Every Thursday AFL.com.au presents Inside Trading, with breaking news and the best analysis of the AFL trade landscape covering contracts, re-signings, free agents, the AFL Draft and industry insights.
SWANS JOIN PADDY CHASE
SYDNEY has registered an interest in uncontracted Carlton midfielder Paddy Dow, who is expected to leave Ikon Park during the upcoming Trade Period.
The Swans will look to bolster their midfield depth across the player movement window and are also among the frontrunners to secure Demons free agent James Jordon, who will explore his opportunities over the next month.
Dow is yet to officially request a trade away from the Blues but is tipped to leave the club when the Trade Period opens on October 9, as he searches for greater senior opportunities elsewhere.
St Kilda has already been strongly linked to Dow, with the club's list manager Stephen Silvagni having initially drafted the 187cm midfielder to Ikon Park.
The former No.3 pick has played 73 games across six seasons at Carlton, but managed just 10 senior appearances in 2023 and 14 across the last two years, having been squeezed out of the side's regular midfield group.
Dow still showed what he could do at AFL level late in Carlton's home and away season, playing seven consecutive matches to finish the campaign before losing his place in the team ahead of the finals.
He averaged 21.8 disposals and 6.5 clearances per game across the final month of the season, while he had also emerged as one of the best midfielders at VFL level after averaging 31.4 touches from 10 reserves fixtures this year.
Carlton is also bracing for contracted small defender Zac Fisher to request a trade to North Melbourne, but the club is in the box seat to secure former top-10 pick Elijah Hollands in a trade from Gold Coast. – Riley Beveridge
POWER CHAMPION SET TO GO ON
PORT Adelaide veteran Travis Boak is closing in on a new deal to play on for 2024.
Boak, who has played 349 games, has been deciding whether to go on next season but is set for another one-year deal, which will be his 18th season.
The 35-year-old played 21 games this year but was the starting substitute in three of the Power's last six games, including its qualifying final loss to Brisbane.
The Power champion had 21 disposals, seven inside 50s and four clearances the following week against Greater Western Sydney in the semi-final defeat.
Boak, already the games record holder for Port Adelaide, will be aiming to become the 23rd player in VFL/AFL history to reach the 350-game milestone. He will enter next year as the fourth-oldest player in the competition. – Callum Twomey
CATS OPEN TO PARTING WITH FIRST PICK
GEELONG is open to putting its lucrative top-10 pick up for trade over the coming month, should the right opportunity present itself.
The Cats have already held discussions with rival teams around potential pick swaps involving the No.7 selection, while they would also be open to parting with the first-round draft choice for the right player.
It comes after a busy trade period for the Cats last year where they dealt for Ollie Henry and Tanner Bruhn, while completing a salary-based trade that saw them land Jack Bowes and pick No.7 from the Suns.
Speaking on AFL.com.au's trade and draft show Gettable this week, Geelong football boss Andrew Mackie revealed that dangling this year's pick was a live option for the club but that any trade would have to satisfy its specific needs.
"Yeah, definitely," Mackie said.
"We're open to that. But, to be clear, it's got to appease a lot of what we need to be doing. There are some parts of the ground that we need to tend to over the next little bit, but we're definitely open to it.
"We're not open to everything. We've had options over the last little bit and we're holding tight with what that looks like. At the same time, we're always open to other options.
"There have been clubs ring about trading for the pick without players, just pick trading. There are all sorts of things and discussions right through this period and we're no different to other teams, we're open to a lot of things.
"But I must say, (that pick) has landed in a really good spot for us we feel. Whichever way we decide to go, I think we'll get a really good outcome." – Riley Beveridge
CLUBS SET FOR MOVES AFTER CATCH-UP
NEARLY half of the competition's list bosses caught up on Wednesday in a final round of mini trade talks ahead of the start of the player movement window next week.
Richmond, Geelong, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Melbourne, Fremantle and Adelaide all gathered for separate discussions in Docklands ahead of the opening of the free agency period next Friday and the Trade Period the following Monday, on October 6.
Not all clubs met with each other, with the chats an informal step in them being across general plans, how many draft picks are likely to be needed and used and the overview of where negotiations sit on out-of-contract players.
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There looks set to be around 30 players change clubs across the trade and free agency windows, with decisions still coming for top free agents Tom Doedee and Jade Gresham. Doedee is weighing his call between Brisbane and Collingwood's interest, while Gresham has been expected to head to Essendon.
Unrestricted free agent James Jordon has informed Melbourne he will be exploring his free agency options, with Sydney seen by rivals as leading the interest for the midfielder, while North's free agent Todd Goldstein has been weighing interest from Essendon and Collingwood. AFL.com.au revealed last week Kangaroos free agent Ben McKay had selected Essendon as his new home.
Free agents are able to lodge their moves on the Friday following this weekend's Grand Final. – Callum Twomey
SAINTS LOOK TO LOCK IN TOP-10 PICK
ST KILDA has extended an offer to its injury-plagued former first-round pick Nick Coffield, with the Saints hoping to ward off interest in the uncontracted defender from a handful of rival clubs.
Coffield has attracted the attentions of Brisbane and the Western Bulldogs recently as he nears the end of a two-year deal he signed before the 2021 season, but is yet to decide on his future.
The 191cm half-back has endured an unfortunate period, having not featured at AFL level in more than two years after suffering a ruptured ACL that ruined his 2022 campaign before battling calf injuries this season.
A two-year deal at St Kilda would take Coffield through to free agency, having arrived at the club with the eighth selection in the 2017 national draft alongside fellow uncontracted Saint Hunter Clark.
St Kilda currently has a host of other players coming towards the end of their deals at RSEA Park, though last summer's pre-season supplemental pick-up Liam Stocker also has an offer on the table to stay. – Riley Beveridge
PORT'S TOP PICK UP FOR GRABS
PORT Adelaide's future first-round pick is on the trade table as the Power look at ways to split the selection to help them get their deals done.
The Power have had Geelong's Esava Ratugolea, Essendon's Brandon Zerk-Thatcher and Bulldog Jordon Sweet nominate Alberton Oval as their preferred new homes ahead of the trade period, with the club also interested in Richmond ruckman Ivan Soldo.
But without a first-round selection this year – it's with North Melbourne after the Jason Horne-Francis deal in 2022 – the Power have to be creative to get their deals done, with rivals aware their 2023 first-rounder is up for grabs for multiple selections.
There are a number of possible options if the Power are to look at clubs who could be willing to use two picks to package together for the future first-rounder.
Sydney (picks No.23 and 31) and Melbourne (25 and 33) loom as possible options as clubs with multiple picks this year, while Port could also look at finding a club that has one early second-round pick this year and can throw in a future second-rounder to net the future first-round selection.
Fremantle (pick No.22) and Hawthorn (30) hold top-30 picks this season as well as their future second-rounders, while West Coast also holds two second-round picks (No.20 and 33) and could also be possibilities. – Callum Twomey
ANOTHER YEAR FOR BULLDOG
OUT-of-contract Western Bulldogs veteran Taylor Duryea is set to play on for a 15th season.
The 32-year-old is yet to sign a new deal but is understood to have been given the indication an extension will be finalised in the coming weeks.
Duryea has played 74 games in red, white and blue since moving from Hawthorn at the end of 2018, including 20 in 2023
The small defender won two premierships at the Hawks during his 118-game career at Waverley Park and needed only eight more appearances to reach 200 games.
Hayden Crozier is also yet to secure a contract for 2024 but the former Docker might remain at the Whitten Oval.
The 29-year-old was limited to just four senior games this year due to injury but is keen to play on.
Carlton is understood to have had some interest in the event Crozier is delisted, while other clubs are monitoring his contract status.
Toby McLean also remains unsigned for next season after playing 11 games across the past three seasons. – Josh Gabelich
'ACE' SET TO HANG AROUND
GOLD COAST youngster Hewago Oea, affectionately known as 'Ace', will be at the Suns next season after reaching an agreement to remain at Heritage Bank Stadium in 2024.
Oea, one of few players born in Papua New Guinea to have featured at AFL level, enjoyed a vastly improved campaign and played a career-high eight games this year.
He was also a prominent member of Gold Coast's premiership-winning VFL team this season, kicking nine goals from 14 games at reserves level and averaging 14.6 disposals per match.
Oea won 15 disposals and laid six tackles in Gold Coast's 19-point Grand Final win over Werribee.
He has spent the last four seasons on Gold Coast's Category B rookie list, with the club still working through the details as to how it will retain the 21-year-old for next year. – Riley Beveridge
HAWKS FORWARD IN LIMBO
HAWTHORN forward Fergus Greene will remain in limbo for next year after not being a part of the Hawks' round of delistings this week.
The Hawks announced list changes on Tuesday, with Josh Morris, Emerson Jeka and Fionn O'Hara to depart the club.
Greene remains without a deal for next year after returning to the AFL this season as a delisted free agent, having previously played at the Western Bulldogs.
And his wait is likely to extend through the trade period as the Hawks look set for an active month, with Jacob Koschitzke requesting a trade to Richmond and the Hawks among the clubs with interest in Gold Coast's Mabior Chol.
Essendon rookie Massimo D'Ambrosio also this week requested a trade to the Hawks, although the runner's acquisition wouldn't impact Greene's spot.
The 25-year-old kicked 15 goals from 11 games this year for the Hawks after being picked up following his form at VFL level with the Box Hill Hawks. – Callum Twomey
MID-SEASON DUO STILL WAITING ON DEALS
ONLY two players from this year's mid-season intake are yet to re-sign for next season, with mature-aged Geelong midfielder Mitch Hardie and young Essendon key forward Jaiden Hunter still waiting on offers for 2024.
A total of 13 players were recruited during this year's mid-season rookie draft, with only three – West Coast's Ryan Maric, North Melbourne's Robert Hansen jnr and Hawthorn's Clay Tucker – nominating for 18-month contracts.
Sydney pair Harry Arnold and Jack Buller, Richmond duo Matt Coulthard and James Tresize, Fremantle's Ethan Stanley, the Dogs' Caleb Poulter, Port Adelaide's Quinton Narkle and Hawthorn's Brandon Ryan have also since signed extensions.
It leaves both Hardie and Hunter still waiting on new deals for next season, though it's understood neither have been offered contracts heading into the start of the trade period in a fortnight's time.
Hardie played nine VFL games after arriving at Geelong, averaging 18.6 disposals per match, while Hunter kicked four goals against Carlton's reserves side in just his second game in Essendon colours before suffering a season-ending back injury but signs have been positive on a potential new deal for the Bombers. – Riley Beveridge
WA TALL ON THE RISE
WEST Australian tall Zane Zakostelsky looms as a possible top-30 contender as clubs continue to scour the market for key-position options in this year's draft.
Zakostelsky was named best on ground in Claremont's under-18 colts Grand Final win over Perth last weekend, gathering 22 disposals and having 18 hitouts.
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The 17-year-old has played as a ruckman at that level through this season but shapes as a key defensive option for AFL clubs given his 196cm frame.
Zakostelsky, who has a background in basketball and athletics, will next week test at the AFL Draft Combine in Melbourne, where he is expected to be a standout performer and further push his draft case.
His endurance and speed combination has impressed, having ran the 20-metre sprint in 2.85 seconds at WA's under-18 testing earlier this year. Some clubs believe he could break into the top 30 draftees by November given his attributes. – Callum Twomey