For footballing fanatics, the annual trade period is like Christmas - only with recycled toys.

The exchanged athletes may not come brand new in the box or with all of their working parts, but with careers that have already commenced and with runs on the board at previous clubs, most are known quantities.

Many of the names that will find themselves at new homes in 2021 have expressed a desire for a new start. Whilst others have been shopped and shipped against their wishes.

Irrespective of how they’ve found themselves on the verge of a filling a new locker and guernsey, they have been secured by their latest club to fill a need.

Some players on this list may not be the extravagant of those swapped across the last fortnight. However, they are those best equipped to have their new fans beaming from the get-go.

4. Shaun Higgins

After 108 games, an All-Australian blazer, and a pair of Syd Barker medals with North Melbourne, Shaun Higgins was finally dealt to his hometown team Geelong.

with 237 career games to his name, Higgins is well and truly an understood and respected commodity both in the engine room and forward of the ball.

It is for these reasons Geelong’s list manager Stephen Wells was so keen for Higgins to swap vertical blue and white stripes for the hooped variety.

Following the Wednesday afternoon deal, Wells spoke on AFL Trade Radio about the 32-year-old’s role in the Cat’s 2021 premiership tilt.

“With Gary Ablett retiring, that there’s an opportunity there for another experienced, super skillful, talented player in the competition to play that same sort of role that Gary did. But even added to that, I think that Shaun’s going to play a bit more inside-mid as well,” Wells explained.

Now these may seem like impossible shoes to fill, but with a superb resume crafted over fifteen years at the top level, Higgins won’t appear out of place in them.

With Higgins’ lack of premiership success across this decade and a half, combined with Geelong’s ageing list desperate to fly a tenth banner at Kardinia Park, this long-awaited marriage looks to be a match made in heaven.