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by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

The trade period opened on Monday, October 7 and included the moves of players eligible for free agency. Under AFL rules, clubs can attempt to retain players by matching a rival club's bid. Should they be unable or unwilling to do so, the player is free to move. Clubs losing players under the free agency rule may receive compensatory draft selections.

Melbourne's Colin Sylvia joined Fremantle as an unrestricted free agent. Richmond's Matthew White joined Port Adelaide as an unrestricted free agent. White had played 105 games for the Tigers since his debut in 2006. Port believes the speedy winger will boost an already talented midfield.

Carlton small forward Eddie Betts wanted to return home to South Australia and the Blues elected not to match Adelaide's offer. With the return of Taylor Walker next season, Betts' presence will give the Crows more firepower up forward.

The biggest story of the week, as previously reported, was Lance Franklin's shift to Sydney. The Hawks elected not to match Sydney's offer and Franklin, a restricted free agent, flew north.

As speculated for some time, Collingwood lost restricted free agent Dale Thomas to Carlton. It was no secret that the Blues were interested in Thomas and Collingwood opted not to match Carlton's offer. Thomas debuted for the Magpies in 2006 and played 157 games. The Blues signed Thomas, 26, to a four year deal and are confident that Thomas can overcome the ankle problems which derailed his 2013 season after just five games. The move reunites Thomas with Coach Mick Malthouse who said Thomas will add some versatility to the side with his ability to play various positions including midfield and forward. Thomas was drafted second in 2005 behind new teammate Marc Murphy. Thomas played 157 games for Collingwood, including the 2010 Premiership and 2011 preseason Premiership. He was named All-Australian in 2011. A popular player with the Pies, Malthouse said Thomas' personality would blend in well at Carlton. Recruiting manager said Thomas would give the side added depth. His addition to the club will also provide great support for veterans Chris Judd, Heath Scotland and Jarrad Waite, all of whom are nearing the end of their careers.

Carlton traded ruckman Shaun Hampson to Richmond in exchange for the Tigers' Round Two draft selection (currently number 28). Hampson, 25, is 201cm (6'5") and 104kg (229lbs) and had played 63 games with the Blues in seven seasons. He managed only six games in 2013 due to injury and illness. The Tigers believe that Hampson's best is still ahead of him and that he will compliment the team's ruck and forward structure.

Hawthorn traded winger/half-forward Shane Savage and their Round One draft selection (currently number 17) to St Kilda in exchange for ruckman Ben McEvoy. Savage played 15 games in 2013 for a total of 56 and was an emergency for the Grand Final. He played 21 games in 2012 but was dropped for the Finals, only to be recalled to replace the injured Jordan Lewis. He was a substitute in the Finals, including the losing Grand Final. He did play in the VFL Premiership with Hawthorn's affiliate Box Hill. St Kilda Coach Scott Watters said he was thrilled to welcome Savage, describing him as an exciting player who is coming into his prime at only 22 years of age. Watters also said Savage would add another dimension to the Saints' developing midfield. St Kilda's Head of Football Chris Pelchen said the deal put the Saints in a stronger position ahead of the National Draft with the acquisition of two selections in the first round. Savage, whose family moved to Australia from New Zealand when he was just two years old, could become an ambassador for the club's continued presence in New Zealand. The club recently secured a deal to play games in Wellington for the next several years.

The Saints also paid tribute to McEvoy, who played six seasons with the club. The club said they held him in high regard and that it was a difficult decision by the list management committee. McEvoy, 24, played all 22 games in 2013, holding down the number one ruck role. He played a total of 91 games for the Saints. Hawthorn’s Recruiting and List Manager Graham Wright said the gifted ruckman is a good pick-up. "Ben is a great addition ... and will complement our center square unit extremely well. He has elite endurance, is very strong overhead and is a high quality ruckman. At only 24 years old, Ben is already one of the competition’s premier ruckmen and we believe he still has significant improvement to come.”

The period also saw North Melbourne and Brisbane secure their right to two players. North Melbourne secured Luke McDonald, the son of Donald McDonald, under the father-son rule. Donald played 155 games for the Kangaroos and is currently an assistant coach with the club. Luke, 18, is an exciting forward who captained Vic Metro in the 2013 TAC Cup as well as playing for VFL side Werribee and training with the Kangaroos. West Coast was interested in McDonald and was willing to give up its first round draft selection (currently number six), but North matched the Eagles' bid and will use their number eight selection in the first round for McDonald.

Brisbane maintained its right to secure Jonathan Freeman (Brisbane Lions Academy) by offering their Round Four (number 59) pick to match Adelaide's Round Three selection (number 42).

Source: Patrick Keane, AFL Media Release; Luke Holmesby, St Kilda Media Release; Leah Mirabella, Hawthorn Media Release, Adrian Ceddia, Richmond Media Release, Jay Allan, Carlton Media Release; Chelsea Collins, North Melbourne Media Release; AFL Record, AFL Record Season Guide

Article last changed on Monday, December 23, 2013 - 1:31 AM EST


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