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Who's on the outer, on the trade table, or off the list

Harley Bennell of the Suns and Sean Dempster of the Saints compete for the ball during the 2015 AFL Round 02 match between the Gold Coast Suns and the St Kilda Saints at Metricon Stadium, Gold Coast on April 11, 2015. (Photo: Bradley Kanaris/AFL Media)
Harley Bennell has some work to do to regain the trust of the Suns

The obvious candidate to be delisted at season's end at West Lakes is James Podsiadly. The 33-year-old premiership forward moved into defence this year to try and break into the senior squad but an untimely back injury sidelined him for an extended period and he hasn't been able to earn a game since. Sam Kerridge's season (and career) has been hampered by injury, but after returning to the SANFL last week he'd want to reach form in the second half of the year. He's one of several Crows still out of contract, including Matt Wright, Sam Shaw and Sam Siggins. Shaw hasn't been able to stay fit for long enough to do anything at the elite level but is working himself back from a serious hamstring injury. Siggins is considered a long-term prospect but now he's back playing in the SANFL he needs to take a step forward before the year's out. Rookie Anthony Wilson was drafted for his extreme speed, but was raw and so could be offered another season to settle into AFL life, while fellow rookie Jack Osborn has fallen behind Riley O'Brien in the ruck pecking order and is in danger of slipping out of the system. - Harry Thring

After turning over 25 players in the past two seasons, Justin Leppitsch is getting closer to the team he wants. Young midfielder James Aish has been the centre of much speculation surrounding his future. The club wants him, but the 19-year-old is yet to commit anywhere for 2016. Aish has struggled for form, played just nine games and been dropped twice in a difficult second season. Ruckman Matthew Leuenberger might not be fighting for his career, but he is fighting for his spot at the Lions. He was spoken about as a potential trade chip to lure Paddy Ryder last off-season, and playing second fiddle behind Stefan Martin in 2015, the out-of-contract West Australian seems in limbo. He has much to offer, but wants to be the No.1 ruck option and has eight weeks to prove he is. Veteran Brent Staker has looked off the pace in his four senior games this year, while fellow forward Jackson Paine has played six games in two seasons and suffered a season-ending ankle injury. Talented half-back Mitch Golby has fallen out of favour, playing just five times this year, in a loaded part of the ground. - Michael Whiting

Mitch Golby hasn't been able to grab a regular spot in the Lions' depleted backline. Picture: AFL Media

There is plenty of speculation about which Blues will be up for trade at the end of this season, and the players constantly mentioned are Lachie Henderson and Chris Yarran. The sublimely talented Yarran is contracted until the end of next year and swingman Henderson, a member of the Blues' leadership group, is out of contract at the end of this season and has delayed talks. Several Blues are out of contract at the end of this season and are playing for their careers. Matthew Watson, the Blues' first-round pick from the 2010 NAB AFL Draft (No.18 overall), has played only one AFL game this year and spent the rest of the season in the VFL. Dennis Armfield's output improved dramatically under interim coach John Barker before suffering a setback with a broken arm sustained last Friday night. David Ellard has managed only six games this season, only one of those under Barker. Robert Warnock has been with the Blues for seven seasons and managed only 67 games. This year the 206cm ruckman played only twice in the seniors before his season was cut short by shoulder surgery a month ago. - Howard Kotton

For various reasons, including injury, ex-Hawk Clinton Young hasn't lived up to expectations in three seasons with the Pies. At his best, the classy, long-kicking left-footer would be in the starting 18, but that 'best' is a distant memory, given many probably still gauge the 29-year-old's value on his sensational first half in the 2008 Grand Final. Another mature-aged dasher, Sam Dwyer, 29 next month, has been a good servant in his three seasons since making the transition from Port Melbourne. However, Dwyer has made just four AFL appearances this year, the most recent in round six, and the writing could already be on the wall with the club intent on giving opportunities to younger players. Another runner apparently destined for delisting is defender Tony Armstrong, who is almost 26, at his third club, and has played just six games for the Pies in the past two seasons, and only one this year. Ex-Lion Patrick Karnezis is out of contract at season's end and might be nervous despite playing four AFL games this year and performing well in the VFL. A curious case is that of 21-year-old midfielder Ben Kennedy, a serious talent yet to gain a regular game, which mystifies some Pies fans. Contracted to the end of 2016, Kennedy could attract interest at the trade table from rivals offering more senior opportunities. - Ben Collins

Sam Dwyer's form appears to have waned as the Pies look for younger options. Picture: AFL Media

Essendon still has plenty of players out of contract at the end of this year, with big decisions looming for the list management team. Courtenay Dempsey's career at the club looks a little shaky after being dropped a couple of times this year and he has struggled to hit any type of form. The free agent's future appears up in the air. Veteran trio Dustin Fletcher, Jason Winderlich and Paul Chapman seem likely to retire, while Tayte Pears' wretched run with injuries for several years makes it hard to see the Bombers extending his career there. Fourth-year players Elliott Kavanagh and Nick O'Brien are out of contract at the end of the season but recently have been given more of a run by the coaching staff, with plenty to prove in the back end of the season. Alex Browne broke into the senior team last week only to be concussed, but will be hoping for more opportunities in the last two months of the year to prove his worth. Will Hams has also been struck by injuries in his three seasons with the club, but he showed his doggedness through the midfield in three games earlier this year. - Callum Twomey

The Dockers have already lost Colin Sylvia to retirement and there could potentially be a few more departures. Ryan Crowley and Anthony Morabito are unique cases and neither will get the chance to play this year to prove their value moving forward, although Crowley would be available for the preliminary final if Fremantle qualifies. Hayden Crozier is a player desperate for an opportunity but he can't get an extended run in the side. He is out of contract and may not re-sign if he can't break into the 22. Small forward Max Duffy is another who has struggled for opportunities during his time at Fremantle. He was drafted in 2012 but only made his debut last season and has played just two games. He signed a one-year deal at the end of last season. Brady Grey was drafted with pick No.58 in 2013 but he is yet to play a senior game and hasn't really been in the mix this year. Paul Duffield and Tendai Mzungu are both first-choice players at their best, but both have spent time in the WAFL this year. Duffield becomes an unrestricted free agent at the end of the year. Rookies Tom Vandeleur and Craig Moller are also coming to the end of their contracts. - Alex Malcolm

Could Docker Hayden Crozier seek a move back to Victoria at the end of the year? Picture: AFL Media


Geelong will make significant changes to its list at the end of the season. Hamish McIntosh would need a miracle to keep going, with injuries ruining his chance to show his best. Billie Smedts needs to show some form in the back half of the season after a shoulder injury put him on the edge. His age, 23, will help him as the Cats don't have many players in that middle bracket but he will want to prove he wants to get better. Dawson Simpson has been given plenty of chances and the club might decide the game is up, while injured duo Daniel Menzel and Nathan Vardy are playing catch-up footy. As for the veterans, Jimmy Bartel is the only guarantee, with Andrew Mackie and James Kelly playing solid enough football that a spot could be found for them if the club is clear about their leadership role and what that entails. Steve Johnson is on the edge as is Mathew Stokes who has not been able to recapture the form he showed before injuring his ankle last year. Jared Rivers' knee will determine his future as much as anything while Corey Enright has a decision to make at the end of the year that will be based on a range of factors including form. Steve Motlop remains unsigned and although he is valuable and valued the Cats will be aware he has currency in the trade market. - Peter Ryan

After a turbulent season, former No.2 draft pick Harley Bennell appears to be playing for his immediate future at the Suns. There is no doubt what the 22-year-old can produce on the field – he's one of the most gifted players in the competition – but he needs to prove his off-field commitment in the final two months of the season. The Suns have cracked down on off-field discipline and Bennell has fallen foul twice this year. He is currently tied up in an alleged drugs controversy – admittedly from 2013 - and was dropped for one game after failing the club's alcohol policy. He is contracted for two more years, but the Suns want to see an improved return for their investment. Out of contract ruckmen Zac Smith (six games) and Daniel Gorringe (two games) have fallen out of favour with coach Rodney Eade. Smith has been passed by Tom Nicholls as the club's No.1 ruckman, while Gorringe failed to make the most of his chances. The pair could be battling for one spot on the list. Defender Seb Tape has been dogged by injuries the past four seasons, and along with Clay Cameron could also be fighting for one spot. Rookies Louis Herbert and Jared Ellis have struggled to break into the senior team despite a litany of injuries to senior players and will do well to retain their spots. - Michael Whiting

Daniel Gorringe remains on the fringe of the Suns' list, as he was at the start of the year. Picture: AFL Media

Former Sydney Swan Jed Lamb's move to the Giants hasn't gone to plan; he played just eight games in 2014 and despite some consistent form and plenty of goals in the NEAFL, hasn't been seen at senior level this season. Ruckman Andrew Phillips was always going to struggle for games with Shane Mumford at the club, but when the Giants' number one big man went down for the season, youngsters Tom Downie and Rory Lobb jumped ahead of him. Senior footy seems long way off at this point for the the tall redhead. Running defenders Nathan Wilson and Curtly Hampton have shown glimpses of quality at AFL level but can't quite nail down a regular spot in the side. Wilson has managed just 26 games in four seasons and despite playing seven in 2015, he's also been dropped twice and spent plenty of time in the subs vest. Hampton was a regular in the Giants' first two years but has struggled since, and has played just three games in 2015. Adam Kennedy is another to have stagnated with the newfound depth at GWS, with former Collingwood premiership player Heath Shaw the team's No.1 small defender. - Adam Curley

Sam Grimley might have enjoyed his finest moment in the brown and gold on the weekend, with a big pack mark on the final siren, which he followed with the match-winning goal. Alas for Grimley, it came for Box Hill, for which he has been a permanent feature since being drafted by the Hawks with the 39th selection overall at the 2009 NAB AFL Draft, rather than Hawthorn. The tall, athletic 24-year-old forward with the basketball background was a speculative pick even then and has played just three senior games for the Hawks, finding it hard to get picked ahead of the likes of Jarryd Roughead, Lance Franklin (until he left at the end of 2013), Jack Gunston and David Hale. He was dropped to the rookie list at the end of last season and comes out of contract at the end of the season. Midfielders Jonathan Simpkin (one game this season) and Alex Woodward (none) have dominated at VFL level this year and their status at the end of the season bears watching. If the Hawks need to move one of this pair on at season's end to freshen the list it would probably be Simpkin, 27, rather than the 22-year-old Woodward who might just be serving the old-fashioned Hawthorn apprenticeship as did Michael Tuck, Robert DiPierdomenico, Gary Ayres and Chris Langford back in the day. - Ashley Browne

Melbourne's list turnover will be significant as the club continues to mould its squad into the one Simon Goodwin will inherit when Paul Roos leaves at the end of 2016. High-flying forward Jeremy Howe has put off contract talks until the end of the year and the eventuality of him leaving is looking more likely by the day. The Demons could trade Howe, given he has currency, or risk losing him to the national or pre-season drafts. Colin Garland, a restricted free agent, is a versatile defender and the Demons will be keen to keep him. Veteran Mark Jamar will probably hang up the boots, considering Max Gawn's emergence in the ruck. Jimmy Toumpas has improved this season but remains uncontracted for 2016 and the jury is still out on the No.4 pick from 2012. Cam Pedersen's future is still uncertain, but he has proven his worth as an important depth player through the ruck and up forward in 2015. Jordie McKenzie will be gone at the end of the year, while Rohan Bail, Aidan Riley, Jack Fitzpatrick and Viv Michie may be in the same boat. The Demons are likely to persist with rookies James Harmes and Max King, while oft-injured youngster Jayden Hunt could be dropped down from the senior list to the rookie list if he can get his body right. - Ben Guthrie

Cam Pedersen gives the Demons depth but could still be on the move next year. Picture: AFL Media

Kieran Harper was one of North's brightest young prospects when he played 37 games in his first two seasons, but injury and form have kept him out of the Roos' team since round three, 2013. The speedy forward has enjoyed a better run of health and form with Werribee this year but is out of contract and needs to finish 2015 strongly. Forward Aaron Black is contracted until the end of 2017, but has struggled for opportunity this season after Jarrad Waite's arrival from Carlton. The West Australian could seek a trade if he remains out of favour, but his improved recent VFL form suggests a senior recall is not far away. Out-of-contract forward Majak Daw has enjoyed his best year at VFL level but after finally earning a recall in round 14 against Gold Coast was dropped the next week. Daw's immediate demotion does not bode well for his long-term prospects in a forward line already boasting tall options such as Drew Petrie, Jarrad Waite, Black and Mason Wood. The Roos' first-round pick in the 2011 national draft, Brad McKenzie, is blessed with a lethal left foot but has not played a senior game since round 17 last year and needs to build on his improved recent form to earn a new contract. Daniel Currie is an able back-up ruckman but could seek a fresh start after being starved of opportunities behind Todd Goldstein. Veteran defender Scott McMahon will probably retire when his contract finishes at the end of this season, while fellow backman Max Warren looks set to be delisted after playing one senior game in four years on North's rookie list. - Nick Bowen

It's difficult to see the club retaining key forward John Butcher past 2015, particularly with a plethora of promising forwards in development. The once touted big man just hasn't reached the point where he's a reliable option and the time has come for the Power to part ways with him. Mason Shaw and Mitch Harvey have been developing for a few years now and the club drafted tall last season, bringing in Dougal Howard (199cm), Jesse Palmer (188cm), Billy Frampton (200cm) and Logan Austin (195cm) – all with the potential to play forward. While rookie Nathan Krakouer will probably be upgraded to the senior list, Johann Wagner and Sam Russell would be unlikely to remain at the club next season - neither haven't looked like breaking through. Tom Logan's situation is interesting; he's still playing great SANFL football and is a brilliant role model for young players but he's no longer an AFL prospect. Similarly to Ian Callinan at Adelaide, Logan's experience and work ethic is invaluable to young players so perhaps he'll hold onto his spot as a rookie, or be retained in a development capacity. - Harry Thring

If his past two seasons hadn't been cruelled by injury, key defender David Astbury would be an important cog in the Tigers' back six. Knee, foot and hamstring injuries have seen others go past him, however, and he is now being trialled as a forward in the VFL. Contracted to the end of 2016, Astbury certainly has currency, but the question is does he have value to the Tigers in a premiership push? With two games in four seasons, athletic tall defender Todd Elton, who signed a one-year contract for 2015, is also in a vulnerable position. Attacking defender Matt Dea is yet to play in 2015, despite being available, and others may have gone past him in the Tigers' pecking order. He also signed a one-year contract for 2015 and has played 31 games in six seasons. Ricky Petterd hasn't had the good fortune of being available, with a foot injury sidelining him since round three. The 26-year-old is coming out of contract this season and had spent time in the VFL in each of the past two seasons. - Nathan Schmook

Former Demon Ricky Petterd has played just the one senior game for Richmond in 2015. Picture AFL Media

It's the third season in a row defender Tom Simpkin has struggled for senior chances. He hasn't played an AFL game this year after five in 2014 and hasn't starred at VFL level playing in defence. The Saints have also tried to add versatility to Tom Lee's game by giving him time in the backline at VFL level. With the arrival of Paddy McCartin and Tim Membrey, plus the success of Josh Bruce as a forward, there isn't a great deal of room in the Saints' attack for the likes of Simpkin – who has been used forward at AFL level – and Lee. Simpkin is out of contract at the end of this season but Lee has another year to adapt to the new challenge of playing in defence. The injury-prone Daniel Markworth is also coming out of contract but is back playing in the development league after shoulder surgery in March. Knee, hamstring and shoulder issues have contributed to the reason why Markworth – a former second round draft pick – hasn't debuted, but the fact remains he's running out of time now. He will need to show something by the season's end if he's to keep his AFL career alive. Jason Holmes will almost certainly continue his career at the Saints after showing massive improvement again this year at VFL level while Ahmed Saad didn’t make an impact when he was briefly elevated at the start of the season, but with Adam Schneider’s expected retirement should be retained. - Jennifer Phelan

Premiership player Craig Bird's future at the Swans looks uncertain, with the veteran unseen at senior level since playing the first five games of the season. Bird made his name as a run-with player or defensive forward, but the emergence of youngsters Harry Cunningham, Jake Lloyd and Zak Jones has relegated the 26 year-old to the NEAFL. Bird has played 20+ games in each of the past four years, but he'll be lucky to break double figures in 2015. Midfielder Brandon Jack is another who might have to think about a move if he's determined to play regular AFL games. The 21 year-old just can't quite crack the senior side despite being an ultra consistent performer in the reserves, and there doesn't look to be a spot for him in the current Swans team. Ruckman Tom Derickx has gone from the Swans' backup big man last season to the back of the queue, with a healthy Kurt Tippett allowing coach John Longmire to use him to help Mike Pyke. Derickx played in round 13 with Pyke injured, but was then axed, with youngsters Toby Nankervis and Sam Naismith now preferred as the Swans' long term options. - Adam Curley

Scott Selwood is a curious case. He is a vice-captain and a best and fairest winner but an ankle injury gave him some difficulty in the early part of the season and the Eagles' young midfielders have developed so rapidly that he has found himself on the fringes. He is still in the best 22 but he becomes an unrestricted free agent and has yet to re-sign. Sam Butler and Patrick McGinnity were both in Adam Simpson's first-choice 22 at the start of the season, but have been a touch unlucky with injury. Both are set to become unrestricted free agents. They could certainly still play key roles in the side this year but their places next year and beyond are a different question. Brant Colledge simply cannot get a game no matter how many touches he racks up in the WAFL on a weekly basis. Youngsters Dylan Main and Malcolm Karpany will need to perform really well at WAFL level to ensure they remain on the list after two years of bouncing between East Perth's league and reserves sides. Rookie Rowen Powell is a similar boat, while Will Maginness has had a horror run with injury. - Alex Malcolm

Pat McGinnity will be a restricted free agent at the end of this season. Picture: AFL Media

He may still have a year to run on his contract, but there are question marks over where Will Minson fits into Luke Beveridge's plans. Dropped to the VFL for an extended period earlier in the season, the 30-year-old regained his spot to show he still has value at senior level. With his inability to be a reliable forward target, Minson's selection in the future may hinge on a suitable match up. Out of contract at season's end, Ayce Cordy looks to be in trouble. The first round pick was preferred to Minson for a six-week period but failed to grab the opportunity.  After only 72 games in eight seasons at Whitten Oval, Jarrad Grant really needs a strong finish to 2015. Recast as a wingman by Beveridge, Grant has a solid year to date, but more is expected of the man that was taken with the fifth pick overall in the 2007 NAB AFL Draft. Quick and strong overhead, the slightly built 26-year-old is well suited to Dogs 'fast footy' game plan. Running defenders Matthew Fuller (0 games) and Sam Darley (2 games) haven't seen senior action this year and have seen younger teammates preferred ahead of them. – Ryan Davidson

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs