With rival clubs readying recruiting raids, Greater Western Sydney will again be a key player in the AFL trade period.
That won’t be news to the talent-laden Giants, who are already resigned to losing homesick forward Cam McCarthy to a Western Australian club – most likely Fremantle – and promising key-position player Caleb Marchbank, who has requested a trade to Carlton.
With the dust still settling on the Western Bulldogs’ stunning grand final win, attention will quickly turn to the trade period that runs from Monday October 10 to Thursday, October 20, and the free agency signing period, that starts on Friday October 7 and runs for 10 days.
GWS played hardball with McCarthy a year ago when he requested a trade to his native Perth, with the talented forward choosing to sit out the AFL season when a trade didn’t materialise.
Marchbank, the sixth overall pick at the 2014 draft, put in a trade request to return to Victoria, with the Blues his desired destination.
“The club will work closely with both Greater Western Sydney and Caleb’s management to come to a suitable arrangement,” Carlton list manager Stephen Silvagni said in a statement.
That pair won’t be the only Giants enquired about by other clubs, with Adam Tomlinson, Jack Steele and Will Hoskin-Elliott also likely to attract interest.
GWS are also reportedly interested in dealing with Essendon to secure the No.1 pick at this year’s draft, which would be the fourth top overall pick in the club’s short history.
The coming trade and free agency periods promise to be amongst the busiest ever seen.
Jaeger O’Meara and Dion Prestia both want out of Gold Coast, with Hawthorn and Richmond their respective destinations of choice.
The Hawks will need to be adequately compensated by Fremantle if Brad Hill is to get his wish to cross the continent to play with his brother, Stephen.
Melbourne say they are comfortable with where Jesse Hogan’s contract situation sits, but speculation continues that both Perth clubs will try to make the Demons an offer they can’t refuse for the talented young forward.
Intrigue also surrounds the futures of North Melbourne trio Brent Harvey, Nick Dal Santo and Drew Petrie, who were all let go by the Roos.
Petrie has attarcted interest from West Coast, while Harvey and Dal Santo are still considering their futures.
Harvey had been linked with a move to Collingwood but coach Nathan Buckley categorically denied that was the case during grand final week.
The Magpies will also be a club to watch, with Dockers forward Chris Mayne and Kangaroos veteran Daniel Wells reportedly targeted.
Travis Cloke is contracted for next season but has been strongly linked to the Bulldogs after announcing his desire to start afresh elsewhere.