AFL Trades, Delistings and Retirements

Lisa Albergo's picture

 by Lisa Albergo reporting from AFANA from Chicago

On October 6, the two-week free agency/trade period began, as well as several clubs delisting players to make places available for newcomers. The biggest news ahead of this period was Gary Ablett requesting a trade back to Geelong despite a year left on his contract with the Suns. Others to request trades have been: Port's Jarman Impey designating Hawthorn his preferred choice, Giants Nathan Wilson and Devon Smith, Adelaide's Jake Lever and Charlie Cameron. The Bulldogs were also seeking to trade Jake Stringer, whose inconsistent form has seen fall out of favor. Melbourne was also seeking to trade Jack Watts, who was bitterly disappointed at not being able to remain with the club.

A large number of deals were not finalized until the final day including those for Ablett and Cameron, simply due to the haggling which occurred.

Note there are a number of selections referred to as on-traded. This means that a club acquired a selection through a trade with another club, then turned around and traded that selection away. Clubs often do this to gain higher draft selections. 

Port Adelaide's Jack Trengrove has joined the Bulldogs as an unrestricted free agent.
Port Adelaide elected not to match the offer. Port also picked up Brisbane's restricted free agent Tom Rockliff with Brisbane opting not to match Port's offer. Because Port has picked up two free agents, they are ineligible for a compensation draft selection for the loss of Trengrove. However, Brisbane is entitled to an end of round one compensation selection for the loss of Rockliff. Port was Rockiff's preferred destination. Rockliff, 27, played 154 games with the Lions and was captain for two seasons. Rockliff had met with Coach Ken Ken Hinkley, captain Travis Boak and other key Port people and said he was impressed. He and the club both believe he will be a good fit, adding experience to the midfield. Brisbane football manager David Noble praised Rockliff, saying he had been a wonderful contributor to the Lions.

Under the rules, if Brisbane traded the compensation selection, they would not have been allowed to make offers to other free agent players. Also, had they made any offers to other free agents,, the compensation selection wold have changed.

Melbourne traded their round one selection and their 2018 future round one and round four selections to the Adelaide Crows for Jake Lever. Adelaide is also giving the Demons their round two selection and 2018 round three selection.
Lever had told Adelaide that he wanted to be traded back home to Melbourne. Lever, a courageous defender, played 54 games for the Crows.

GWS traded Devon Smith, their round two selection and 2018 round two selection to Essendon for Essendon's round one selection and 2018 round three selection.
Smith has agreed to a four year deal, saying he is looking forward to joining the young Bomber list, “It’s very exciting ... I’m excited about ... where the team is going and the very exciting brand of footy they play. The plan is to play a lot more midfield ... then get up forward and kick a few goals ... to finish seventh is a good stepping stone ... Hopefully we can keep improving and work towards the success everyone ... is looking to achieve.” Coach John Worsfold is equally delighted to have Smith, “He is an exciting midfielder, who hunts the footy and uses it well. He adds that depth that we’ve been looking to add ... to our midfield group ... We want guys that we know can play at the elite level but also have character, guys that are hungry to get the best out of themselves. We want players owning their own career and driving themselves to achieve the maximum they can and ... help us, as a team, achieve the goals that we are aiming for. Devon fits all of those key criteria ....”. Essendon's list and recruiting manager Adrian Dodoro said Smith’s speed and endurance will strengthen the Dons midfield. Smtih was drafted by GWS in 2011 and played 109 games and kicked 100 goals for the Giants. He was a Rising Star nominee in 2012 and ran second in the club's best and fairest in 2014.

Port Adelaide traded Jarman Impey, their round four selection to Hawthorn for Hawthorn's round two, round four and 2018 round four selections.
The Bulldogs were also interested n Impey and his former teammate Jack Trengrove tried to persuade him to join the Bulldogs. Impey is a speedy and versatile player who he can play forward and back. He began as a defender at Port, but was shifted forward in recent seasons with other players the preferred options in defense.

Fremantle traded Hayden Crozier and their 2018 round four selection to the Western Bulldogs for WB's round three and round five selections.
Crozier, 23, was drafted in 2011 and debuted in 2012. He played 68 games with the Dockers. Bulldogs list manager Jason McCartney believes Crozier's athleticism, aerial strength and ability to play forward and back will give the Bulldogs more flexibility. Crozier can also play on a wing.

Port Adelaide made an offer to Geelong's restricted free agent Steven Motlop. The Cats opted not to match Port's offer. Motlop played 135 games and kicked 175 goals for the Cats since his 2010 debut. The Adelaide Crows were also interested in Motlop and had offered much more that Port for his services. However, Motlop has family connections at Port Adelaide and has signed a four year deal. Motlop's cousin works full time at the Power and runs businesses with his older brother Daniel in both Adelaide and Darwin. The Cats will receive a second round draft selection as compensation.

The Gold Coast Suns traded Adam Saad to Essendon for their 2018 future Round Two selection.
Saad had requested a trade back to Melbourne to be closer to family. He has signed a three year deal with Essendon. He said he was excited to be a Bomber, “It’s really exciting ... to finally be on Essendon’s list, I’m really grateful for the opportunity ... As soon as I spoke to Essendon, I felt at home straight away. I’m really excited to be a part of such a great culture and club ...". Coach John Worsfold, said Saad is a great fit, “Adam is a strong defender ... with excellent speed and ball-handling skills which allow him to take the game on from the backline. We believe Adam will complement the style of game we are developing ... ". List and recruiting manager agreed with Worsfold, "Adam will be a great addition ... through his ability to break lines with his exciting run-and-carry ... He was highly rated at the Suns ... Adam comes from a close family ... and will flourish ... in Melbourne.” Saad was selected by Gold Coast in the 2014 Rookie draft and played 48 games with the Suns. He was a Rising Star nominee in 2015 as well as being named in the back line of the 22 Under-22 team, an initiative the AFL began a few years ago to recognize the best of the younger players, something akin to All-Australian.

Melbourne traded Jack Watts to Port Adelaide for their round two selection.
Watts, the number one draft pick in 2008, was essentially told at the end of the season to explore other options to continue his career. Watts was disappointed that he was no longer going to play for the Demons, A popular figure around the club as well, some of his teammates felt the same. Since his debut against Collingwood in 2009, he has been heavily scrutinized, sometimes unfairly. He was subject to scrutiny from that moment and battled to find his feet during a tumultuous period at the club. He seemed to have found his feet in 2016 under coach Paul Roos, kicking 38 goals and finishing fifth in the club best and fairest. However, the momentum was short-lived. He was not selected for any of the preseason games under Roos' successor Simon Goodwin and battled to win selection for the opening round of 2017. He showed some good form early, bu could not regain that form after returning from a hamstring injury. The club came to the decision that Watts should find a fresh start elsewhere. List manager Josh Mahoney said Watts had not shown the consistency required, but did concede that all of the public attention he received may have been a contributing factor, “This has no doubt placed an unfair amount of pressure and expectation on Jack throughout his career ... both parties feel like a change of environment and a fresh start will be the best thing for Jack’s career ... ". Watts played 153 games for the Demons and still had another two years to run on his contract. Watts had also been considering Geelong and the Sydney Swans. He has signed a three year deal with Port. The Power hope to deploy Watts as a forward who can push into the midfield.

Port Adelaide traded Brendon Ah Chee and their on-traded 2018 round four selection to West Coast for their 2018 round three selection. Ah Chee, originally from West Australia, was drafted in 2011 and played 27 games in six seasons with Port and was seeking more opportunity elsewhere.

Fremantle trade Harley Balic to Melbourne for their round four selection.
Balic was drafted by the Dockers in 2015 and debuted this past season. He spent most of 2016 in the WAFL and was part of Peel Thunder's premiership side. He debuted this season and played four games before the club granted him an indefinite leave of absence to deal with personal issues. Balic requested a trade so he could return home to Melbourne. Melbourne football manager Josh Mahoney said the Demons had tracked Balic closely in his draft year and had noted his consistency when playing as a forward and then moving into the midfield ... He’s a good size for a midfielder and has good spatial awareness, he comes from a basketball background. He can add some depth to our mid/forward half and has the ability to kick goals ... he rarely plays a bad game, so he’s been quite consistent."

The Adelaide Crows trade Harrison Wigg, their round three selection and 2018 round four selection to the Gold Coast Suns for their round three selection (currently pick 39). Wigg was drafted by the Crows in 2014, but spent his time at Adelaide developing in the SANFL. He was unable to break into the strong Crows' squad for a senior debut. Wigg, 21, can play midfield and defense.

Adelaide traded their on-traded round one selection, round one selection, round four selection and future 2018 round 2 selection for Bryce Gibbs and Carlton's 2018 rounds two and three selections. Gibbs, 28, had requested a trade back to South Australia last year for family reasons, but a deal could not be struck. Gibbs was drafted in 2007 and played 231 games for the Blues.

West Coast traded their round three selection and 2018 round one selection to the Gold Coast Suns for their three round 2 selections and their 2018 round two selection.

Port Adelaide traded Aaron Young to Gold Coast for their on-traded 2018 round four selection.
Young, 24, played 76 games for Port since being drafted in 2010. He has kicked 62 goals. His best season was 2016 with 37 goals but his form dropped this pas season and he spent half the year in the SANFL, playing only 13 games in 2017. Gold Coast, which was woeful in attack in 2017, hopes Young can recapture his best form and boost their goal scoring.

Port Adelaide traded defender Logan Austin and their 2018 round four selection to St Kilda for their 2018 round three selection.
Austin, 22, had requested a trade for more playing opportunities despite still having another year on his contract. He designated St Kilda as his preferred destination. He and Saint Jack Steele are good friends, having played junior footy together. Austin managed just two games in 2017 for a total of just 13 since his debut in 2015.

Sydney traded defender Sam Murray, their round four selection and 2018 round three selection to Collingwood for their 2018 round two selection. Murray, 20, has been on Sydney's rookie list for the past two seasons and never played a senior game. Originally a small forward, Murray excelled after being moved into defense, averaging 22 disposals per game, using his hard running and long kicking to advantage.

North Melbourne traded Sam Gibson to the Adelaide Crows for Adelaide's round five selection.
Gibson was told by the Kangaroos that he was going to be delisted, A construction engineer by trade, he was already lining up job interviews when Adelaide Coach Don Pyke called. The durable wingman, who finished equal sixth in the Kangaroos’ best and fairest this year, will add depth to the Crows’ midfield. Gibson hasn’t missed a game since his debut in 2012 and holds the AFL’s active record for most consecutive games played (130). Gibson has signed a one year deal and could be a handy replacement for the retired Scott Thompson.

GWS Giants traded Nathan Wilson and their round four selection to Fremantle for their round four selection and 2018 round two selection. Wilson, 24, told the Giants he wanted to head home WA to be closer to his family. Wilson, a hard-running defender was an access selection for the Giants in 2011 as a 17-year old and has played 77 games.

Port Adelaide traded Matthew Lobbe to Carlton for their round six selection (currently pick 95).
Lobbe, 28, played 92 games with Port since being drafted in 2007. List manager Stephen Silvagni believes Lobbe will give great support in the ruck to Matthew Kreuzer and youngster Andrew Phillips.

Western Bulldogs traded Jake Stringer to Essendon for their on-traded round two selection (currently pick 25) and round two selection (currently pick 30).
Stringer was drafted by the Western Bulldogs in 2012 He played 89 games for the Dogs and kicked 160 goals. Being a member of the Dogs' 2016 premiership side, he will bring great experience and talent to the Bombers. He was the Bulldogs' leading goalkicker for the past three seasons and was named All-Australian. Coach John Worsfold believes Stringer can also take a turn through the midfield.

Carlton traded their on-traded round one selection (currently number 16) and round three selection to the Western Bulldogs for their round two selection (currently number 28), on-traded round two selection and i2018 round two selection.

Richmond traded their 2018 round three selection to the Geelong Cats for their round three selection.

GWS Giants traded Matt Kennedy to Carlton for their on-traded round two selection.
Kennedy was drafted by GWS in 2015 played 19 games for the Giants. Kennedy, 20, was drafted in 2015 but managed just 19 games in two seasons and was not included in the Giants' finals campaign.

Hawthorn traded Luke Hodge and their round three selection to the Brisbane Lions for their round three and round five selections.selection. Hodge announced his retirement at the end of 2017 but was lured out of retirement by the Lions.

Geelong traded midfielder Darcy Lang and their 2018 round four selection to Carlton for their round four selection and 2018 round four selection. Lang, 21, requested a trade for more playing opportunities and chose the Blues as his preferred club. Lang was drafted in 2013 but has managed only 44 games in four years with the Cats.

Gold Coast traded Gary Ablett, their round two selection and 2018 round four selection to Geelong for their end of round one compensation selection (currently number 19) and their 2018 round two selection. Many were critical when the news broke that Ablett wanted to return to Geleong. However, new light was shed on the reason why during the first week of the trade period. News broke that his sister had a substance abuse problem and passed away from an overdose. It took until the last day of the trade period for a deal to finally be worked out between the Cats and Gold Coast.

The Adelaide Crows traded Charlie Cameron to the Brisbane Lions for their round one selection.
The contracted forward told the club he wanted to return home. After conversations with Cameron and his management, the Crows relented, deciding it was best for Cameron both on and off the field to reach a trade agreement. The dynamic, electric and exciting small forward played 71 games for the Crows since his debut in 2014.

Port Adelaide traded their on-traded round two selection and their on-traded 2018 four selection to St Kilda for the Saints' round four selections and their 2018 round two selection.

Fremantle traded Lachie Weller and their on-traded round three selection to Gold Coast for their round one selection
Fremantle played hard ball on what they wanted from Gold Coast in exchange for Weller, who had told the Dockers he wanted to return home to Queensland. Weller, 21, was offered a contract extension by the Dockers but turned it down. Weller is from the Gold Coast area and both his family and long-time girlfriend live on the Gold Coast. Weller, a classy midfielder who knows how to find the ball and use it well, played 47 games since his 2015 debut.

Gold Coast traded Brandon Matera to Fremantle for their 2018 round three selection.
Matera, 25, was a 17-year old access selection in 2010 ahead of the Suns' AFL debut and is out of contract. Matera was keen to return home to WA where his family lives. His uncle is former Eagle champion Peter and his father Wally and uncle Phillip also played for the Eagles. Brandon played 101 games and kicked 124 goals in seven seasons with the Suns. He began 2017 in the NEAFL, then played 10 straight games in the seniors before being sidelined for a month with a foot injury. He finished the season in the NEAFL.

The Brisbane Lions traded Josh Schache to the Western Bulldogs for their on-traded round two selection and on-traded round three selection.
Another case of homesickness with Schache and the club meeting late in the first week of the trade period. Schache, 20, signed a new two year deal earlier in the year and both parties were agreeable to doing right by each with Schache willing to remain with the Lions if a trade deal could not be brokered. Drafted in 2015, Schache played 27 games for the Lions. Despite tiring toward the end of his first year, he had a good season but the talented forward struggled in 2017.

The Brisbane Lions traded their round two selections to Richmond for their round one and round three selections.

Port Adelaide traded their on-traded 2018 round three selection (from St Kilda) and their on-traded 2018 round three selection (from West Coast) to North Melbourne for their round three selection) and their 2018 round three selection.

The Just retired Steve Johnson has joined the Sydney Swans as an assistant coach. He appeared on the Grand Final Footy Show and when asked, joked that he doubted he could teach Lance Franklin anything.

Tendai Mzungu has retired just four games in his only season with the Giants, He has returned to Fremantle, where he played 102 games, to be the inaugural coach of the clubs' Next Generation Academy.

Richmond has delisted Steven Morris, Todd Elton and Taylor Hunt. Morris, 28, played 87 games and will continue his career with the Coburg Tigers in the VFL. Elton, 24, was drafted in 2011 and played only 11 games. Hunt began at Geelong where he played 63 games. He crossed to Richmond at the end of 2014 and added 22 games to his tally with the Tigers. Retired ruckman Ivan Maric will remain at the club in a player development position and as ruck coach. The Tigers have elevated rookies Jason Castagna and Ivan Soldo (Maric's cousin) to the senior list. Mabior Chol, Callum Moore and Tyson Stengle have been retained on the rookie list.

Aaron Mullett and Corey Wagner have all been delisted by North Melbourne. Mullett, 25, was drafted in 2011 as a rookie and played 85 games. Wagner was drafted in 2015 and played four games in 2016 and managed a further four this year after an ankle injury sidelined him for eight weeks.

Collingwood has delisted Lachlan Keeffe, Henry Schade, Liam Mackie and Mitch McCarthy. Keefe was drafted as a rookie in 2009 and played 40 games. He was delisted by the Pies and redrafted as a rookie in 2016 after serving a drug-related suspension. He was a key member of the club's VFL team. After 20 games with Gold Coast, Schade was delisted last year and selected by the Pies as a rookie. Schade, 24, was elevated to the senior list at the start of the season and played eight games. McCarthy and Mackie were both rookie selections this year. Mackie, a defender, played 12 games in the VFL. A foot injury restricted McCarthy to just five VFL games.

Port Adelaide's Angus Monfiries has retired, after 211 games with Essendon. He was one of the Bombers suspended for the entire 2016 season due to the supplements saga. He quit Essendon to join Port Adelaide at the end of 2012. He played 150 games for Essendon before joining Port Adelaide. He played 61 games with Port, managing just game in 2017 due to injuries and form. Monfries, 30, says the year-long suspension left him unble to recapture is best form, “I felt like the year off probably gave me a little bit of a chance to freshen up ... but then did a little bit of a shoulder injury at the end of ... 2016 and ... couldn’t quite get to where I wanted to go this year.” He holds no bitterness toward Essendon and says he feels lucky to have played at two great clubs and be proud of the career he has had.

Source: Patrick Keane, AFL Media Release, Kevin Diggerson, Geelong Media Release, news.com.au, Nicki Malady, Richmond Media Release, Stephen Rielly, Collingwood Media Release, thewest.com.au, Heath O'Loughlin, North Melbourne Media Release, Natalie MacGregor, Essendon Media Release, Adrian Ceddia, Western Bulldog Media Release, heraldsun.com.au, theage.com.au, AFL Record, AFL Record Sesdon Guide, sen.com.au, youtube.com, sportingnews.com.au

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