The AFL trade week that is now longer than a week has come to an end for 2014 (does it ‘slam shut’ like the transfer window does in soccer?), with 29 players changing hands over the past few weeks.
Whilst it’s hard to gauge the immediate impact of these trades, many of them will no doubt move some teams closer to a premiership, closer to a finals berth or closer to the top of the 2015 draft.
Who won, who lost…
The big winners, essentially giving up two draft picks to upgrade Jack Crisp to Dayne Beams, a deal every club in the AFL does in a heartbeat if it nets them one of the best 20 players in the league like Beams. Add the new recruit to Rockliff, Redden, Rich, Hanley, and Zorko, and the Lions suddenly have arguably the best midfield in the AFL. A far cry from 12 months ago when so many of their players jumped ship.
The rich get richer, after the Hawks were able to add 2010 All-Australian and free agent James Frawley, as well as former No. 2 overall pick Jono O’Rouke for the mere outlay of picks No. 19 and 40. Savvy work by the two-time defending premiers – no wonder there’s already talk of a three-peat next season.
Handed pick No. 3 overall as compensation for losing Frawley, which must surely be the AFL’s compromise for not granting them a priority pick? Seriously, Frawley, a 2010 All-Australian is worth a first round compo pick, but Nick Malceski, a premiership player with Sydney and 2014 All-Australian, is only worth a second rounder? Please… Which brings us to…
Adding Malceski to their backline is a great get for the Suns. Seasoned top-level professional – 2012 premiership player with two other Grand Final appearances – who should walk straight into the Suns leadership group. Trading for Mitch Hallahan, who could turn out to be this season’s Anthony Miles, is another shrewd move.
Port Adelaide and Paddy Ryder
In Ryder, Port have filled the only glaring hole on their list, and are now all in for the 2015 flag and beyond. As for the player himself, he got the move he wanted and also got to give Essendon one final parting middle finger – GWS allegedly offered picks No. 6, 7 and Jonathan Giles for Ryder, a deal the Bombers would have fallen over themselves to accept, only for the Port-bound man to nix it.
Landed Joel Patfull and Ryan Griffen to bolster their best 22, whilst also positioning themselves with three draft picks inside the top seven. More top young talent for the Giants, although can’t help but think they need more experienced bodies, not top ten picks they’ll trade away in a couple of years.
After trading Rhys Stanley to Geelong, the Saints are right where they want to be, with three picks in the first 22, including No. 1 overall, which they will no doubt use on explosive midfielder Christian Petracca. Eerily similar to the Saints manoeuvres 12 months ago, when they landed talented trio Jack Billings, Luke Dunstan and Blake Acres. Now they just have to nail all their 2014 picks. Also won the staring contest with the Swans, and will pick up forward prospect Tim Membrey in the pre-season draft.
Tom Boyd(s bank account)
This boy got paaaaaaiiid! Now needs to back it up as the spearhead the Bulldogs hope he’ll be.
The trade period came to an end with star Patrick Dangerfield remaining a Crow, although there wasn’t necessarily any serious talk that he’d leave. The club now have 12 months to convince him to stay.
In the wake of the Boyd deal, the sales pitch from Cameron’s agent in 12 months’ time should go something like this – Boyd got $1 million+ a year after eight goals in nine games. Jeremy is a former All-Australian who’s kicked 120 goals in 51 games (not including what he’ll do in 2015)…
Added two versatile talls in Stanley and Mitch Clark (is there anyone who isn’t pulling for this bloke?!) to help Tom Hawkins while only giving up Allen Christiansen. Nice
A big if, but if they get Adam Cooney approaching his 2008 form, getting him for pick No. 37 is an absolute steal. Did some other nice things picking up James Gwilt and Jon Giles, although losing Ryder will hurt.
A boy-hood Carlton fan who will get to pull on the famous navy blue guernsey in 2015. Well done young man.
And not just because of the trade sanctions handed to the club last week. Losing Malceski, a player with a number of good years at AFL level left in him, will sting more than the Swans may be prepared to admit. They’d better hope they have an option (Dean Towers?) waiting in the wings. Did manage to score highly-rated (Melbourne bid the No. 2 overall pick) academy gun Isaac Heeney, so it wasn’t all bad news for the Swans.
Tom Boyd could be Jonathan Brown. Tom Boyd could be Tony Lockett. Tom Boyd could be the greatest power forward the game has ever seen. But right now, today, Tom Boyd is a 19 year old kid who has played nine games, and the Bulldogs just made him one of the AFL’s richest players, trading away their captain to do so. The Dogs have lost a lot of experience in letting go Ryan Griffen, Adam Cooney and Shaun Higgins, and have essentially bet the farm on Boyd and their other talented kids. If Boyd works out, this will be seen as a massive win and a potential turning point in the club’s history, but right now, today, this deal looks more Tom Scully – too much cash having proven too little – than anything else.
Essentially getting pick No. 5, Levi Greenwood and Crisp for Dayne Beams is probably fair, but how can this be seen as anything but a loss given Beams’ talent? They’d better hope one (or both) of Crisp and Greenwood are damn good.
Did they just get older? They did sign free agents Jarrad Waite and Shaun Higgins, but letting Greenwood – a player approaching his prime and coming off his best season of AFL footy – is madness.
David Matthews credibility
The GWS boss’ mantra regarding the Bulldogs’ Ryan Griffin – if a player wants to leave, why stop them – certainly changed once Tom Boyd requested a trade south. But it is his and GWS’s spectacular backflip, going from ‘Boyd is a required player and won’t traded under any circumstances’ to practically driving him to Sydney airport, that is difficult to understand. Will anyone believe this guy ever again?
Teams in WA
Did the teams out west forget the trade period was on? After finishing fourth and getting bounced in straight sets in the Finals, Fremantle have sat still while the clubs on their tail – Port, Kangaroos, potentially Gold Coast and Brisbane – have gotten better. Long odds for a spot in the top four in 2015. As for the Eagles, they didn’t trade anyone in or out, nor did they sign anyone. I realise they only just missed a finals berth, but surely they needed to make some moves. Anything!
Did they really do anything? Landed Liam Jones – a player who couldn’t crack the lowly Bulldogs best 22 last season – as a replacement for Jarrad Waite. They’re hoping they got a steal in Jaksch.
Jack Trengove (and Richmond)
Poor Trengove, yet another injury robbing him of more time on a footy field, and from all reports a move to the Tigers. If there is a player in the AFL that needs a fresh start somewhere else, it’s this lad.
Didn’t get his desired move to Port Adelaide after Ryder became available. Still, there are worse teams, and worse places to live, than the Gold Coast.
The priority pick concept
The AFL says it will meter out priority picks to clubs in need – if Melbourne, in their current state, don’t deserve a priority pick (and they don’t), then no club ever will. Just get rid of it already.
Draft pick number 21
Does this pick have Ebola or something? It has been shipped no less than five times dating back to 2010. (*Clears throat) St. Kilda will make the pick in the 2014 draft having received it from Geelong for Rhys Stanley; Geelong received the pick from the Brisbane Lions (the second time they’d held the pick) for Allen Christensen; Brisbane received the pick from GWS for Joel Patfull. That’s just this trade period. Previously, the pick was originally received by GWS from Gold Coast via a trade in 2012, traded to the Suns by the Brisbane Lions (the first time they held the pick) in 2010 after originally being handed to the Lions as compensation for Jared Brennan. Whew…
Do you agree? Have we got it spectacularly wrong?