MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 08: Steven Hocking, General Manager Football Operations of the AFL arrives during the NAB Trade Period at Marvel Stadium on October 8, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media/Getty Images)

A pre-season trade window – instead of a mid-season trade period – is set to be introduced to the AFL, according to Tim Watson.

Speaking on SEN Breakfast, Watson believes that a pre-season trade period will come into place next year.

It comes after The Age raised the prospect of it happening on Tuesday night, and Watson thinks it will certainly come to fruition.

“The mid-season trade period is going to become the pre-season trade,” Watson said.

“There’ll be a 48 to 72-hour window that will open just before the season, I’m not exactly sure what the dates are going to be, but there will be a window that opens when those trades can occur.

“It won’t happen during the year, it won’t happen mid-season, it’ll happen in the pre-season.

“It will happen according to my people.

“When the clubs met, all the CEO’s, there was opposition, they didn’t like the mid-season draft.”

The idea of an additional trade period has long been on the agenda, with speculation rife over recent months.

AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan told Sportsday on Tuesday night that an out-of-season trade period would be implemented in order to facilitate the trades of depth players at clubs, as opposed to stars.

“I think what’s clear is it wouldn’t be anything that would enable star players to be shopped around,” he said.

“Maybe it would be earlier in the year … I might need a ruckman coming into the season or half way through the season and you’ve got a surplus, but it won’t be something – what the strong feedback is from football is they don’t want something that gives an opportunity for star players (to move) or clubs under pressure to be put in poor positions.”