NORTH Melbourne has swooped in late to secure the services of Melbourne's two-time AFLW premiership winner Libby Birch, who has now officially requested a trade to the recent Grand Finalists.
As revealed by AFL.com.au last week, the uncontracted Birch had been considering her options at the end of Melbourne's campaign and had also met with Hawthorn over a potential move earlier this week.
But North Melbourne, fresh from its Grand Final defeat to Brisbane last Sunday, had maintained an interest in the dual All-Australian defender and won on a commitment from Birch on Friday.
It's a significant fillip for the Kangaroos following their Grand Final loss, with Birch among the competition's premier defenders after a 77-game career that has included flags with both the Western Bulldogs in 2018 and Melbourne in 2022 (season seven).
An impending move taking Birch to the Kangaroos will likely follow deals for Demons duo Casey Sherriff and Eliza West, with their trades to the Hawks confirmed on Friday.
Hawthorn has parted with picks No.5 and 26 to secure the premiership pair of Sherriff and West, though it will also gain pick No.16 from Melbourne as part of the transaction.
Melbourne is elsewhere locked in talks with Essendon over a deal for midfielder Maddi Gay, who has requested a trade, while young defender Charlotte Wilson has also asked for a move to Gold Coast.
While a host of Demons are set to depart this off-season, captain Kate Hore and vice-captain Tyla Hanks have both signed long-term deals, tying them to the club until at least the end of 2027.