Errol Gulden, Tim English, Jake Stringer. Pictures: AFL Photos

Get all the latest news in the trade, free agency and draft landscape every week in Inside Trading,'s dedicated column for player movement. Find out the latest on contracts, deals, trades, draftees, rules, agents and who is going where from the team. 


EARLY discussions have begun between the Western Bulldogs and star free agent Tim English, with the Dogs putting forward a contract offer to retain the All-Australian ruckman.

English is one of the top restricted free agents in the competition this year and one of three contract priorities for the Bulldogs alongside Jamarra Ugle-Hagan and Bailey Smith.

The Dogs have offered Smith a two-year deal as he recovers from his knee injury while Ugle-Hagan is expected to soon ink a new deal, likely two years, amidst significant rival interest, including from Hawthorn and Richmond.

English has been prepared to wait until deeper into the season to make a decision on his future, but talks are underway and the Dogs are understood to have put a long-term offer to him to stay at Whitten Oval.


West Coast signalled its interest in English over summer and has previously courted the West Australian.

The 26-year-old dominated against the Eagles last weekend as the Dogs ran riot, with English gathering 17 disposals, kicking two goals and having 24 hitouts in his best game of the season so far. – Callum Twomey


SYDNEY pair Errol Gulden and Logan McDonald are both "keen to stay" at the Swans as negotiations continue on new deals, says their manager Ben Williams.

Williams, from agency Players Ink, told's trade, free agency and draft show Gettable that the duo, who were selected at the 2020 draft and are into their fourth AFL seasons, were happy at the Swans despite strong rival interest trying to pry them out of the club. 

Errol Gulden in action during the match between Sydney and Essendon at the SCG in round two, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

"Both players are obviously playing good football and both are happy where they're at," Williams said.

"Obviously the thing you've got to work through with a lot of these contracts is how long do you want to sign for? Do you go for two years, do you go to four years to take yourself out to free agency? Or do you look at longer-term things? At the moment that's just what we're working through. Both players are obviously going incredibly well and have generated quite a bit of interest but they're happy with where they're at at the moment. 

"Both boys are keen to stay at the Swans. We're still deep in conversations with them but obviously clubs are always trying to chip away at things and that's the same with every player who is playing well, but we're deep in negotiations with the Swans at the moment for both Errol and Logan." reported last month that Adelaide and Fremantle were among the clubs to register interest in Gulden, who reached the game's elite midfielders last year by winning the Swans' best and fairest and also claiming All-Australian honours. Rival clubs have viewed him as being worth up to $1.3 million a season with a longer-term deal beyond four years among the options at the Swans. 

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McDonald has had both West Australian clubs as suitors after being a top-five pick at the 2020 intake, with the Dockers armed with three first-round selections this year. – Callum Twomey


JAKE Stringer's hot start to the season is not expected to see a fast-tracked contract discussion with the Essendon match-winner in the final year of his current deal.

The Bombers forward sits fourth in the Coleman Medal after round three with 10 goals so far this season, including last weekend's gamebreaking long goal to steer Essendon to a come-from-behind win over St Kilda.


But the Bombers indicated last month they were likely to wait until deeper into the season before opening negotiations on Stringer, who is due to play his 200th game in the middle of this year. 

His strong start to this campaign playing largely as an inside-50 threat is not expected to push forward the timeline although rivals will track Stringer if he remains out of contract and putting together goalkicking efforts such as the win over the Saints.

The Bombers have a number of in-form players who are without deals for next year, including restricted free agent Andrew McGrath and emerging midfield gun Archie Perkins.

Essendon has opened talks on a new deal for midfielder Jye Caldwell as well who is coming into the final season of his four-year contract after leaving Greater Western Sydney. – Callum Twomey


SOUTH Australia's leading draft hopeful this year, midfielder Sid Draper, has targeted a return to the field in three to four weeks after a shin stress fracture curtailed his start to the season.

Draper has entered this season as one of the leading midfielders in the 2024 draft pool, with the South Adelaide talent starring as a bottom-ager last year, including winning All-Australian under-18 honours and being best afield in the Panthers' under-18 Grand Final win.

Sid Draper at the U18 Championships match between Western Australia and South Australia at Optus Stadium, June 24, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

However he has started this campaign sidelined with the injury and expects to miss several more weeks before returning ahead of the under-18 championships. 

"I unfortunately found out that I had a stress fracture in my shin about four or so weeks ago but I've been travelling really well. The scans showed that there's awesome progress and I'll hopefully be back around round five or six, but I'm really happy with how it's tracking and it's allowed me to get into a lot of different things," Draper told Gettable.

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The talented ball-winner has been using his time recovering from injury to find other ways to build his game and will be among the best midfielders in the top of the draft, including Josh Smillie, Finn O'Sullivan, Christian Moraes and Jagga Smith. He said he was setting up his aims for a big year. 

"The obvious one is making sure I'm right to be able to play and making sure I've crossed every box to ensure it doesn't come up again. In terms of goals for this year, ensuring I've improved as a player (is the main one), and not necessarily having big goals like winning the Larke Medal," Draper said.

"I want to improve in the areas that I think are weaker in my game and always ensuring I'm a better player than I was yesterday." – Callum Twomey



THE VFL and the SANFL will meet for the first time since 2016 during Gather Round in a clash that could produce some of the mature-age players selected in a couple of months. 

All 18 AFL clubs had the opportunity to put names forward for Saturday's game at Stratarama Stadium in Glenelg ahead of the 2024 Mid-Season Rookie Draft. The match will be live streamed on and the AFL Live Official app from 12.40pm ACDT and Saturday.

Former North Melbourne and Western Bulldogs defender Lachie Young is attracting interest after crossing to Carlton's VFL program since being delisted last September. 

Ex-Collingwood wingman Trent Bianco is also in the hunt for a second chance after moving to Footscray during the off-season, where he has made a fast start and will play on the weekend alongside former Magpies teammate Callum Brown

Trent Bianco in action during the VFL match between Casey and Footscray at Casey Fields in round two, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

Campbell Hustwaite spent the pre-season training with Craig McRae's program but was overlooked for a rookie contract at the end of the pre-season supplemental selection period, moving to the Casey Demons, where clubs, including Essendon, have kept tabs on his progress. 

Former Hawthorn midfielder Ned Long also trained with Collingwood across the pre-season after joining the Magpies' VFL program and is set to press his case for a second chance in Glenelg. 

Hugh Dixon has made a bright start to life at Southport after six years in Perth where he played for Fremantle, East Fremantle and West Coast and could be a consideration mid-year for clubs looking for key forward relief. Richmond and North Melbourne could be in the market. 

Delisted Sun Brodie McLaughlin won't play for the VFL side this weekend due to injury, but is another name being monitored after Melbourne considered him at the end of last year.

Brodie McLaughlin kicks a goal during the 2023 VFL Grand Final between Gold Coast and Werribee at Ikon Park. Picture: AFL Photos

Southport recruit Ben Jepson, Frankston vice-captain George Grey and Werribee half-back Louis Pinnuck are some of the other players recruiters are monitoring in the early stages of 2024. 

The Croweaters have selected a side stacked full of proven SANFL stars, including James Rowe, Liam McBean, Riley Knight, Lachie Hosie, Casey Voss and Mitch O'Neill

Norwood forward Jackson Callow played three games for Hawthorn in 2022 after being selected in the 2021 Mid-Season Rookie Draft and is one name being followed right now.

Thirteen players were selected at the start of June last year, including recycled pair Caleb Poulter and Quinton Narkle, plus Brandon Ryan and Mitch Hardie out of the state leagues. There are currently 13 potential open spots, following season-ending injuries to Adelaide's Wayne Milera and North Melbourne's Callum Coleman-Jones on the weekend.

The match will be live streamed on and the AFL Live Official app from 12.40pm ACDT and Saturday. – Josh Gabelich


THE COUNTRY's leading draft hopefuls will come together next week for the Marsh AFL Academy's game against Coburg's VFL side. 

The Academy, featuring many of the top talents in this year's draft class, will be in Melbourne for a camp next week and then play against Coburg on Saturday, April 13 at Ikon Park.

The games against VFL opponents as well as the prospects' time training with AFL clubs over the pre-season are the key moments of the Academy program.

Injuries will unfortunately see several highly-rated players, such as Finn O'Sullivan (thumb), Sid Draper (shin) and Jonty Faull (back), not play, while groin soreness has kept Sam Lalor out for the start of the season as well. 

Finn O'Sullivan in action during the Coates Talent League testing day at Narrandjeri Stadium on March 9, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

The clash with Coburg will be the first of two games against VFL opposition, with the Academy gathering again two weeks later to meet Footscray's VFL team on the weekend of April 27-28. – Callum Twomey