Libby Birch in action during round nine, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

MELBOURNE's AFLW star Libby Birch has become a trade target for rival clubs, with Hawthorn among the sides keen on the dual All-Australian defender as it looks to potentially package her into a larger deal.

The Hawks have their sights set on three flag-winning Demons ahead of next week's AFLW Trade Period and are targeting a move for Birch, as well as forward Casey Sherriff and midfielder Eliza West.

It's understood Birch – who is uncontracted at Melbourne beyond this year – is now considering her future, with a handful of other Victorian teams also in the race for the two-time premiership player.

Birch has established herself as one of the League's premier defenders across a 77-game AFLW career that has included premierships with both the Bulldogs in 2018 and Melbourne last year.


She is also a two-time All-Australian, both earned while at the Demons in 2020 and then again in 2022 (season six), with any potential move for the 25-year-old likely to be among the most significant made throughout the upcoming AFLW Trade Period.

Hawthorn is believed to be among the frontrunners for Birch, having already won a commitment from her Melbourne teammate Sherriff and been among the leading parties interested in another teammate in West.

Sherriff will cross to the Hawks after 48 games for the Dees, having missed the club's recent finals campaign with a broken arm, while West has also attracted interest after being dropped late in the year.

Casey Sherriff in action during the R9 match between Melbourne and Fremantle at Casey Fields on October 28, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

West has been among the League's most prolific midfielders across her 36-game career and averaged 17.2 disposals and 6.4 tackles per game throughout Melbourne's most recent campaign.

Hawthorn – who has already picked up potential No.1 draft pick Laura Stone, as well as Hayley McLaughlin and Jess Vukic as under-18s pre-signings – has been willing to put its top No.5 draft selection on the trade table to lure mature-aged recruits this year.

Melbourne, meanwhile, is facing a busy summer as the club looks to respond following its disappointing straight-sets finals exit earlier this season. The Demons are not currently due to start at next month's draft until pick No.16.