The free agency and trade period began in early October and ran for two weeks. A number of players have moved to other clubs. The biggest move was Kangaroo ruckman Todd Goldstein joining Essendon as a free agent. Goldstein, 35 years old, has signed a one-year deal with the Bombers, reuniting with former coach Brad Scott after 315 games with North Melbourne. The veteran holds the record for the most hitouts in VFL/AFL history and was an All-Australian in 2015. He will be handy addition with the retirement of Andrew Phillips and Brodie Grundy's exit to Sydney. Essendon's first-choice ruckman Sam Draper needed surgery in September on his groin and is not expected to return until January. Emerging ruckman Nick Bryan, 21 years old, signed a new two year deal in September.
Goldstein said, "I'm grateful for the opportunity Essendon has presented to me to continue my career ... I'm really excited to support and challenge Sam Draper and Nick Bryan as they continue to drive to be the best rucks they can be. I have admired their progression and look forward to working with them ... I want to thank the North Melbourne footy club for the opportunity to play football for more than 17 years and to their supporters for their unwavering support throughout my career."
Forward Ben Mckay has also joined Essendon as a restricted free agent. The Kangaroos will receive a first round draft selection as compensation. McKay, 25 years old, was drafted in 2015 and played 71 games for the Kangaroos.
James Harmes, 28 years old, requested a trade from Melbourne to the Western Bulldogs after falling out of favor at the Demons. Harmes was drafted in 2013 and played 152 games for the Demons, including the 2021 premiership. The Demons will receive a future third round draft selection.
Gold Coast and the Western Bulldogs completed a trade for draft selections, The Suns gave the Bulldogs selections 4, 46, and 51 in the 2023 draft and their 2024 round three selection. In exchange, the Suns received 2023 draft selections 10 and 17 as well as a 2024 round one selection. Gold Coast general manager said the deal was the best result for the club in line with its strategy, “We are expecting bids on our Academy prospects early in this year’s draft which means we will need to acquire additional draft capital to match bids. “By executing this trade with the Western Bulldogs, we have been able to bring in multiple first round selections to give us the flexibility to on-trade these. Pleasingly we have also been able to add an additional first-round draft pick in next year’s draft to strengthen our hand for 2024.”
Gold Coast traded Elijah Hollands to Carlton in exchange for selection 26 and a future round three selection. The Blues also received selection 28 and a future round four selection. Hollands, 21 years old, played just 14 games since being drafted in 2020. Hollands is the brother of current Carlton player Ollie Hollands.
Port Adelaide and Essendon concluded a deal for Brandon Zerk -Thatcher and Xavier Duursma. Along with Zerk-Thatcher, Port received selection 73 and two future round four selections. Zerk-Thatcher, 25, had requested a trade back home to South Australia after 51 games for the Bombers. Duursma, 23 years old, was drafted in 2018 and played 73 games for Port Adelaide.
Adelaide and Gold Coast completed a deal which sees Suns forward Chris Burgess join the Crows. The Crows also received selection 14 while Gold Coast received selection 23 and 26. Burgess, 27 years old, requested a trade back to his home state. He was drafted in 2018 and played 36 games. He can also play in defense,
Collingwood vice-captain Taylor Adams has been traded to Sydney. Adams, 34 years old, missed the 2023 Grand Final due to injury and requested a trade. Sydney received draft selection 33 in exchange. Adams was drafted in 2011 by GWS and played 31 games for the Giants before being traded to Collingwood at the end of 2013. He played 175 games for Collingwood In 2020l, he was named the club's best and fairest and All-Australian. He joins former teammate Brodie Grundy who requested a trade to Sydney. Melbourne received draft selection 46 in exchange. Grundy, 29, played 177 games for Collingwood before being traded to Melbourne last year. He played 17 games for the Demons but spent the last weeks of the season in the VFL.
Carlton utility Zac Fisher requested a trade to North Melbourne and the Blues were able to complete a deal for Fisher and selection 17. The Kangaroos traded selections 21 and 25 in exchange for Fisher. Fisher was drafted by the Blues in 2016 and played 107 games. North has also signed defender Toby Pink as a delisted free agent. Pink was drafted by the Swans as a rookie in 2019 and spent three seasons on the rookie list without playing any senior games. He has been playing with Glenelg in the SANFL and was a member of their premiership team this year.
A complex deal involving St Kilda, Carlton, Essendon and the Western Bulldogs got Paddy Dow to the Saints. While Dow joined the Saints, Saint Nick Coffield headed to the Bulldogs. All the clubs exchanged multiple third and fourth round draft picks, both for this year and next. Dow requested a trade to the Saints for better opportunities while Coffield endured a string of injuries. Dow, 24, was drafted in 2917 and played 73 games for the Blues. Coffield, 23 years old, was drafted in 2017 and played 52 games for the Saints.
Adelaide forward Shane McAdam requested a trade, with Melbourne his preferred destination. The Demons gave the Crows a future second round draft selection in return. McAdam, 28 years old, was drafted in 2017 and played 50 games for the Crows but fell out of favor in 2023. He played just seven games in 2023.
Sydney wingman Dylan Stephens has also been traded to North Melbourne. He is another who requested a trade to the Kangaroos. Stephens was drafted in 2019 and played 43 games for the Swans. The Kangaroos gave up draft selection 44 and one of their "future assistance package" end-of-first round picks in 2024.
Richmond defender Bigoa Nyuon, 22 years old, was traded to North Melbourne in exchange for selection 65. He was originally drafted in 2019, delisted and redrafted as a rookie in 2022. He played his only senior game in 2022.
Brisbane traded ruck/forward Tom Fullarton to Melbourne in exchange for selection 47. Fullarton, a former member of the Brisbane Lions Academy, originally signed as a Category B Rookie from the Brisbane Bullets in a move from basketball to football midway through the 2018 season. He played 19 games for the Lions.
Saint Jade Gresham has signed with Essendon as a restricted free agent. The Saints received a late first round draft selection as compensation. Gresham, 26 years old, requested the trade. He was drafted by the Saints in 2015, played 136 games and kicked 136 goals. The Bombers believe he can add some polish to their forward.
Port has strengthened their draft hand by working with Fremantle. The Dockers gave up two second round draft selections in exchange for a future first round selection.
Adelaide defender Tom Doedee, who missed most of the season with a knee injury, requested a trade with Brisbane his preferred destination. Doedee, 26 years old, signed a four year contract. He was out of contract at the end of this year. Drafted in 2015, he played 82 games for the Crows. Adelaide received an end of round one draft selection as compensation.
Docker defender Joel Hamling, 30 years old, rejected a one year contract extension and opted to join Sydney as an unrestricted free agent. He was originally drafted by Geelong but never played a senior game. He joined the Bulldogs in 2014 as a delisted free agent and played 23 games including the 2016 premiership. He was traded to Fremantle at the end of 2016. He played 83 games for the Dockers but managed just six games in the past three seasons due to a horror run of injuries.
Fremantle forward Lachie Schultz requested a trade back to Melbourne for family reasons and got his wish. Collingwood was his destination of choice, and the deal was done. The Dockers received Collingwood's future round one selection and selection 34 in this year's draft in exchange. Schultz, 25 years old, was drafted in 2018 and played 90 games for the Dockers. He has been the club's leading goalkicker for the past three seasons.
The Dockers also traded Liam Henry to St Kilda in exchange for a future round two selection. Henry, 22, is another who requested a trade, nominating St Kilda as his preference. He was drafted in 2019 and played 43 games for the Dockers.
Hawthorn small forward Tyler Brockman has got his wish to be traded to West Coast. The Eagles gave up selections 44 and 63 in return. Brockman has a partner and two young children and wanted to move back home to be closer to his family. Brockman, 20 years old, was drafted by the Hawks in 2020, played 26 games and kicked 23 goals.
Essendon traded Massimo D'Ambrosio to Hawthorn in exchange for selection 61 and future round four selection. D'Ambrosio, 20 years old, requested a trade for more opportunities. He was picked up in the 2022 midseason draft and played 16 games.
Port also completed a deal with Geelong for defender Esava Ratugolea. Ratugolea, 25 years old, had requested a trade last year but it never eventuated. Port gave Geelong selections 25, 76, and 94 in exchange. Ratugolea was drafted in 2018 and played 75 games for the Cats. He was out of contract this year and requested a trade to Port Adelaide.
Saint midfielder Jack Billings was traded to Melbourne in exchange for a future round three selection. Billings, 28 years old, was drafted by St Kilda in 2013 and played 155 games for the Saints. Injuries and poor form in 2023 restricted him to must three games.
Brisbane forward Jack Gunston requested a trade back to Hawthorn after just one season with the Lions. The Lions traded him along with selections 47, 61, and a future round two selection to the Hawks in exchange for Brandon Ryan, selections 39 and 54 and a future fourth round selection. Gunston endured two tough seasons at the Hawks before being traded to Brisbane. His time at Brisbane was less than ideal. He struggled for form with the Lions as well. He was dropped midseason and returned late in the year, but a knee injury kept him out of the Grand Final. He was originally drafted by Adelaide in 2009 and played 14 games before being traded to Hawthorn where he played 211 games and kicked 410 goals. He was a member of the Hawks' three premiership sides. He played 17 games and kicked 22 goals for the Lions. Ryan, 25, was picked up in the midseason rookie draft, was elevated to the senior team and played three games for the Hawks late in the season.
Hawthorn also traded for Collingwood forward Jack Ginnivan. The two clubs swapped their second round selections in this year's draft and their 2024 round two selections. Collingwood also traded their 2024 round four selection for Hawthorn's 2024 round three selection. Ginnivan, 20 years old, was drafted in 2021 and played 42 games and kicked 48 goals. He was facing a selection squeeze at the Pies with Bobby Hill and Lachie Schultz joining the club. He played just 14 games and kicked 12 goals in 2023. He did play in the side's premiership team.
Hawthorn traded forward Jacob Koschitzke to Richmond in exchange for selection 49. Koschitzke, 23 years old, is another who requested a trade after just 48 games since being drafted in 2018. The Tigers believe he can provide support for Tom Lynch after the retirement of Jack Riewoldt.
The Hawks traded a future second round draft selection to Gold Coast in exchange for forward Mabior Chol and selection 62. Hawthorn sees Chol as a replacement for the traded Jacob Koschitzke and as a ruck option. Chol, 26 years old, had attracted interest from several clubs including Adelaide and North Melbourne before settling on Hawthorn, where he has been offered a four-year deal. The Suns were happy to let him go despite having two years left on his contract due to a well-stocked forward line. Chol was drafted by Richmond in 2016 and played 24 games for the Tigers before being traded to the Suns at the end of 2021. After playing all 22 matches and kicking 44 goals in his first season at Gold Coast, Chol played just eight senior games this year but was a standout at reserves level, helping lead the Suns to the VFL premiership with four goals in the Grand Final.
Tiger premiership player Ivan Soldo, 27 years old, was traded to Port Adelaide along with selection 50 in exchange for selections 41 and 49 and a future round two selection. Soldo was stuck behind Toby Nankervis in the ruck department and could never manage more than 14 games in a season. He expressed a desire to be the primary ruckman. The Tigers were disappointed to lose him but understood his reasons. Soldo was drafted in 2015 after training with Richmond's junior team in 2014 and played 57 games including the 2019 premiership. He played just eight games in 2023.
The Western Bulldogs have acquired selection 50 from Port Adelaide in exchange for ruckman Jordon Sweet. The Bulldogs had a deal on the table for Sweet, but he requested a return home to South Australia. Sweet, 25 years old, was drafted in 2019 as a rookie but played just 11 games. He managed no senior games in 2023.
Source: sen.com.au, afl.com.au, Tom Chadwick, Sydney Media Release, Josh Cheadle, Gold Coast Media Release, AFL Record Season Guide, Nick Brown, Brisbane Media Release
Article last changed on Monday, October 23, 2023 - 10:48 AM EDT