Xavier Duursma celebrates a goal during the round 24 match between Port Adelaide and Richmond at Adelaide Oval, August 27, 2023. Picture: Getty Images

PORT Adelaide wingman Xavier Duursma has requested a trade to Essendon.

The Bombers confirmed on Monday they have spoken to Duursma, who remains contracted for 2024 but has caught interest from Victorian rivals after playing 16 games in 2023 for a career tally of 73 since being recruited with pick No.18 in the 2018 National Draft.

The Power are preparing for a busy Continental Tyres AFL Trade Period as they target Geelong defender Esava Ratugolea, Essendon backman Brandon Zerk-Thatcher and Western Bulldogs ruckman Jordon Sweet.

Essendon list boss Adrian Dodoro said the club was exploring its options with Duursma amid the possibility of a trade sending Zerk-Thatcher the other way. 

"We've spoken to him, there's no doubt," Dodoro told Continental Tyres AFL Trade Radio on Monday.

"We're looking at all options and obviously there’s a trade for Brandon Zerk-Thatcher, who incidentally has a three-year deal on the table and is a required player.

"We've just got to do our due diligence. There’s no commitment on either side at the moment, but certainly a player we would consider."


Port Adelaide football manager Chris Davies conceded that Port's pursuit of multiple trade targets meant other deals that bring in draft picks could help their cause, but Duursma was a player they would prefer to retain.

If the 23-year-old expressed a desire to find a new home, however, he said the club would explore that. 

"The approach we take ultimately is we want players who want to be at Port Adelaide," Davies said.  

"So if there was a player who, in the exit interview process, ended the season wanting to potentially leave, we are good enough and mature enough to look and see if that can ultimately help us.

"There's no doubt that extra Draft capital when you’re looking to bring players in actually does help. But we're equally not looking to push Xavier out. This has got to be something that is going to be beneficial for both parties."

Davies said he was not yet sure if Duursma and Zerk-Thatcher would be linked in a trade with the Bombers. 


Power small forward Orazio Fantasia could also be on the move, with Greater Western Sydney confirming its interest in the ex-Bomber on Monday.

Fantasia, who has been restricted by injuries and managed just four games across the past two seasons, shapes as a rookie selection for the Giants, according to list manager Adrian Caruso.


"He's proven he can play AFL footy, unlike a lot of those other players who are probably sitting in the boat of being out of contract or who have been delisted," Caruso said.

"We feel like there’s some appeal there from the way he plays at his best. He's got the speed and run that can help us in how we want to play.

"Like a few other players, we’re just doing some work. We've got a rookie spot there that we’re open-minded on, and he's one player that we’re looking at. Given it's a rookie we've got six or seven weeks to do the work on him."