The 2012 trade period finished not with a whimper, but with bang. Not only were an assortment of players on the fringe and outer finding new homes, but perhaps the biggest trade of all – Kurt Tippett, didn’t occur due to the previously reported shock announcements from AFL House. But, as the plot thickened for some, it was business as usual for many others.
As soon as the morning began, the trades did too. The touted trade of Greg Broughton to Port Adelaide didn’t occur but Broughton indeed was on the move. The Gold Coast Suns pounced, grabbing him for pick 37 and receiving pick 60 along with Broughton in return. The relatively cheap price of the recently turned 26 year-old shocked some, but it seems he wasn’t in Fremantle coach Ross Lyon’s future plans.
Broughton played 68 games over 4 seasons at the Dockers, known for his consistency (averaging 22 disposals a game) in defense and up the ground.
It was then announced that both Cale Morton (Melbourne) and Aaron Edwards (North Melbourne) had been spotted at West Coast and Richmond HQs respectively the day before, and that trades were expected to be done on the day.
The next trade through was the Bulldogs grabbing another young fringe player to bolster their list. 20 year-old utility Tom Young moved from the Magpies after being picked up in their (now defunct) NSW scholarship program. Bulldogs list manager Jason McCartney said that he was a long-term prospect, and his fierce competitiveness attracted the Dogs to him.
The Dogs snagged Young with pick 71 in the draft.
Collingwood would soon after use that pick 71 to pick up Carlton’s Jordan Russell – a rather token pick for a player that would have been delisted ahead of the delisted free-agency period if not traded for. The trade assured he’d get to Collingwood with the minimum of fuss.
In between those two deals, David Rodan took to twitter to announce that he was going to become a Demon. That proved to be true, with the Demons giving pick 88 (again, a token deal for a player that was to be delisted) to Port Adelaide for the veteran player.
This would begin a big round-robin involving pick 88, with the pick eventually ending up back at the Demons. The second detour it took on its loop was to the West Coast Eagles, who were traded the pick for medium defender Lewis Stevenson. Stevenson was behind the pecking order at the Eagles, with strong players like Shannon Hurn and Beau Waters being well ahead of him. His strong form in the WAFL for Claremont did not go unnoticed though, with Port Adelaide snagging him to boost their defense.
The Tigers came forward in the afternoon reporting that Aaron Edwards fitness test with them had gone well, and that they were close to announce a deal for the Kangaroos’ forward.
Meanwhile, it was relief for another veteran. Michael Osborne, the Hawthorn player who missed a fair chunk of 2012 through injury and was not targeted during the free agency period, had a new deal from the Hawks on offer, officially taking him off the table.
The Saints still struggled trying to pry Mitch Brown out of the hands of West Coast. Brown’s manager declared that the Saints had a ‘fair deal’ on the table (Jamie Cripps and pick 25), but the Eagles refused to budge. Indeed, they were true to their word, and there was no news on the final day either. He remains contracted and will be an Eagle in 2013. There was talks of a three-way trade with Essendon involving Cale Hooker, but Hooker was reluctant to leave and the deal didn’t go through.
Another flurry began on Friday morning, with news coming out that Aaron Edwards was leaving North Melbourne, while Jordan Gysberts was coming in for Cam Pedersen to go to the Demons.
As the clubs met for the final trade session, Aaron Edwards was traded for pick 74. North then on-traded that pick, along with Pedersen, to Melbourne for Gysberts and pick 63.
In other smaller moves, defender Campbell Heath and pick 85 went to Port Adelaide for pick 72. The medium defender had two knee reconstructions early in his career and played only 2 senior AFL games, however he managed to play a full season in the NEAFL for the Swans Reserves this year as the Swans re-rookied him after delisting him last year.
Heath is a close friend of Port Adelaide forward John Butcher, who was ecstatic that his old friend would be joining him at the club. Port football manager Peter Rohde said that Heath’s resilience and consistency had impressed them.
Pick 88 finished its journey around the country back to Melbourne, as previous #4 draft pick Cale Morton headed back home West to the Eagles. Although it seems a shame that such a high pick has ended up at such an impasse, Cale said he wanted to emulate the feats of his big brother Mitch Morton, who won a premiership with the Sydney Swans this year, and re-establish himself with a new playing group.
As the barrage continued, Hawthorn used pick 66, their compensation for losing free agent Clinton Young to the Pies, to pick up versatile utility Matt Spangher and pick 72 from the Swans. Spangher could be seen as little more than ‘insurance’ for the Hawthorn back-line, but he impressed up forward late in 2011 for Sydney and can be a genuine swingman.
News then began to trickle out that veteran Hawthorn defender Stephen Gilham was heading off to Greater Western Sydney, and suddenly the previous Spangher move made a lot more sense. The Hawks received NT-zone prelisted player Jed Anderson for Gilham along with a very slight downgrade of picks.
Gilham was a big part of the Hawks 2008 premiership victory but has struggled with injury since. His inclusion will add much needed experience to the under siege backline of the Giants until their younger prospects develop. His manager said that with the recruitment of Brian Lake, Gilham was looking for more assured senior opportunities and believed he would fit in well with Phil Davis and Tim Mohr at the Giants.
Anderson was a part of GWS’s 2010 scholarship program and has played the past two seasons in the NEAFL for the NT Thunder, who have had a lot of success in his time there. He can play midfield or half-back and is known for his hard running and attack on the contest. At only 18 he will join the Hawks younger midfield stocks as the older brigade finish their careers.
After lunch, with an hour to go in the trade period, the Lions pounced on Melbourne ruck/forward Stefan Martin, grabbing him for the fairly small price of picks 53 and 73. List manager Rob Kerr has taken a miserly approach since the debacle of their 2009 trade period and this was no exception, grabbing a player to fill a need at a bargain basement price.
North Melbourne grabbed picks 42 and 48 from Collingwood while giving them their pick 39, perhaps indicating that they have plans to take extra players in that region of the draft.
With 10 minutes remaining, the Saints got two deals done. They grabbed medium forward Trent Dennis-Lane from the Swans for pick 47 and traded pick 46 and Jamie Cripps to the Eagles for picks 41 and 44. This essentially left them with two picks still in the 40s, just upgraded and with a change of players.
Dennis-Lane was an emergency for the Swans 2012 Grand Final win and will support the Saints forward brigade, while Cripps was always expected to go to the Eagles after announcing his intentions to return home early in the trade period.
So 27 trades and 10 free agency moves later, it was over. As quickly as it had begun the trade period was over.
The AFL Players Association considered the changes of the longer trade period and free agency a success.
We now await the fate of Kurt Tippett, as the AFL probes into a number of possible breaches outside of his contract, including a deal in getting his brother to Adelaide and a possible $200,000 payment outside the cap. The AFL said firmly that no deals involving Tippett were to be done until they had concluded their investigations. As they hadn’t, Tippett’s future remains in limbo, with the draft looking more and more likely to be his main option.
Join BigFooty News in November as we cover the Delisted Player Free Agency period (beginning this Thursday, November 1st) and of course, the NAB AFL Draft.
Completed Trades (Final two days):
Gold Coast Suns traded second round draft pick (#37) to Fremantle for Greg Broughton and third round draft pick (#60)
Western Bulldogs traded fourth round draft pick (#71) to Collingwood for Tom Young
Melbourne Demons traded fifth round draft pick (#88) to Port Adelaide for David Rodan
Collingwood Magpies traded fourth round draft pick (#71) to Carlton for Jordan Russell
Port Adelaide Power traded fifth round draft pick (#88) to West Coast for Lewis Stevenson
Port Adelaide Power traded fourth round draft pick (#72) to Sydney for Campbell Heath and fourth round draft pick (#85)
West Coast Eagles traded fifth round draft pick (#88) to Melbourne for Cale Morton
Richmond Tigers traded fourth round draft pick (#74) to North Melbourne for Aaron Edwards
Melbourne Demons traded Jordan Gysberts and third round draft pick (#63) to North Melbourne for Cameron Pedersen and fourth round draft pick (#74)
Hawthorn Hawks traded third round compensation pick (#66) to Sydney for Matt Spangher and fourth round draft pick (#72)
Greater Western Sydney Giants traded Jed Anderson (NT zone player), round two draft pick (#29) and round four draft pick (#68) to Hawthorn for Stephen Gilham, round two draft pick (#28) and round three draft pick (#65)
Brisbane Lions traded third round draft pick (#53) and fourth round draft pick (#73) to Melbourne for Stefan Martin
Collingwood Magpies traded second round draft pick (#42) and third round draft pick (#48) to North Melbourne for second round draft pick (#39)
St Kilda Saints traded round three draft pick (#47) to Sydney for Trent Dennis-Lane
West Coast Eagles traded round two draft picks (#41 and #44) to St Kilda for Jamie Cripps and round three draft pick (#46)