THE WESTERN Bulldogs have landed one of the big assets of the trade period, acquiring Gold Coast's prized pick No.4 in a swap confirmed on Monday.
The Dogs have beaten out a strong field of interest for the Suns' selection, which has been on the market all year due to the club's star Academy prospects.
Gold Coast had to trade the selection knowing it would otherwise have been absorbed by a bid on top-three talent Jed Walter, who is tied to the Suns' Academy.
It has seen the Bulldogs trade their two first-round picks this season – No.10 and 17 – as well as their first-round pick in 2024 in exchange for the Suns' pick No.4.
The Suns have also traded the Bulldogs their third-round picks this year – No.46 and 51, both bumped back a spot by the Tom Doedee compensation pick – to ensure the Dogs have extra points to match a bid for father-son talent Jordan Croft, who is tied to the Bulldogs this year. The Suns have also traded their future third-round pick to the Dogs as part of the deal.
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It leaves the Dogs in the sweet spot of the top-end talent, with small goalkicker Nick Watson and midfield jet Ryley Sanders likely to be strongly considered for the pick, which will be the earliest pick the Dogs have held since Marcus Bontempelli was selected at No.4 in 2013.
The Bulldogs' pursuit of Gold Coast's pick No.4 and strong deal they put forward was due to the fact a bid for Croft could come before their first selection, meaning they needed to get in ahead of where a bid would fall that would have taken up their early picks.
It is why they have been prepared to add the future first-rounder to the mix to beat big competition for the selection, with Adelaide, Melbourne, Essendon, Sydney and North Melbourne having shown interest at different stages in the pick through the year.
The Suns will now listen to offers for pick No.10 – with Adelaide and Melbourne both interested in the selection – as they look to accrue more points to match bids for Walter and fellow Academy players Ethan Read, Jake Rogers and Will Graham.