Patrick Dangerfield’s blockbuster move to Geelong headlined the official opening of the AFL trade period on Monday.
The Cats were involved in the only two official transactions on the day, with Scott Selwood’s free agency move from West Coast also confirmed on a big day for the club.
But it was Dangerfield’s long-anticipated switch from Adelaide that made the biggest splash, with the Crows agreeing to send the star onballer and pick 50 to Geelong in exchange for the Cats’ picks 9 and 28, as well as untried South Australian midfielder Dean Gore.
“Obviously it’s been a whirlwind couple of months – certainly now it’s been done it’s a fair amount of relief,” Dangerfield said from his new base at Simonds Stadium.
“I’ve loved my time at the Adelaide Football Club (but) eventually that had to come to an end and it’s nice that it has been done on day one of the trade period.
“It doesn’t surprise me that it has been because they’re two great clubs.
“I sit here now a very, very happy Geelong player.”
That will be cold comfort to Crows fans, who wave goodbye to a star player who can easily be considered one of the top five midfielders in the competition.
Dangerfield, however, was a restricted free agent who would have only garnered Adelaide pick 14 in compensation if he had exercised his rights to move back to his home state under the free agency system.
Crows head of football David Noble is certainly comfortable that his club extracted the best possible return.
“I think people that follow footy will understand,” Noble said of the deal.
“We said that we wanted to construct the best deal that we could – we could’ve ended up with nothing or we could’ve ended up with pick 14.
“I think if you look at pick 9, pick 28 and a young talent coming in the door – it’s clearly better than we could’ve had.
“Free agency is really geared for a player, so for us to get a deal better than nothing or pick 14 – we’re really pleased.”
Like Jack Crisp to Collingwood last year, and so many before him, Gore is the sweetener or the ‘steak knives’ thrown in to get the deal over the line but Noble is confident the former Sturt onballer has the makings of a long-term player for the club.
Selwood’s arrival for nothing as a free agent is a bonus for the Cats, who are also trying to engineer trades for Carlton’s Lachie Henderson and Gold Coast’s Zac Smith.
The AFL advised the Eagles they will receive a second-round pick (currently No.37) as compensation for losing the 25-year-old.
All 18 clubs met at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne on Monday for the opening day of the trade period.
The meeting is largely an opportunity for clubs to engage in preliminary trade discussions but Essendon were able to report that Brisbane ruckman Matthew Leuenberger opted to join the Bombers as a restricted free agent.
Hawthorn announced that unrestricted free agent Matt Suckling had signed with the Western Bulldogs on Saturday.