While a portion of trade and free agency deals are often finalised in the dying seconds of the exchange window's deadline day, the wheels can often be in motion before the AFL home and away season is even underway.

Last year's trade window saw 36 players find a new club ahead of the 2023 season, some deals being brokered within hours and others landing after months in the making.

Between contracted players and free agents, AFL clubs and their list managers will often be putting the wheels in motion to scout targets right from their first appearance of the season, or could very well enter the new year with priority signings in mind.

Lion-turned-Magpie Daniel McStay was among the movers at the end of last season, with his switch to Collingwood coming months after his mind was already made up.

"Daniel McStay was a free agent of mine who I got across to Collingwood. But that was all done in July," CSM agent Nick Gieschen revealed to Zero Hanger in the off-season.

"It was still six months in the making, though. There was Brisbane's offer. Then came Collingwood's meeting. It then went back to Brisbane to think about whether to keep him. It eventually got to a stage where Daniel decided, ‘nup, I want to come home'."

With the new season just over a month away, each club is sure to have their list of targets slowly coming together as they plan to scout out-of-contract names across the course of the year.

With this list, we name the one off-contract player your club should be keeping a close eye on in 2023.

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West Coast

Mitch Georgiades

The Eagles have already asked the question of Georgiades and his future at Alberton, with the young forward's name reportedly being raised in trade discussions between West Coast and Port Adelaide last year.

With the Power looking to secure Junior Rioli in the off-season, some wishful thinking from the Eagles saw Georgiades linked to a move back to his home state, only for those suggestions to be quickly denied.

ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - MAY 08: Mitch Georgiades of Port Adelaide celebrates a goal during the round eight AFL match between the Port Adelaide Power and the Adelaide Crows at Adelaide Oval on May 08, 2021 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by Mark Brake/Getty Images)

The Subiaco product will again be on West Coast's radar given his contract's expiry date coming at season's end. With West Coast looking to regenerate their list for the future, Georgiades would be the perfect target for Adam Simpson to pair with young tall Oscar Allen in attack.

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