MOST people were happy with how the AFL mid-season rookie draft unfolded a few weeks ago, with mid-year player movement set to become more and more popular in years to come. One talking point that is dividing the AFL community is whether the league should introduce a mid-season trade period, allowing teams to bolster their squads by acquiring talent from other AFL clubs. Regardless of where you stand on the issue, there’s no denying that some players would benefit from an in-season change of scenery with these nine candidates instantly springing to mind.
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SINCE re-entering the Dons line-up after a calf complaint, Cale Hooker has been on fire, averaging the fourth most marks in the AFL (8.2) to go along with a career-high 20.1 disposals. If someone else wanted his services, then they may have to pay a king’s ransom given his purple patch of form, however, he could be worth the price. Both WA clubs could try to lure Hooker home and add to their defensive stocks, with a team eager to leap up the ladder also a potential landing spot.
SEEMINGLY out of favour at Adelaide, Bryce Gibbs could seek a move away from West Lakes. Hailing from SA, Gibbs is no certainty to leave the club, but I’m sure he won’t be too keen on the idea of featuring in the SANFL with regularity. If he can’t carve out a consistent role in the rest of 2019, don’t rule out another club making a play for the 30-year old midfielder to add a classy ball user to their list. St Kilda, Sydney and Gold Coast could all benefit from Gibbs’ talents.
NOW that North Melbourne has moved on from Brad Scott there is a chance their roster could be in for a massive overhaul. Veterans like Ben Cunnington might be the odd ones out if the Roos opt for a complete rebuild, with the bulldozing midfielder likely to be in high demand if he’s shopped. No player has gathered more contested possession in 2019 than Cunnington and a team looking to add some grunt to their engine room like the Tigers or Swans could be a match made in heaven.
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SPLITTING his time between the NEAFL and Brisbane’s senior side could lead to Tom Cutler moving clubs next summer. At just 24, you could make the case that Cutler’s best footy is still ahead of him with a return home to Victoria very much in play. He could instantly help Carlton’s outfit by providing some depth and dash in defense and if a mid-season trade period was allowed, my guess is he would be on the move already.
THE pesky, versatile small is in a similar boat to his teammate Cutler, with a move away from the Lions potentially beneficial for both sides. Of course, Brisbane isn’t going to let the 2014 Rising Star winner walk away for nothing, but a fresh start might be what Taylor needs to fully live up to his potential. With 111 AFL games already under his belt, Talyor has shown that he can play through the midfield on a wing, or be a dangerous pressure forward, something a team like North Melbourne would covet in 2020 and beyond.
THERE aren’t many forwards up for grabs with a resume as impressive as Josh Jenkins. Despite bouncing in and out of Adelaide’s team this season, he is a proven goal kicker, with 280 career majors and five straight seasons of 40+ heading into 2019. A team that needs a short team solution for more firepower in front of the sticks could chase a veteran like Jenkins this offseason (the Bulldogs and Bombers spring to mind). Jenkins’ ability to pinch hit in the ruck department is a bonus and while he won’t be around forever, there’s still plenty of fuel in the tank to help a team in dire need.
PLENTY of teams around the league are lacking decent depth in the ruck department and Matthew Kreuzer could help the Blues re-launch their rebuild at the same time. The out of contract 30-year old has been plagued by injuries for his entire career, but when healthy, there’s no denying he’s a starting ruckman in the AFL ranks. While it may seem unwise to part ways with Kreuz, he doesn’t exactly fit Carlton’s timeline and moving him along could help them nab valuable picks in return. A team like Richmond, Syndey or St Kilda could chase a boost in their ruck stocks, with a swap for a top-25 pick fair compensation.
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THE absence of Jonathon Patton hasn’t slowed the Giants this year with Jeremy Cameron, Jeremy Finlayson and Harry Himmelberg combining to form a lethal tall forward trio. As Patton rehabs from his third knee reconstruction, there are questions over where will fit in this outfit, which could lead to an offseason divorce between the two parties. The former No. 1 pick in 2011 still has plenty of football left in his career and has been linked to Hawthorn as Jarryd Roughhead nears the end of his AFL career, with the Bulldogs also financially able to enter any potential negotiations.
SIER has been unlucky to miss out on senior selection in 2019 so far, but Collingwood’s midfield isn’t exactly in need of a boost. Spoilt for choice in the engine room has seen the Pies roll with the likes of Adam Treloar, Taylor Adams, Scott Pendlebury, Tom Phillips, Scott Sidebottom and Dayne Beams, leaving Sier as the odd one out left to ply his craft in the VFL. Through five games this year he has averaged 25 touches a game and the big-bodied midfielder would be in high demand if Collingwood was to move him on. A long term injury to Beams will likely see Sier feature in more AFL games to close out the regular season, but Sydney, Richmond and Essendon could all come calling if the two sides agree to part ways.
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