L-R: Tim Membrey, Bailey Smith, Sam Frost. 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. 


RIVAL clubs are monitoring St Kilda forward Tim Membrey as an unrestricted free agent option. 

Membrey is coming towards the end of the three-year deal he signed at St Kilda in 2021 and has free agency status for life under AFL rules due to being delisted by his first club Sydney.

He attracted a handful of rival interest throughout last season when he was still under contract at the Saints. 

However, clubs still in the market for key forward depth have retained a watchful eye over Membrey – who will turn 30 later this month – after an impressive start to the season where he has booted 12 goals from his first seven games.


Membrey has been one of the League's biggest delisted free agency success stories across the past decade, kicking 275 goals from 166 games after earning a second chance at the Saints ahead of the 2015 season.

He had previously been delisted by Sydney after managing only one game across two seasons on the club's list. – Riley Beveridge


ALLOWING non-finalists to have access to players as free agents after six years is among the suggestions clubs have made to the AFL as the League takes feedback on its free agency system.

Changing the compensation pick system so that selections only come in at the midway point of the draft or at the end of the first round, publicly releasing the compensation formula and adding the year length of deals as a major component of the compensation model are other main considerations put forward by clubs as part of the AFL's competitive balance review. 

The League is expected to wrap up its meetings with clubs this week and then be able to move onto informing them about any proposed changes to its bidding system, free agency, trade period, a mid-season player movement window, pick purchasing and the Next Generation Academy. 

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Battling clubs have always struggled to attract free agents – only three restricted free agents have moved to bottom-six teams since free agency started in 2012 – and so it is understood the idea to give non-finalists a better chance at bringing in talent as free agents if they reach their six-year mark has been suggested as a possible solution.

Currently, free agency eligibility is for players who have played eight seasons or more at a respective club, been previously delisted and are out of contract or if they have previously moved clubs as free agents and retain free agent status for life at the end of every contract.

Bringing it forward to six years would require AFL Players Association buy-in but it is not expected to be a change explored by the AFL with the view from some clubs it could open up integrity issues with better access to more players by finishing outside of the top eight. 

For example, under that concept, Hawthorn could chase Bailey Smith as a free agent this year given it is his sixth season at the Bulldogs but Geelong, expected to be a top-four team after its hot start to the year, would have to trade for him. 

There have also been clubs who have proposed decreasing the threshold that clubs must spend of their salary cap from 95 to 92.5 per cent and giving them more time to use the 'underspend'. It would thus allow them to build bigger war chests and not have to manipulate contracts to front-end deals to reach the minimum of the 95 per cent spend even while in the bottom end of the ladder.  

Clubs have put forward mountains of suggestions as part of the thorough review, with the compensation system one of the focuses. The League has been clear it is investigating whether the duration of deals should be added as a factor within the compensation for clubs losing free agents.

It is also looking at pick purchasing, the concept revealed by AFL.com.au being pushed by clubs to see cashed-up teams buy draft picks off other clubs in exchange for salary cap relief. – Callum Twomey  


HAWTHORN has more than a handful of senior players to re-sign this year, but Sam Frost won't be a signature it needs to secure. 

The 30-year-old signed a two-year contract extension in July 2022, with a trigger for a third season.

Frost is on track to hit that extension for 2025 after a strong start to the year that might see him poll plenty of votes early in the Peter Crimmins Medal. 

With key defender James Blanck rupturing his ACL in February and former top-10 pick Denver Grainger-Barras suffering a four-month toe injury in the same intraclub, Frost has become even more important than expected this year. 

Sam Frost spoils Brody Mihocek during the R4 match between Hawthorn and Collingwood at Adelaide Oval on April 7, 2024. Picture: Getty Images/AFL Photos

Hawthorn national recruiting and list manager Mark McKenzie has plenty of other contracts on his plate in 2024. 

Blake Hardwick and Conor Nash are both free agents this year but are yet to re-sign with the club. Negotiations are slowly progressing with Hardwick, but Nash parked discussions until the midway stage of the year. Both are expected to remain at Hawthorn. 

Luckless half-back-wingman Changkuoth Jiath is also out of contract with those conversations not expected to progress until he returns to the park. 

Dual All-Australian forwards Luke Breust and Chad Wingard are both building towards AFL returns from different injuries, with calls to be made on their futures beyond October later in the year. – Josh Gabelich 


THE CONTENTIOUS new rule permitting top-20 draftees to only sign contract extensions past round six into their first season will also change how clubs commit to father-son prospects.

In the past, clubs have negotiated with father-son talents over extensions beyond their initial two-year contracts in deals that have been cleared to be a part of the nominations process.

Collingwood's Nick Daicos committed to a four-year deal with the Magpies when he decided on nominating to them as a father-son pick, with two years beyond his initial two-year deal, and Brisbane's Will Ashcroft did the same in his draft season to pen a four-year contract. 

It has a long history of happening, with Joe Daniher originally agreeing to a longer deal when he chose to join Essendon as a father-son in 2012.

Joe Daniher after joining Essendon at the 2012 AFL Draft. Picture: AFL Photos

But the new three-year initial deal for top-20 picks, and the blocking of signing before round six into the first year, means that those contracts won't be able to be officially put through like previous years.

It will see Ashcroft's younger brother, Levi, unable to do a similar deal as Will later this season with the Lions as a father-son also projected to be a top-five pick contender. 

Clubs expect that for father-son discussions around the competition it is likely similar discussions will take place and 'handshake' agreements could be made over what the contract beyond the third year will look like. However, it won't be able to be processed by the AFL until that round six opening. – Callum Twomey


THE WESTERN Bulldogs are in talks to extend Rising Star nominee Harvey Gallagher's time at the club after an exciting start to his second season.

Gallagher, who joined the Bulldogs at the 2022 draft, made his debut in round one this season and has so far played every game as a half-forward, including a Rising Star nomination for his two-goal, 16-disposal effort against West Coast in round three. 

With his standard first two-year deal coming to an end this season, the Dogs are in talks over an extension for him at the kennel.


His manager Tom McConville from Mac's Sports, said discussions were underway for a new contract.

"Yeah, that's another contract that's on the table and we're discussing it. It's moving in the right direction and [we] expect something to get done there," McConville told GettableAFL.com.au's trade, draft and free agency show.

As Inside Trading reported last month, the Dogs also have an offer for Rhylee West on the table. – Callum Twomey  


MORE potential selections have opened up for this month's mid-season rookie draft, with up to 20 spots now vacant as the AFL made a tweak to its eligibility rules.

The season-ending knee injury to Port Adelaide forward Sam Powell-Pepper and broken leg to Hawthorn's Sam Butler will now see both clubs be able to activate selections ahead of the May 29 mid-season intake. 

Plus, Adelaide now has a third potential selection due to the retirement of Rory Sloane this week. Luke Pedlar's shoulder injury will see him visit a surgeon as well with the possibility of going under the knife. 

With already three spots, the Crows currently have the most potential picks of any club, with Brisbane (Tom Doedee and Keidean Coleman), Carlton (Jack Silvagni and Sam Docherty), Richmond (Josh Gibcus and Judson Clarke) and North Melbourne (Josh Goater and Callum Coleman-Jones) all having at least two due to long-term injuries. 

Essendon, Fremantle, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Western Bulldogs and now the Hawks and Power all have at least one list vacancy to partake in the mid-season draft, with Geelong, Greater Western Sydney, St Kilda, Sydney and West Coast currently not having any spots.

Further injury assessments on players can be made in the lead-up to the mid-season draft after round 11 which can open up more positions.

The AFL also on Wednesday made a change to its eligibility for the mid-season draft, with selection in the Young Guns games, for Western Australia's under-21 side (against its under-18 side) and South Australia's under-20s side (against its under-18s side) now contributing to the minimum of three games players who did not nominate for last year's draft must play to be eligible.

Previously, only WAFL, SANFL and VFL senior matches counted towards that total.– Callum Twomey


MELBOURNE will welcome talented father-son prospect Kalani White into its program this week, as the club vies with Gold Coast for access to the gun youngster.

White, a strong-marking 200cm defender, isn't draft eligible until 2025 but will be able to join either the Demons under father-son rules or the Suns as part of their Northern Academy program.

The athletic key-position prospect is able to join Melbourne due to his dad, Jeff, playing 236 games for the Demons between 1998-2008. But he is also able to join Gold Coast, having relocated to Queensland when his father's playing career ended.

Kalani White chats to Jake Lever during a Melbourne training session. Picture: Melbourne FC

The teenager, who turns 17 later this week, is in Victoria ahead of the Gold Coast Academy's Coates Talent League clash with the Dandenong Stingrays on Sunday and will spend time at Melbourne in the lead-up to that match.

White will not be able to train at the Demons, due to being a bottom-age prospect, but will observe a series of sessions and player meetings as part of his time at the club.

DRAFT HUB Click here for the latest draft news

The youngster caught the attention of AFL recruiters at last year's under-16 carnival, where he was named as the All-Australian centre-half back. He also played forward throughout that campaign, kicking two goals against Sydney's Academy.

Speaking to AFL.com.au in March, Jeff said his son was enjoying the opportunity: "He's really looking forward to it and having interest from Melbourne and the Suns, he likes being a part of it and talking to the recruiting officers and finding out what he needs to improve on. It's a unique position to be in but in saying that he's very dedicated to getting better." – Riley Beveridge 


FORMER Geelong small forward Cory Gregson has returned to the club, joining Andrew Mackie's recruiting department.

The 27-year-old is based in Adelaide and covering South Australia on a part-time basis for the club. 

Gregson played 39 games for the Cats after being selected at pick No.47 in 2014 by veteran Geelong recruiter Stephen Wells. 

The Sacred Heart College product was plagued by foot injuries related to the navicular bone during his time at Kardinia Park and required four rounds of surgery. 

Cory Gregson in action during the R9 match between Geelong and Essendon at the MCG on May 19, 2018. Picture: AFL Photos

After returning to South Australia at the end of 2018, Gregson helped Glenelg end a 33-year premiership drought in 2019 before dealing with more foot issues that curtailed his playing career. 

Fremantle added long-time Geelong recruiter Liam Woodland to its recruiting department team late last month. 

Former Collingwood and Brisbane midfielder Shane O'Bree transitioned from coaching to recruiting full-time over the pre-season. – Josh Gabelich


GUN DRAFT prospect Luke Trainor has shot into top-five contention after continuing an impressive start to his top-age season with standout performances for the AFL Academy team over the past month.

Trainor, a 194cm intercept defender who is a nice user of the footy, came into the year as a first-round prospect after a solid bottom-age campaign playing for both the Sandringham Dragons and Brighton Grammar last season.

But the teenager was named best on ground after a 20-disposal performance playing against Coburg's VFL team last month, backing it up with another 20 touches and a goal against Footscray on Saturday.

Luke Trainor in action during the match between Marsh AFL National Academy Boys and Footscray at Whitten Oval on April 27, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

Trainor has earned comparisons with Essendon's star defender Jordan Ridley and spoke to AFL.com.au's trade and draft show Gettable this week about emulating the gun Bomber for the attacking way he flies for his intercept marks.

"I don't really watch Essendon too much," Trainor laughed.

"I'm more of a North Melbourne fan. But I've watched a bit of Jordan's highlights recently after hearing about it. I do see it, yeah. (I definitely watch) Tom Stewart and a bit of Jeremy Howe as well. But I try and pick a few and put them all together.

"It comes on the back of confidence. I'm a confident player. I'm just learning after each mistake throughout the year and you sort of get confidence from that. You can only really get better from your mistakes." – Riley Beveridge


TWO DEVELOPING AFL-listed talls have been assigned clubs in the Victorian Amateurs competition for this season in a bid to give them more game time experience.

Melbourne's Kyah Farris-White will play at St Bede's Mentone and Richmond's Oliver Hayes-Brown will play for Old Ivanhoe in moves designed to give them more opportunities to develop. 

It gives both the chance to grow as rucks which they otherwise would not get at their VFL sides due to other talls being ahead of them, with the AFL approving the moves. 

Kyah Farris-White after signing with Melbourne as a category B rookie. Picture: AFL Photos

The Category B pair both come from basketball backgrounds – Farris-White played high school basketball in Canada and America while Hayes-Brown is a former Perth Wildcats basketballer.

Farris-White played for the Dandenong Stingrays last year and is a 206cm prospect while the 23-year-old Hayes-Brown is 208cm. 

Whether they are selected in their respective VFL sides or play at Amateurs level can be decided week to week depending on player availability. – Callum Twomey