L-R: Brad Hill, Ben Ainsworth, Brodie Smith. 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. 


GOLD Coast has put a four-year offer to restricted free agent Ben Ainsworth, who has been weighing his contract decision.

Ainsworth, who has been deployed as one of the Suns' hard-working half-forwards, is one of eight restricted free agents left in the competition.


The Suns deal would take him through to the end of 2028, which would be his 12th season in the AFL after being taken at pick No.4 in the 2016 draft.

The Gippsland Power product has had interest from rival clubs at other stages of his career when in and out of contract and will again attract interest given his free agency status.

He is the Suns' most high-profile contract call for this season. – Callum Twomey


ADELAIDE veteran Brodie Smith is set to play on into a 15th season as he nears hitting a trigger that will extend his contract until 2025.

Smith has dealt with a minor back injury in recent weeks, but remains an ever-present fixture in the Crows' team when fit and is destined to exercise a clause in his deal that will prolong his career into next season.

The long-kicking defender, who played his 250th game for the club earlier this season, had been coming towards the end of a three-year deal he signed in 2021.

Having turned 32 earlier this year, Smith remains an integral part of Adelaide's backline and has provided a valuable injection of experience within a young and developing Crows outfit.

Rory Sloane's retirement earlier this year now makes Smith the second-oldest player on Adelaide's list behind key forward Taylor Walker.

Smith missed Adelaide's big win over North Melbourne due to back soreness, but returned as the tactical substitute for last week's Showdown victory over Port Adelaide. – Riley Beveridge

Brodie Smith kicks the ball during round five, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos


RICHMOND captain Toby Nankervis is closing in on a new two-year deal with the Tigers.

Nankervis, who was due to become an unrestricted free agent, has been heading towards a contract extension that will take him through to the end of 2026 with Richmond. 

The former Swan took on sole captaincy this year of the Tigers after sharing it last year with Dylan Grimes, with his new deal set to see him at Punt Road until he is 32.

Toby Nankervis leads his side out for the round eight match between Richmond and Fremantle at the MCG, May 5, 2024. Picture: Getty Images

The aggressive ruckman has played 131 games for the club since being a shrewd pick-up at the end of 2016 and then steering the Richmond midfield in its 2017, 2019-20 premiership triumphs. 

Dustin Martin, Jack Graham, Dion Prestia and Kamdyn McIntosh are among Richmond's other free agents this season who remain unsigned beyond 2024. – Callum Twomey


BRADLEY Hill is set to remain at St Kilda for at least three more seasons beyond 2024.

The 30-year-old moved from Fremantle at the end of 2019 on a bumper five-year deal, which expires in October. 

But after a strong start to the season, the Saints are finalising a second contract for the durable West Australian, which is expected to be announced this month. 

Hill will be contracted to RSEA Park until the end of 2027 once the paperwork for the three-year deal is completed at AFL headquarters, with Inside Trading reporting last month he was closing in on the new contract. 

Bradley Hill celebrates during the round seven match between Port Adelaide and St Kilda at Adelaide Oval, April 26, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

After playing 95 games for Hawthorn, where he won three premierships during the famous three-peat under Alastair Clarkson, Hill is now up to 92 appearances for the Saints, following 54 games in four years at the Dockers. 

Hill has played at least 20 games in nine of 12 completed seasons – he played all 19 in 2020 – and is averaging 23.1 disposals, 4.9 inside 50s and 456.6 metres gained in 2024. 

TRADE HUB All the latest player movement news

This contract extension will give Hill the chance to become only the ninth Indigenous man to play 300 VFL/AFL games, behind Shaun Burgoyne, Adam Goodes, Eddie Betts, Andrew McLeod, Lance Franklin, Michael O’Loughlin, Gavin Wanganeen and Shane Edwards.  

St Kilda list manager Stephen Silvagni and head of talent and acquisition Graeme Allan locked in former top-10 pick Mattaes Phillipou for two more years last month and will now turn their focus to securing restricted free agent Josh Battle. 

Seb Ross and Jimmy Webster are both out of contract this year and part an experienced group of players, including Tim Membrey, Dougal Howard, Mason Wood and Zak Jones, that are set to head into the second half of the year without deals for 2025. – Josh Gabelich 


TRADING mid-season draft picks appears on its way for next year even if the AFL doesn't introduce a mid-year player movement window in 2025. 

Clubs have been surveyed recently on their appetite for being able to trade selections at the mid-season draft for future national draft picks. 

DRAFT HUB Click here for the latest draft news

Whilst time has run out for it to be added as a layer to the mid-season rookie draft later this month – although some clubs were open to it being a late addition – many list bosses see it as the simple next step in trading rules. 

The rule would allow clubs to use their mid-season picks and end of year selections, as well as future draft picks, to make moves at the mid-season intake. Currently clubs are not allowed to trade rookie picks – either at the mid-season draft or end of year rookie draft.

For example, last year a club could have offered a 2023 or 2024 draft selection to West Coast in exchange for pick No.1 in the mid-season draft and taken Ryan Maric. Mid-season pick trading would also add another element to the mid-season draft if there are shallower pools of players available. 

Clubs are unsure how the mid-season rookie draft would fit into a mid-season trade window and if there is a need for both. 

The AFL is investigating whether to introduce a mid-season trade period for next year after having AFL Players' Association agreement to explore it, although non-Victorian clubs have long opposed the move with fears it would be advantageous to get players to move between Victorian clubs. – Callum Twomey


LIKELY top-five draft pick Finn O'Sullivan has had another frustrating injury setback, with the tough midfielder missing games with a broken finger.

O'Sullivan copped the injury in the Marsh AFL Academy's clash with Footscray's VFL side last month and battled through the injury.

But after missing last week at school level he will be sidelined for a further two to three weeks with the injury and be further assessed closer to the under-18 championships, which begin for Vic Country on June 9 against South Australia.

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

It has continued a run of poor luck for the Oakleigh Charger, who missed several weeks at the start of the season with a broken thumb that he had in the opening round of the Coates Talent League against the Eastern Ranges.

That also saw him sit out the AFL Academy's first game against Coburg VFL. 

O'Sullivan staked his claims as a likely very early selection this season with a terrific bottom-age campaign where he was named an All-Australian at under-18 level. – Callum Twomey


TASMANIAN Geordie Payne and West Australian key defender Jacob Blight are among the prospects being scouted with early picks in the upcoming mid-season draft.

Vacant list spots have ballooned to 22 with Brisbane now having four open positions after the season-ending knee injuries to Darcy Gardiner and Lincoln McCarthy, however there is expected to be around half of those taken.

Payne was overlooked last year despite having interest from clubs, including Collingwood, but is back on the radar as a mid-season hopeful given his strong first half of this season as a quick defender with Tasmania and the Young Guns.

Geordie Payne during the Coates Talent League Boys U18 Round one match between Murray Bushrangers and Tasmania Devils at Highgate Recreation Reserve, March 23, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

Blight is a 22-year-old key defender from Peel who has attracted interest from several clubs looking to bolster their backline stocks. VFL defender Mutaz El Nour, who has been overlooked at previous mid-season intakes, remains in contention for a mid-season spot, while key forwards Noah Howes and Jasper Scaife are considered strong possibilities. 

A number of formerly listed AFL players are also putting themselves in the mix.

Trey Ruscoe, Liam McMahon and Trent Bianco (ex-Collingwood), Jack Peris, Dan McKenzie and Tom Highmore (ex-St Kilda), Lachie Young (ex-North Melbourne) and Jez McLennan (Gold Coast) are in the group looking for a return to the top level. 

The mid-season rookie draft will be staged in three weeks on Wednesday, May 29. – Callum Twomey