A MID-SEASON trade period is on the cards for future seasons, but if it were in place for 2018, who would your club target, and who might be expendable?
Tom Stewart: Their lack of run off half-back has been sorely exposed with the absence of Brodie Smith and Rory Laird. The rebounding Cat would make an instant impact in that department.
Anthony Miles: Adelaide’s midfield has been hard hit by injuries, leaving Bryce Gibbs (ninth in the League in clearances) and Hugh Greenwood and Cam Ellis-Yolmen (equal 18th) to carry the load. It would be a realistic proposition given Miles – a clearance machine – can’t get a regular game at Richmond.
A first-round draft pick: They’ll already have three inside the top 20 with Melbourne’s Jake Lever pick and Carlton’s second-rounder that will likely land inside, but another could help them package up a bundle of picks to have a crack at a top-five selection.
On the table
Mitch McGovern: Have the conversation. Is he really considering leaving at the end of the season? If so, get in front of it now (although the fact he isn’t currently playing doesn’t help). He’d bring in a first-round pick, which would add to a potential war chest that could buy a top-five selection.
Rory Sloane: In a similar vein to the approach with McGovern, the Crows should sit down and have a cuppa with Sloane. What’s he thinking? If he wants to go – and say, the Demons – want to back a draft pick-laden truck up to West Lakes to strengthen their tilt at this year’s flag – why wouldn’t you fire the shot now?
Rory Atkins: Getting a game but a bit down on last year’s form. A Victorian left-footer, he could offer a team a new midfield alternative to freshen up their ball movement. – Jennifer Phelan
Mitch McGovern: Maybe pie in the sky, but the contracted Crow fits the age profile the Lions are keen on. Former teammate Charlie Cameron has shown the switch from Adelaide to Brisbane can be a smooth one.
Aliir Aliir: There are A few in front of the Queenslander in Sydney’s back 50. Harris Andrews and Darcy Gardiner have two defensive spots locked up, but Aliir is 23 and would complement them nicely.
First-round pick: Brisbane wants one more good crack at the draft and currently have just their own round pick in the first round. Perhaps Port Adelaide or Geelong, currently at no.12 and 14 respectively?
On the table
Stefan Martin: Martin has been incredible for Brisbane, but if a Melbourne club came knocking (he inquired about a trade a couple of years ago) for the 31-year-old at the right price, the Lions might be happy to see their big man go and chase success.
Josh Walker: Still has a role at Brisbane as a versatile tall, but with Hipwood, McStay, Andrews and Gardiner filling key posts and Ballenden, Payne and others in the wings, might get more consistent chances elsewhere.
Second-round draft pick: Currently pick 20, the Lions would only trade this for a young, ready-made player, much like they did with Charlie Cameron last year. – Michael Whiting
HIGH PRIORITY Committee to look at mid-season trades
Stefan Martin would have plenty of suitors. Picture: AFL Photos
Dom Tyson: Carlton would love to add an experienced ball winner to aid Patrick Cripps, especially given the injury issues plaguing captain Marc Murphy. Tyson hasn’t featured for the Demons since round eight. Not the quickest, he has still demonstrated his ability to win the footy at senior level and has had five straight years averaging more than 20 touches per game.
Mitch Wallis: Wallis is on the outer at the Dogs, having been dropped to the VFL on two separate occasions. He’s another who could support Carlton’s young midfield group given his ability to win the footy on the inside.
Anthony Miles: Miles wins plenty of it in the VFL but has just six senior appearances to his name in the last two years. He can’t crack a superb Richmond outfit and could relish the prospect of moving elsewhere.
On the table
Second-round picks: Carlton holds Adelaide’s and the Western Bulldogs’ second-round selections as a result of deals made last year. They could look to move one, or both, in order to snare a rival midfielder.
Marc Murphy: The Blues don’t want to lose their captain, but if he gave the club an indication that he was going to exercise his free agency rights at season’s end, could they try to sort a deal that would see them get more value than a compensation pick? – Riley Beveridge
Tom Lynch (Gold Coast): Pies forward Ben Reid is injury-prone and Mason Cox and Brody Mihocek are inexperienced, so Lynch would instantly become the chief target. Then again, the Pies could get him as a free agent at season’s end anyway.
Liam Jones: Without injured tall Darcy Moore, the Magpies’ undersized defence has been magnificent, but a genuine big man such as Jones would help negate power forwards. The promise of finals would be a decent carrot for the Blue.
On the table
2018 and 2019 first- and second-round picks: To get Lynch, these picks would likely come into the discussion, which is why a free-agency play would make more sense long-term.
Alex Fasolo: No Pie kicked more goals than Fasolo in the 2015-17 period but the injured West Australian, off contract at season’s end, appears surplus to requirements given the exploits of the Pies’ medium-sized forwards.
James Aish: The midfielder was enjoying his best start to a season until injured, so he’d be stiff to be moved on, but he too will be out of contract at the end of the season. – Ben Collins
Mitch Wallis: An inside midfielder who has been in and out of the Dogs’ line-up this season. Essendon needs big bodies to complement its mix of smaller midfielders.
Dom Tyson: The Demon is fighting for a spot as one of Melbourne’s first-choice midfielders but would walk into Essendon’s on-ball brigade. Can find the ball and feed it out.
Will Brodie: The Suns don’t have much midfield depth themselves but Brodie is a genuine inside midfielder and the Bombers need as much depth in that area as they can find.
On the table
Matthew Leuenberger: The former Lion has fallen behind Tom Bellchambers as the club’s No.1 ruck option. He’s mature, experienced and ready to play so could be of interest to clubs in desperate need of a ruckman.
Shaun McKernan: McKernan’s capacity to take a grab up forward and pinch-hit in the ruck means he could come into a side and play a role straight away.
James Stewart: Stewart was dropped from Essendon’s forward line last game against Brisbane. He has kicked 15 goals this season from 11 games. – Callum Twomey
NON-VICS UNHAPPY Mid-season plan ‘unfair’ for non-Victorian clubs
Mitch Wallis would be a good fit in Essendon’s midfield. Picture: AFL Photos
First/second-round draft pick/s: The rebuilding Dockers traded away their 2018 second-, third- and fourth-round picks and could be keen to add selections for the right price.
Mitch McGovern: If the reports of unrest are true, Freo could go hard at Adelaide forward McGovern, potentially offering up its first-round pick (currently No.7), and hope to then lure his brother Jeremy from West Coast via free agency at season’s end.
Aliir Aliir: Has been out of favour at the Swans this year and with Michael Johnson seemingly set to retire the versatile big man could be lured back to WA, giving Freo more flexibility with its tall timber and a great mid-season boost.
On the table
Ed Langdon It would take a stunning offer for Freo to even consider letting Langdon go, but some finals-contending clubs in Victoria could use the 22-year-old’s dash.
First-round draft pick: It’s the only pick of any currency the Dockers have to play with this year and could be on the table in a package to move up the draft order to secure an exciting key forward like Jack Lukosius, Ben or Max King. – Travis King
Scott Lycett: Two years younger than Nic Naitanui, Lycett isn’t going to be the Eagles’ No.1 ruckman anytime soon, a role Geelong is desperately craving. With the Eagles not holding a first-round pick, and Nathan Vardy and Fraser McInnes in the wings, a deal could be tempting.
Second-round draft pick: As it sits, Geelong doesn’t hold a pick in this year’s NAB AFL Draft between selections 14 and 50. With a host of stars pushing into their 30s at season’s end, it would be a good opportunity to add to the young depth.
Shaun McKernan: Esava Ratugolea’s injury has presented a hole for a genuine forward/ruck. With Essendon two games out of the eight, McKernan could be released to present the Cats a mature-age body in their finals tilt.
On the table
George Horlin-Smith: The Cats’ late inclusion/emergency king. Such is his professionalism, he often finds himself waiting in the wings should others not get up for games. An unrestricted free agent at season’s end, he showed in round five he’s capable in a big game against Port Adelaide.
Zac Smith: Has played three matches after 21 last year and watched on as Rhys Stanley played his best game of the season against Richmond. Contracted for 2019, he still holds value and could provide the Giants cover with Rory Lobb’s latest setback.
Jackson Thurlow: Too good to be playing VFL, he has been limited to five games this season as a defender/wingman. Out of contract, a mid-season deal would be a chance for him to get 10 games into life at a new home. – Mitch Cleary
Zac Smith is finding opportunity hard to come by at the Cats. Picture: AFL Photos
Dom Tyson: Stuck in a midfield logjam at Melbourne, Tyson would walk into the Suns’ team. Not overly explosive but brings leadership and experience to a club that can’t get enough of it.
Brendan Whitecross: The Suns reportedly want experience and in Whitecross they get a 28-year-old that has seen how to win at Hawthorn and still has some footy left in him.
First-round draft pick: The Suns’ priority should be to rebuild. They currently have two picks in the first rounds and would be happy to make it three.
On the table
Aaron Hall: The explosive midfielder is sidelined for the rest of the season, but out of contract, and open to exploring, could really help a team that needs speed and outside run.
Tom Nicholls: Stuck behind Jarrod Witts and not jumping him anytime soon, Nicholls is currently out with a shoulder injury but is desperate for a chance. He is still just 26 and excellent around stoppages.
West Coast’s first-round pick: This would only be up for grabs if a 20-24-year-old midfielder came back the other way – one that could play every week. – Michael Whiting
Fraser McInnes: The big man with plenty of mobility has struggled for opportunities at West Coast but with Rory Lobb injured again, he’d slot in nicely to the Giants’ 22.
Jeff Garlett: The Giants haven’t found a goalkicking small forward since Steve Johnson retired, and with Toby Greene injured, veteran Garlett fits the bill.
Tom Bell: A big body capable of playing forward, back, or as a midfielder, Bell would be ideal cover for the injury-hit Giants.
On the table
Matt Buntine: The popular defender has just returned from a knee reconstruction and will find senior games tough to come by in the strong GWS backline.
Adam Kennedy: In the same boat as Buntine, Kennedy is back playing from an ACL and has the leg speed playing as a midfielder/small defender that would appeal to most clubs.
Tim Mohr: The strong key defender is reliable and rarely lets the Giants down, he’s just never managed to get regular opportunities with Phil Davis, Adam Tomlinson and Aidan Corr in front of him. – Adam Curley
Mitch McGovern: Shop early, Hawks. Give the Crows a first-round pick this year and a second-rounder next year to add to their imposing draft bounty. He becomes the marking forward the Hawks can build their forward line around for years to come.
Bradley Hill: Time to bring him home. He has been injured and unsettled at Fremantle this year, despite winning the best and fairest last season and the Hawks could so with his outside speed. He’ll be ready to play in a couple of weeks and could assist Hawthorn in the push to the finals.
Jack Lonie: Time for a Lonie to come back to the Hawks after all these years. Give the Saints a much-needed third-round pick for a small forward whose tackling and pressure acts would fit the bill given Cyril Rioli’s uncertain future and Paul Puopolo approaching the end of his career.
On the table
Kieran Lovell: The Tasmanian can play, but not sure where he fits in long-term given Tom Mitchell and Liam Shiels have a lock on the inside mid roles for the next few years. Essendon and Carlton are two teams that could do with some inside midfield grunt.
Marc Pittonet: The emerging ruckman has filled out nicely but can’t get a crack at senior level behind Ben McEvoy and Jon Ceglar. What would Geelong offer?
Brendan Whitecross: A wonderful clubman at the Hawks and desperately unlucky not to have a premiership medal, but what would one-time teammate Stuart Dew give to have a veteran like Whitecross, a native Queenslander, helping to create the right culture at Gold Coast and keep a cool head in a tight finish? – Ashley Browne
Would Bradley Hill want to return to the Hawks after an unsettled season at Freo? Picture: AFL Photos
Andrew Gaff: The restricted free agent is high on the Demons’ wish list and the club is set to target him at the end of the season should he want to come home to Victoria. If West Coast knew the star midfielder was definitely going to leave, would it be prepared to offload him and pick up a first-round pick in this year’s NAB AFL Draft and bank a future first-rounder via a trade as well?
Braydon Preuss: The North big man has not played at senior level this season after falling behind Todd Goldstein in the ruck pecking order. If Max Gawn were to go down with injury, Preuss stands out as a suitable replacement.
Eric Mackenzie: With Jake Lever’s season-ending knee injury, would the veteran Eagle fill a need for the rest of the year? The 30-year-old would at least provide good insurance for a young tall defensive group including Oscar McDonald, Harrison Petty and Joel Smith.
On the table
Dom Tyson: The midfielder is a very capable AFL player but is struggling to get a regular senior game. Tyson, who has not appeared at senior level since round eight, could net the Demons a possible second-round pick at the trade table.
Jeff Garlett: The small forward is on the cusp of a recall but has not played since round five. The Demons have preferred young trio Bayley Fritsch, Mitch Hannan and Charlie Spargo in those forward positions in the first half of the season.
Dean Kent: The dynamic forward is on the comeback trail from a hamstring injury and was playing consistent football before he got hurt in round five. Where he fits in Melbourne’s forward mix in the long-term remains a key question. – Ben Guthrie
Dom Tyson: Tyson is finding it hard to break into Melbourne’s strong midfield in 2018 – perhaps owing to lack of leg speed and at-times tardy ball use – but would provide Ben Cunnington with good support in the clinches.
Anthony Miles: Less exposed at AFL level than Tyson, so he might come cheaper and still offer great value. Churns out big numbers in the VFL, but is only a fringe player at Richmond.
Will Brodie: Gold Coast’s inside midfielder was a top-10 pick in the 2016 draft, but continues to languish in the NEAFL with limited senior chances. Brodie is Victorian and fits the Roos’ ideal age profile.
On the table
Daniel Nielson: Key defender who played seven games last year in his third season, but hasn’t added to that tally in 2018. Is stuck behind Robbie Tarrant, Scott Thompson, Majak Daw, Sam Durdin and Ben McKay.
Braydon Preuss: Few clubs manage to play two ruckmen these days and Todd Goldstein is contracted until 2019. Wins a mountain of hit-outs at VFL level, and first-year big man Tristan Xerri is emerging as a potential future threat.
First-round draft pick: This would give the Roos the chance to add a more mature talent, or trade down to accumulate extra draft points. The idea of that is to be able to match rival clubs’ bids on potential father-son and academy selections like Tarryn Thomas, Bailey Scott and Joel Crocker. – Marc McGowan
Will Brodie hasn’t been playing at Gold Coast. Picture: AFL Photos
Braydon Preuss: Finding a back-up ruckman is important since a Paddy Ryder injury would ruin the Power’s premiership hopes. Preuss isn’t dominating in the VFL for North Melbourne but at 23, there’s plenty of time for him to develop.
Aaron Francis: The South Australian is yet to crack into Essendon’s senior side this season after spending time away from the club dealing with a mental health issue. If Port could realise his talent, Francis would be a valuable addition to its backline.
Shaun McKernan: Not only would the Essendon big man offer much-needed ruck depth, he can play forward as well, important considering Charlie Dixon has had a quiet season.
On the table
Jack Watts: It would be controversial since he’s been at the Power for less than a year, but the forward has been dropped and the club has a similar player to him in Todd Marshall.
First-round pick: Trading a first-round selection is always risky because they’re so valuable but with the premiership race seeming as open as it has been the past couple of seasons, Port wouldn’t be shy about going all out to win a flag.
Jake Neade: The pressure forward has never lined up in more than 17 matches in a year, having struggled to cement a spot. He could have value elsewhere though. – Dinny Navaratnam
Jordan Roughead: Toby Nankervis reckons he can play all year but what if he gets hurt? Can Ivan Soldo carry the Tigers’ ruck brigade on his own? With Mabior Chol breaking his foot and Shaun Hampson up against it to play this year, they could do with another ruckman – just in case.
Shaun McKernan: For the same reason Roughead could be targeted. If Nankervis or Jack Riewoldt went down, it would be handy to have an experienced and versatile big man on the books in the second half of the season.
A first round draft pick: They’re going to finish high and won’t be big players in the early stages of the draft unless they can buy in. They’ll have to crack an egg to make a cake here – a premiership player would likely need to factor in this hypothetical situation.
On the table
Anthony Miles: Only because he simply can’t be a regular feature in the AFL team. His numbers at VFL level are phenomenal, he’s kicked some goals this year, and he could offer a team struggling with midfield injuries a fresh approach.
Corey Ellis: Same reason as Miles. The former first-round draft pick can’t hold his spot in the senior team but is performing well in the VFL side, having developed the inside aspect of his game over the past 12 months.
Brandon Ellis: He’s been better since his VFL stint, which could help his value. The premiership player is another high draft pick – No.15 overall in 2011 – and could bring in a decent draft selection although you’d want to make sure Bachar Houli will come back first. – Jennifer Phelan
Brandon Ellis has been a shadow of his 2017 self. Picture: AFL Photos
Aaron Hall: He has flaws but the Gold Coast midfielder’s speed and class are traits needed at the Saints to help deliver the football into the forward line.
Rory Lobb: The Giant hasn’t been flying recently and has now been struck down by a back injury, but when playing well he can clunk a contested mark in attack and also go into the ruck, two areas St Kilda need to improve.
Second- and third-round picks: The Saints don’t have a selection between the first and fourth round, so gaining more would help bring young talent in.
On the table
Jack Billings: Ability isn’t the problem for Billings. Rather, he struggles with turning that into consistent performances. His 2017 was impressive but the Saint has struggled this year, although he performed well in last Saturday’s win over Gold Coast.
Billy Longer: With Tom Hickey having dominated the No.1 ruck spot for much of the season, it makes sense for the out-of-contract Longer to seek a new home.
Shane Savage: One of the better performed Saints but considering he’s playing reasonably well and the club has backline depth, Savage could be used to attain more NAB AFL Draft picks. – Dinny Navaratnam
Mitch McGovern: The mobile young Adelaide forward would be an ideal foil for Lance Franklin, with Sam Reid’s body still a worry, but could also work with the pair of Swans talls.
Darcy Moore: The Magpie can play at either end of the ground to provide the Swans with an ideal swingman, leaving Reid to concentrate on his work inside 50.
Jayden Hunt: Out of favour at the Demons, Hunt’s speed off half-back or on the wing would help cover the loss of gun youngster Callum Mills.
On the table
Aliir Aliir: The athletic key defender has only played five games since the end of the 2016 season and has dropped behind Lewis Melican in the pecking order.
Nic Newman: Played 20 games last year but just three in 2018 and was dropped after each of those. Neat skills across half-back/wing.
Dean Towers: A versatile midfielder who can play forward or wing, or as a back-up ruckman, the 28-year-old would be a valuable depth player. – Adam Curley
Aliir’s upside makes him an enticing prospect for clubs needing tall defenders. Picture: AFL Photos
Mitch McGovern: What the Eagles would have to give up might not be worth it given their developing tall stocks under Josh Kennedy and Jack Darling, unless they were convinced his free agent brother Jeremy was planning on leaving and would stay if Mitch arrived.
Blake Acres: Getting the contracted 22-year-old out of St Kilda now could be tough but the Saints need picks and the damaging onballer has been spoken about before as a trade target for both WA clubs.
Daniel Rich: It’s regularly been debated if the Lion would be a bona fide star in a better team and, at 28, moving back home to play for a flag contender could appeal. The superboot would give the Eagles midfield/defensive depth and fit with their kicking style.
On the table
Second-round picks: With each passing week the Eagles’ contentious decision to trade picks with Gold Coast looks better. They will have two second-round selections this year, which could be used on a player or in a package to move back up the draft board.
Luke Partington: The South Australian youngster made six appearances last year and keeps racking up the footy at WAFL level, averaging 27 disposals, but can’t crack a game and might get more opportunity at another club.
Kurt Mutimer: In the same boat as Partington. Played four games last year but others have gone past the 21-year-old Victorian and his chances of a recall appear limited. – Travis King
Scott Lycett: With Tim English injured and still developing, and Jordan Roughead and Tom Campbell out of favour, securing the out-of-contract West Coast ruckman would be a very astute pick up.
Jordan De Goey: With a lack of kicking skills in the midfield, the Dogs should target the Collingwood playmaker. His ability to hit the scoreboard would also help address their scoring problems.
Lachie Whitfield: With Jason Johannisen playing further up the ground these days, replacing him with Giants’ defensive playmaker would be a great move. His run and deft foot skills would help fix the continuing disconnect going inside attacking 50.
On the table
Mitch Wallis: A free agent at season’s end, trading the largely out-of-favour inside midfielder to Essendon could help them stump up the cost to secure a classy ball user or ruckman.
Jordan Roughead: Like Wallis, the versatile tall is a free agent and isn’t a walk-up start in the senior side, but he still has some currency. A move to Geelong would give the premiership ruckman a much-needed change of scenery and the Cats the ruck depth they’re seeking.
Fletcher Roberts: Key defenders are hard to come by, and trading the VFL-mired premiership stopper for a later draft pick to Collingwood would help the club obtain draft points for father-son prospect Rhylee West. – Ryan Davidson
Source: AFL FOOTBALL NEWS