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Golden age of free agency looms for 2018

Andrew Gaff will be one of the most in-demand free agents next year - AFL,Free Agency,Trade,column
Andrew Gaff will be one of the most in-demand free agents next year

NOW 2017's trade period is over, club recruiters will quickly shift their focus to next year's talent pool and no players will be more closely monitored than prospective 2018 free agents Tom Lynch, Andrew Gaff and Rory Sloane.

Gold Coast spearhead Lynch, who turns 25 on October 31, is unmistakeably the jewel of the 2018 free agency group and clubs, particularly in his home state Victoria, are already circling. 

There was speculation before this year's trade period that clubs were preparing to lure the 199cm forward home ahead of next season, but the Suns quickly nipped such talk in the bud. 

Sloane and, in particular, Gaff were more strongly linked with moves home to Victoria over the past month, but such talk also amounted to nothing. 

But with clubs such as St Kilda, North Melbourne and Carlton falling short in their bids to land an elite midfielder this year, Sloane and Gaff will continue to be pursued for as long as they remain unsigned. 

Other 2018 free agents also made news this trade period. 

West Coast inquired about Collingwood forward Alex Fasolo but their interest was shut down, Suns ruckman Tom Nicholls was put up for trade without any serious rival nibbles, and it emerged Andrew Swallow and Lindsay Thomas faced uncertain futures at North Melbourne.'s preliminary 2018 free agency list 

Richard Douglas
David Mackay
Andy Otten
Rory Sloane
Brodie Smith

Brisbane Lions
Rohan Bewick
Ryan Lester 

Marc Murphy
Kade Simpson 

Jarryd Blair
Alex Fasolo
Tyson Goldsack
Ben Reid
Josh Thomas

Tom Bellchambers 

Hayden Ballantyne
Michael Johnson
David Mundy
Aaron Sandilands               

Cameron Guthrie
George Horlin-Smith
Harry Taylor 

Gold Coast
Jarrod Harbrow
Tom Lynch
Tom Nicholls  


Shaun Burgoyne
Taylor Duryea
Paul Puopolo
Ryan Schoenmakers
Brendan Whitecross 

Max Gawn
Neville Jetta
Tom McDonald 

North Melbourne
Shaun Atley
Andrew Swallow
Lindsay Thomas
Scott Thompson
Sam Wright 

Port Adelaide
Justin Westhoff 

Reece Conca
Ben Griffiths
Shaun Grigg
Dylan Grimes
Bachar Houli 

St Kilda
Sam Gilbert 

Heath Grundy
Jarrad McVeigh
Nick Smith 

West Coast
Andrew Gaff
Shannon Hurn
Mark LeCras
Scott Lycett
Eric Mackenzie
Jeremy McGovern 

Western Bulldogs
Luke Dahlhaus
Tom Liberatore
Dale Morris
Jordan Roughead
Mitch Wallis