Will McLachlan, Lincoln McCarthy and Nick Madden. Pictures: AFL Photos

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


NORTH Melbourne is deep in discussions on a new long-term deal for in-form ruckman Tristan Xerri.

It's understood the Kangaroos are close to locking away a fresh extension for Xerri, who isn't due to become a free agent until next year but has attracted significant rival interest in recent seasons.

Xerri has established himself as the club's first-choice ruck option over the past 18 months and has enjoyed a standout start to the campaign, averaging 14.8 disposals, 7.8 clearances and eight tackles per match.

It's led to North Melbourne progressing on a deal for the highly rated 25-year-old, with the Kangas hoping to make the 201cm ruckman the latest of their young core to commit their best years to the club.

The Kangaroos have been among the League's most proactive teams in tying down their best players to long-term deals recently, securing the signatures of Nick Larkey (signed through until 2029), Jy Simpkin (2029) and Harry Sheezel (2030) before they entered contract years.

Xerri, who has played 37 games for the club, requested a trade to St Kilda back in 2021 while under contract but a deal was not completed and he stayed at North.  – Riley Beveridge



GEELONG premiership player Brandan Parfitt is comfortable letting his contract call come later in the year as he strikes a strong vein of form at the start of this season.

Parfitt is one of 12 players at the Cats who remain as free agents this year, with the 2022 flag winner out of contract at the end of the season.

He was viewed by rivals as a player who could have looked at other opportunities at the end of last season after playing just nine games (five of which were as substitute) but stuck with the Cats.

Brandan Parfitt in action during the R4 match between Geelong and Western Bulldogs at Adelaide Oval on April 6, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

The 26-year-old has had a strong three weeks with the Cats as one of their preferred centre bounce midfielders and was excellent in the win over the Western Bulldogs last week, gathering 19 disposals and eight clearances.

He is expected to wait until later in the season before getting into contract discussions.

Parfitt was Geelong's starting substitute in the 2022 Grand Final, coming onto the ground in the final quarter and booting a goal from eight disposals. – Callum Twomey


THE WESTERN Bulldogs have tabled a contract offer to Rhylee West, as the father-son talent looks to entrench his position in coach Luke Beveridge's senior plans.

West has been keen to focus on securing his spot in the forward half through the early parts of the season, having followed on from an impressive second half of last year.

The 23-year-old has kicked four goals in four games to begin the campaign playing as a high half-forward, having emerged as an important part of Beveridge's attack late last season. 

Rhylee West celebrates a goal with Marcus Bontempelli during the R4 match between Western Bulldogs and Geelong at Adelaide Oval on April 6, 2024. Picture: Getty Images/AFL Photos

The son of 324-game club great Scott West, the tough mid-forward played only 37 games through his first five seasons in Bulldogs colours after they matched a bid at pick No.26 to secure his services in 2018. 

The Bulldogs will be among the busiest clubs from a contract perspective this season and are still to re-sign four former first-round picks in Jamarra Ugle-Hagan, Jedd Busslinger, Bailey Smith and Tim English.

A two-year deal would take West through to free agency in 2026. – Riley Beveridge


GEELONG Falcons forward Will McLachlan has jumped into mid-season draft contention with a run of early form in the Coates Talent League.

McLachlan, who was overlooked last season, is a medium forward and has kicked 11 goals across the past two weeks. 

His six-goal haul against Murray Bushrangers on Sunday showed his marking strength and natural goal sense and saw him take his season tally to 13 goals so far in 2024. 

Will McLachlan flies for a mark during the Coates Talent League match between Geelong Falcons and GWV Rebels at GMHBA Stadium on March 28, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

He is one of a batch of players who were first eligible for last year's draft and are now shooting for a mid-season shot, including fellow Falcons runner Liam Kershaw, who has averaged 19 disposals at the start of the season, while Bendigo talent Deyton Uerata has also caught interest as a midfielder/forward who has some exciting attributes.

Key defender Cooper Trembath, ruckmen Joe Pike and Jordan Doherty, tall forward Remy MacLean and versatile Tasmanian prospect Geordie Payne are among the others on recruiters' radars as potential mid-season options. South Australian Noah Howes is another to have been looked at as a potential MSD candidate. 

Oliver Poole, Iliro Smit, Lewis Robbins and Ben Hopkins are other prospects who could feature in Young Guns squads ahead of the mid-season draft. – Callum Twomey


BRISBANE goalsneak Lincoln McCarthy is expected to get into contract talks later in the season as he comes to the end of his deal at the Lions.

McCarthy is out of contract at the end of this season after signing a three-year extension during 2021.

He has been a terrific pick-up for the Lions after an injury-hit career at Geelong, with the high-flying small forward playing 118 games for the club since joining at the end of 2018.

Lincoln McCarthy kicks for goal during the Opening Round match between Brisbane and Carlton at the Gabba on March 8, 2024. Picture: Getty Images/AFL Photos

The 30-year-old has kicked six goals from four games so far this season and will likely leave his contract until later into the campaign, however he is keen to play on at the club.

His injury battles from 2012-18 at the Cats saw him play just 29 AFL games in that period but with his 150th appearance just three games away, McCarthy will be keen to extend. – Callum Twomey


GREATER Western Sydney has locked away developing Academy duo Nick Madden and Nathan Wardius to new deals.

Madden has penned a two-year extension securing his future at the club through until at least 2026, while Wardius has signed a one-year deal through to 2025.

The pair are both graduates of the club's Academy pathway, having each been recruited to the Giants as Category B rookies over the past two seasons.

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Madden, an imposing 204cm ruckman, was drafted from the Riverina and made an impressive start to the current VFL season by finishing with 14 disposals, 35 hitouts and a goal against Footscray last week.

Wardius, a 181cm forward, shot to prominence when he kicked 149 goals from 49 games in the Hume League as a junior. He played senior football for Rand-Walbundrie-Walla last season to earn his draft chance, but has missed the start of the current campaign with a shin injury. – Riley Beveridge


THE MID-SEASON Rookie Draft is set to take place between rounds 11 and 12 with more than half of the competition's clubs currently holding open selections. 

Clubs were told on Wednesday that the intake of picks for the mid-season draft will be staged on Wednesday, May 29.

Given the draft order is based on the ladder at that point of the season, the draft needs to be staged before the bye weeks start and clubs have played different amount of games, with the bye rounds running from round 12-15 this year.

There are currently 13 potential open list spots around the competition for clubs to use at the mid-season draft. Last year, 13 players were selected in the mid-season draft, including the No.1 pick Ryan Maric, who landed at West Coast. – Callum Twomey

Ryan Maric poses for a photo after being selected with pick No.1 in the 2023 AFL Mid-Season Rookie Draft. Picture: AFL Photos


THREE draft prospects have been added to the AFL Academy team for Saturday's clash with Coburg's VFL side after hot starts to the season.

Taj Hotton, Jack Whitlock and Tobie Travaglia have been included in the Academy line-up to face Coburg at Ikon Park as the team faces a group of players unavailable through injury. 

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Hotton, the son of former Magpie and Blue Trent and brother of current Saint Olli, has been elevated into the group after a strong opening to the season with the Sandringham Dragons that included a four-goal and 32-disposal performance two weeks ago. He is a midfielder/half-forward with strong craft. 

Whitlock, a tall forward, has kicked seven goals in three games for the Murray Bushrangers and has shown exciting signs as a key-position talent, while Travaglia, a midfielder from Bendigo, has averaged 25 disposals in the opening three rounds. 

Jack Whitlock kicks for goal during the AFL U17 Future Boys match between Vic Country and Queensland at Avalon Airport Oval on August 13, 2023. Picture: AFL Photos

They come in as cover for coach Tarkyn Lockyer's team from outside the Academy as it heads into the clash with a number of players unavailable, including Finn O'Sullivan (thumb), Sid Draper (shin), Jonty Faull (back) and Sam Lalor (groin). 

The game begins at 1pm, with the Academy to meet Footscray's VFL side on the weekend of April 27-28. – Callum Twomey