after the trade period from hell, things were much better this time around for the Pies. While they didn’t have the salary cap space or draft capital to really hunt a big name, they managed to identify a couple of likely fringe types from premiership contending clubs in the form of Kreuger and Lipinski. Both came in with relatively little fuss and should be a part of the Pies’ best 22 next year. Crucially, Collingwood also picked up more draft points to pave the way for the looming acquisition of father-son selection Nick Daicos, on whose shoulder will rest Messianic-like expectations.
In: Jake Kelly
Draft picks: 11, 51, 56, 87
Major players in recent trade periods, the Bombers often provide the biggest drama at this time of year. For the most part, that wasn’t the case in 2021, with Essendon keen to head to the draft with a strong hand once they picked up Kelly cheaply as a free agent. But the curveball of Bobby Hill’s trade request ensured the Dons weren’t entirely out of the spotlight. The Giants stood their ground though, with Essendon unable to stump up an offer compelling enough to prise the goalsneak out of GWS.
In: Will Brodie, Jordan Clark
Out: Adam Cerra
Draft picks: 6, 8, 19, 61, 69, 84
Given the position in their list build, the Dockers will have been disappointed to lose Cerra, a player who shapes as one of the AFL’s premier midfielders over the next decade. But Freo did pretty well out of a bad situation, getting a second top-10 pick in this year’s draft while also haggling a future third-rounder. The Brodie deal might be the best of the lost, with the Dockers taking on his contract and gaining pick 19 from the Suns in a salary dump. Anything the former top-10 selection offers on the field is a bonus. Negotiations with Geelong over Clark dragged on but Freo got there in the end, while they also hung on to Rory Lobb after the big man was shopped around by his management and courted by former club Greater Western Sydney.
In: Jonathon Ceglar
Out: Darcy Fort, Jordan Clark, Nathan Kreuger
Draft picks: 22, 30, 32, 34, 50, 91
The Cats arguably paid a price for their topping up in recent years, losing a couple of emerging players in Clark and Kreuger, both of whom had been only fringe players in 2021. Clark negotiations went down to the wire, but ultimately Geelong got a reasonable result as the speedster moved to Freo. The Cats had been amenable to letting Fort free to Brisbane but only if they could bring in some tall back-up of their own and with Ceglar caught in no-man’s land at Waverley, he was a good fit. A few dominoes had to fall, but it got done on the last day.
In: Mabior Chol
Out: Will Brodie
Draft picks: 3
With a tight cap and a list-full of contracted players, Gold Coast never loomed as huge players in this year’s trade period. They had talks with North Melbourne about dumping Darcy McPherson’s salary but in the end McPherson didn’t want to move on the terms offered. Ultimately, it fell to perennial trade bait Brodie to play the role of salary dump fodder, with the Suns using their bonus pick from the AFL (No.19) to clear some space that could help them retain other players. Chol was an important acquisition to kick off free agency and should help both in the ruck and up forward.
Mabior Chol moved to the Suns as a free agent.Credit:Getty Images
Greater Western Sydney
Out: Jeremy Finlayson
Draft picks: 2, 13, 53, 71, 89
The Giants were arguably the most interesting club during this trade period, getting their nose in several sets of talks. Finlayson’s move to the Power might end up being a bargain for Port, but the Giants were happy enough to have the forward’s money off their books. Hill caught GWS off-guard and became a saga. The Giants weren’t going to let him go without shoring up their small forward stocks but plays for Chad Wingard and Luke Breust were dead on arrival when the big-name Hawks said they didn’t want a move, while Lobb tickled the Giants’ fancy, but not enough for them to cough up for his salary.
In: Max Lynch
Out: Jonathan Ceglar, Tim O’Brien
Draft picks: 5, 21, 24, 59, 65, 81
William Shakespeare’s Much Ado about Nothing comes to mind when considering Hawthorn’s trade period. Key players Wingard and Breust had to renew their vows to Hawthorn by refusing offers from the Giants that their club had been happy to consider. The Hawks tried to shake up the trade period to gain some earlier draft picks, which was the right idea, but the market didn’t exist to fulfil their plans. Gained a good, strong, young ruck prospect in Lynch, but clubs will come for their players next year.
In: Luke Dunstan
Draft picks: 17, 37, 49, 57, 94
The premiership team traded their way back into the first round of the draft continuing their method of using future picks like credit, while recruiting a tough ball-winner to keep the midfield fierce and add depth. Their list is in a sweet spot, they have their eye in as talent spotters and their main task will be retention in the next two years.
In: Callum Coleman-Jones
Out: Robbie Tarrant
Draft picks: 1, 20, 42, 47, 72, 77
They did not want to lose Tarrant, so identifying a key defender among the delisted free agents or at state league would be handy, but they continue to build midfield depth and tall targets with Coleman-Jones the best young forward-ruck available. They have knocked back strong offers for pick No.1 with Jason Horne-Francis set to complement their talented young midfield.
In: Jeremy Finlayson
Out: Peter Ladhams
Draft picks: 12, 63, 73, 74, 92
The Power clearly wanted to let Ladhams go despite him being part of their best 22 for most of the season, securing Jeremy Finlayson for a future third-round pick to replace him. They backed their young midfielders to improve rather than chasing Hawthorn’s Jaeger O’Meara for depth. This is a club on the cusp that will have money to spend when the trading market opens up again this time next season.
In: Robbie Tarrant
Out: Mabior Chol, Callum Coleman-Jones
Draft picks: 7, 15, 26, 28, 38, 40, 83
The Tigers were disappointed to lose both Chol and Coleman-Jones, but their ruck depth remains reasonable and Tarrant was a smart acquisition on a two-year deal. The Tigers have a good draft hand and could contend again in 2022 while setting a foundation for future success given the end is near for champion pair Trent Cotchin and Jack Riewoldt, while Dustin Martin is now 30.
Out: Luke Dunstan
Draft picks: 9, 62, 66, 67, 85
The Saints would prefer a stronger draft hand, but that’s the price the club pays for trading in established players. Dunstan was a free agent and was not offered a contract anyway. They had interest in Sydney’s Hayden McLean, Geelong’s Kreuger and North Melbourne’s Tristan Xerri, but refused to pay at any cost to get them, having declared they would be quiet this trade period. The Saints remain a chance to pick up a delisted free agent to fill a space, with West Coast’s Jarrod Brander potentially a good fit.
In: Peter Ladhams
Out: Jordan Dawson, George Hewett
Draft picks: 16, 31, 39, 70, 88
The Swans made it clear they were unhappy to lose Dawson to Adelaide after he finished third in their best and fairest, but the door opened for him to return to his home state when they took so long to sign their players near the end of the year. In the finish, a future first-round pick was the best they could do in return. Hewett has been a loyal servant but is replaceable and Ladhams is a very handy back-up to Tom Hickey if he can knuckle down, and he didn’t cost much more than a future third-round pick.
Peter Ladhams is now a Swan.Credit:Getty Images
In: Sam Petrevski-Seton
Draft picks: 10, 29, 35, 68, 86
West Coast were quiet, identifying Carlton midfielder Petrevski-Seton as their target and landing him for a bargain with pick 52 changing hands. With a tight salary cap, they were never going to be a big player in the trade period. Brander remains out of contract and is likely to seek a home elsewhere. They need to bring young talent in through the draft.
In: Tim O’Brien
Out: Patrick Lipinski, Lewis Young
Draft picks: 23, 43, 44, 45, 52, 93
They wanted to have enough draft points to match a likely bid for father-son prospect Sam Darcy at pick No.2 and were smart in getting hold of Hawthorn’s O’Brien, who shapes as a key defender. The Bulldogs’ lack of intent in getting another ruckman surprised some but the re-signing of Jordon Sweet was a bonus with Stefan Martin and Tim English carrying the burden again.
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