After a drama-filled fortnight, the AFL Trade Period has finally come to a close with clubs finalising their ins and outs ahead of next month’s draft.
Many big names made moves while others stayed put, leaving some clubs very happy and others very disappointed. Here is Zero Hanger’s rankings of every club in the 2019 Trade Period:
The Blues entered the trade period full of optimism, with the club finally nearing the end of its rebuild and becoming a destination for rival players. Unfortunately, it did not pan out well for list manager Stephen Silvagni, who failed to land the club’s two biggest targets in Tom Papley and Jack Martin. Although SOS secured a fairytale return for Eddie Betts and still holds pick nine in the draft, for a club who were hoping to make a push for finals in 2020, this trade period was disastrous.
In: Billy Frampton, pick 37, pick 45, pick 49 (Ellis-Yolmen compensation), 2020 round two pick, 2020 round four pick, 2020 round four pick
Out: Alex Keath, Cam Ellis-Yolmen, Eddie Betts, Hugh Greenwood, Josh Jenkins, Sam Jacobs, 2020 round three pick
Current draft picks: 4, 23, 28, 37, 45, 49
Adelaide lost six players and brought in just one this trade period as they are set to embark upon a full-scale rebuild. With the Crows only player acquisition, Billy Frampton, nothing more than a depth player at this stage, this offseason is yet to provide fans with much hope for the future, with plenty riding on their pick four selection. Although Adelaide traded away an abundance of talent, they also created a lot of cap space and were able to hold onto integral players such as Brad Crouch.
16th. Port Adelaide
In: Pick 12, pick 18, 2020 round three pick, 2020 round four pick
Out: Billy Frampton, Dougal Howard, Paddy Ryder, pick 10, 2020 round four pick
Current draft picks: 12, 18, 29, 66, 67, 68, 71, 86
After a strong recruiting drive in the past few seasons, the Power have seemingly turned their back on ready-made talent and will attack the upcoming draft instead. The Power traded away three tall assets in Frampton, Howard and Paddy Ryder, along with pick 10, and were able to snag two first round picks in 12 and 18. However, with a midfield-heavy draft, time will tell how they address their now lack of depth in key positions. Port also failed to lure top target Orazio Fantasia to the club and will be stuck with small forward Sam Gray, who failed to draw any interest.
The biggest story coming out of the trade period was the Swans’ inability to land Joe Daniher. Neither Sydney nor Essendon were willing to budge on their valuation of the key forward, leaving Daniher stranded at Windy Hill for another season. The failure of that deal meant the Swans had no desire to trade Tom Papley, but did lose Zak Jones and Darcy Cameron. With Lewis Taylor the sole arrival, Sydney’s list has not improved going into 2020, leaving them relying upon a strong haul in year’s draft.
Richmond are so low on this list not because they had a poor trade period but because they barley played a role, and they didn’t need to. Following their second premiership in three years the Tigers were happy to keep their playing core and add depth through the draft. Obviously the loss of Ellis, who was involved in both Grand Finals, will hurt, but with pick 19 in their back pocket and plenty of replacements already on the list, Richmond should be just fine.
In: Darcy Cameron, pick 62, 2020 round two pick, 2020 round four pick
Out: James Aish, pick 56, pick 69, 2020 round three pick
Current draft picks: 35, 62, 74
Unlike Richmond, the Pies needed to improve this offseason following their disappointing preliminary final exit but their upcoming salary cap pinch held them back. Collingwood did land backup ruckman Darcy Cameron, who will battle Mason Cox for a spot, and were able to dump James Aish’s salary off to Fremantle. However, with a weak draft position and key senior players entering their final contract year, 2020 could be a do-or-die season for the Magpies.
12th. North Melbourne
In: Aiden Bonar, pick 26, pick 50, 2020 round one pick, 2020 round four pick
Out: Pick 8, 2020 round three pick
Current draft picks: 26, 27, 47, 50, 73, 84
Although the Kangaroos were inactive for most of the trade period, after securing 20-year-old Aiden Bonar and setting themselves up for a strong 2020 draft, they can be relatively happy with their performance. However, their future is in the hands of Melbourne, who they hope will continue their struggles into next season and finish below 10th spot. North still have a solid draft hand with two second round picks, but they haven’t turned into a top eight side overnight.
In: Callum Ah Chee, Cam Ellis-Yolmen, Grant Birchall, pick 48, pick 72, 2020 round three pick
Out: Lewis Taylor, Tom Cutler, pick 46, pick 91, 2020 round two pick, 2020 round four pick
Current draft picks: 16, 21, 34, 48, 52, 55, 72
Brisbane certainly made important additions to their squad in the trade period and through free agency, however, after missing out on Jamie Elliott, there will still be a hint of disappointment. The club were successful in shipping off two fringe players in Cutler and Taylor and improving their position in the 2019 and 2020 drafts. By bringing in the experience of Birchall, the excitement of Ah Chee and the grunt of Ellis-Yolmen, the Lions appear ready for another tilt at the premiership next season.
10th. Greater Western Sydney
In: Sam Jacobs, pick 6, pick 40 (Tomlinson compensation), pick 59, 2020 round three pick
Out: Adam Tomlinson, Aiden Bonar, Jon Patton
Current draft picks: 6, 40, 59, 60, 80, 94
By acquiring Sam Jacobs, the Giants filled a massive hole in their squad for a very cheap price and by landing pick six, the club are primed to secure academy prospect Tom Green. The loss of 140-game veteran Adam Tomlinson will have an impact, but by eliminating his, Jon Patton’s and Aiden Bonar’s contracts, it will be easier for GWS to lock up Jeremy Cameron, Lachie Whitfield and Zac Williams next year.
9th. Gold Coast
In: Brandon Ellis, Hugh Greenwood, Zac Smith, 2020 round two pick, 2020 round four pick
Out: Callum Ah Chee, pick 58, 2020 round three pick, 2020 round four pick
Current picks: 1, 2, 15, 20, 78, 90
Although picks one and two are the keys to Gold Coast’s 2019 list strategy, securing talented players with a combined 342 games of experience is crucial to changing the club’s fortune. The club held firm at the trade table, knocking back Carlton’s offers for Jack Martin, but now the Suns must decide to either re-draft him or let him walk for free. Losing a former number eight pick in Callum Ah Chee will sting, but the Suns will be hoping they can begin build a culture that is attractive enough to keep their next generation of talent.
In: Blake Acres, James Aish, pick 10, pick 22, pick 58, pick 69, pick 79, 2020 round two pick, 2020 round three pick
Out: Bradley Hill, Ed Langdon, pick 26, 2020 round three pick, 2020 round four pick
Current draft picks: 7, 10, 22, 58, 69, 79, 83
Fremantle will be unhappy not to land Tim Kelly, but they never really had a shot at the new Eagle. The Dockers also failed in their efforts to keep Bradley Hill and Ed Langdon, but they would be very please with their return. Not only have the club secured two capable players in Acres and Aish, but with two top 10 picks, are in a strong position to grab two of the nation’s brightest youngsters, or squeeze into the top five.
In: Jon Patton, Sam Frost, pick 42, pick 54, pick 63
Out: Grant Birchall, Mark Pittonet, pick 50, 2020 round two pick
Current draft picks: 11, 30, 42, 54, 63, 87, 92
Hawthorn are the kings of the cheap deal and they have displayed their skills once again this trade period. The Hawks secured both Sam Frost and Jon Patton, improving their key position stocks, for a bag of chips, while offloading fringe players to bolster their selections in the draft. There are plenty of ‘ifs’ surrounding Patton and Frost but when fully fit, both players will be valuable assets to Alastair Clarkson’s side. Should the Hawks hold onto pick 11, it will be the highest they’ve drafted since 2006 when they took Mitchell Thorp with pick six.
In: Jack Steven, Josh Jenkins, pick 14, pick 24, 2020 round one pick, 2020 round three pick
Out: Tim Kelly, Zac Smith, pick 57, 2020 round three pick
Current draft picks: 14, 17, 24, 36, 93
After losing a player who finished second in the best-and-fairest, won an All-Australian jacket and polled 24 Brownlow votes, it would be difficult to see Geelong having a successful trade period. However, by securing a handsome return for Tim Kelly’s services, recruiting a four-time b&f winner in Jack Steven and picking up Josh Jenkins, the Cats would be very happy with their offseason so far, although they are still in need of a ruckman. Geelong’s next step is to capitalise on their strong draft position and find their next Tim Kelly.
In: Andrew Phillips, Tom Cutler, pick 33, pick 61, pick 64
Out: pick 37, pick 52, pick 70, 2020 round three pick
Current draft picks: 31, 33, 61, 64, 65, 88
After only bringing in Andrew Phillips and Tom Cutler, the Bombers weren’t successful due to their recruiting strategy but because of their stubbornness at the trade table. The Bombers didn’t budge on the valuation of Joe Daniher, giving them a year to either persuade him to stay or find a suitable replacement. The club were also able to convince Orazio Fantasia to stay put which was a massive coup, but they still haven’t improved their list enough to become a potential contender.
In: Adam Tomlinson, Ed Langdon, pick 8, 2020 round two pick, 2020 round four pick
Out: Sam Frost, pick 22, pick 42, pick 61, pick 79, 2020 round one pick, 2020 round two pick, 2020 round four pick
Current draft picks: 3, 8
Melbourne have gone all in on the 2019 offseason in an effort to quickly bounce back from their disappointing season. The recruitment of both Tomlinson and Langdon was crucial and both players will slot straight into their starting 22 and they will hope Steven May and Jake Lever will cover the loss of Sam Frost. The Demons will be major players in the draft, armed with picks three and eight, but with most of their 2020 picks tied to other teams, there is plenty of pressure on the Dees to perform next year and repay their list manager’s faith.
3rd. Western Bulldogs
In: Alex Keath, Josh Bruce, 2020 round three selection
Out: pick 32, pick 45, pick 51, 2020 round two pick
Current draft picks: 13, 53, 89
The Bulldogs had two main targets this trade period and were able to land both of them without relinquishing their lucky pick 13. The Dogs secured the services of want-away Crow Alex Keath to shore up their defence and St Kilda tall forward Josh Bruce to boost their attack. Both men arrived at the club at very little cost, allowing the bulldogs to chase a talented rookie with the 13th pick. After an elimination final finish in 2019, the Western Bulldogs are steadily building for another finals campaign in 2020.
2nd. West Coast
In: Tim Kelly, pick 46, pick 91, 2020 round three selection
Out: Pick 14, pick 24, pick 33, pick 64, 2020 round one pick
Current draft picks: 46, 91
Following the recruitment of one of the game’s leading midfielders, the Eagles go into 2020 as potential flag favourites. Although it cost West Coast plenty of picks to land the 25-year-old, for a side who will be challenging for the premiership, those selections mean very little. With the addition of Kelly, the Eagles midfield is now one of the best in the competition, with a full-strength Naitanui, Shuey, Gaff and Yeo set to cause plenty of problems.
1st. St Kilda
In: Bradley Hill, Dan Butler, Dougal Howard, Paddy Ryder, Zak Jones, pick 51, 2020 round four pick, 2020 round four pick
Out: Josh Bruce, Jack Steven, pick 6, pick 59, pick 79, 2020 round two pick, 2020 round three pick, 2020 round four pick
Current draft picks: 51, 82
It seemed almost every single player in the competition was linked to St Kilda and it was going to take a miracle for the Saints to bring them all in but they did incredibly well. With five new players through the doors at Moorabbin, including a premiership hero in Brad Hill and an exciting backman in Dougal Howard, the lid is well and truly off and there will be massive expectations for the Saints in 2020. However, the club will be disappointed to lose Jack Steven and Josh Bruce so cheaply and Ben King’s commitment to the Gold Coast was also a significant blow.