Since Chris Fagan has taken the reins of the Brisbane Lions, the club has been able to bring stars from right across the league such as Charlie Cameron, Lachie Neale, Luke Hodge, and more recently Josh Dunkley, to name a few.

Their ability to bring in all types of players whether they were consistently injured, veterans, or superstars from another team has ultimately boosted the depth of the Lions squad and reignited careers that have risen a team that was competing for the wooden spoon to now be placed as premiership contenders.

Off the back of a busy 2022 exchange window that also included the addition of Jack Gunston, Conor McKenna and father-son picks in Will Ashcroft and Jaspa Fletcher, the Lions will be without a first-round pick in the upcoming off-season.

In the second part of our club-by-club AFL trade targets series, we take a look at the potential off-contract players Brisbane could look to attract to the sunshine state.


1. Esava Ratugolea

The 24-year-old from Geelong could be the helping hand Brisbane has been looking for in defence. The 197cm, 100kg tank could be the replacement for Marcus Adams, who might not take to the field ever again after suffering a knock to the head last year with delayed concussion symptoms still having an impact.

Ratugolea has also been a good utility player for the Cats with the ability to go forward and kick goals if needed, which could solve inconsistency issues that have plagued the Brisbane forward line in recent times. Ratugolea has kicked 38 goals so far in his six-year tenure at the Cattery.

Despite Geelong's up-and-down performances so far in 2023, Ratugolea has been one of their shining lights, recording a career record of 73 spoils whilst only losing 27.3% of defensive contests so far from his 33 'one on ones' this year.

Whilst Geelong are adamant to hold onto Ratugolea, rival club interest from Port Adelaide and Brisbane has picked up. His contract with the Cats ends at the conclusion of the 2023 season.