The 2023 AFL season was quite the rollercoaster. From the roaring successes for several sides to the drastic underachievement of others, it was been one to remember. It had been a long time since there's been a finals race so close towards the end of the season, and it proved to be one of the most entertaining in recent memory.

For clubs who missed the eight, looking towards the trade period and the draft was the next step. Similarly, those in the eight were already be on the lookout for ways to improve their lists and make the jump to premiership glory.

The trade period can be such an advantageous time of year for any club, however, most moves usually don't work out for both sides. It's common for a side to end up with something better than the other in trades - especially regarding picks - but have there been trades where both clubs come off as beneficiaries?

We put together a list of nine trades that worked out for all those involved.


1. 2013 - Giants swap youngster for veteran Pies defender

After Nathan Buckley's second year as head coach, it was clear that he didn't have the greatest relationship with all his players. From the departure of Dale Thomas to Carlton and a series of off-field issues with some of his players, the deal to send Heath Shaw to the Giants was inevitable.

Shaw (28 at the time) was still a staple in Collingwood's back six and a solid contributor to the side. However, after a couple of underachieving years, his time at the club was up. The Pies managed to snag youngster Taylor Adams in exchange for their flanker, with the young Giant since becoming a mainstay in the Collingwood midfield. Adams (20 at the time) had a decent year at the Giants, averaging 21 possessions and four clearances before returning to Victoria.

With an ageing midfield at the Pies, grabbing Adams worked out fantastically in the long run. A running machine and a bull through traffic, Adams was a huge part of the Pies' success in 2018, despite losing the Grand Final to the West Coast Eagles. In 2020, Adams made the All-Australian side and won the Copeland Trophy (Best and Fairest) for the Magpies.

Although Adams has been great for the Pies, the same can be said about Shaw for the Giants. As a leader and role model for the young side, Shaw was integral to both the growth of the club and the development of their young talent. Shaw made the 2015 and 2016 All-Australian side, something he hadn't been able to achieve at Collingwood. Additionally, he aided in getting the Giants to the 2019 Grand Final which they would ultimately lose by 89 points to the Tigers.

As an attacking half-back, Shaw still had plenty to give in his time with the Giants, but his leadership was the best thing for the club. Helping the young talent in the back six of Sam Taylor, Nick Haynes, Lachie Ash and Isaac Cumming has paid off greatly for GWS.