Jedd Busslinger, Will Phillips and Bailey Banfield. 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. 


FORMER first-round pick Jedd Busslinger has recommitted to the Western Bulldogs for another two seasons.

The West Australian has turned his back on interest from West Coast to sign a new deal that locks him at the Whitten Oval until the end of 2026.

After arriving at the kennel via pick No.13 in the 2022 Telstra AFL Draft, Busslinger missed the first half of last year after recovering from two shoulder reconstructions in his draft year.

The key defender has now played 30 games for Footscray in the VFL and has been on the cusp of a debut across the past month.


Busslinger has averaged 23.5 disposals and nine marks across the past six weeks and is well placed to get regular opportunities in 2025.

With the 20-year-old from East Perth finalising an extension, untried Sydney small forward Jacob Konstanty is now the only player left from the 2022 first-round who hasn’t re-signed yet. – Josh Gabelich


RORY Lobb has addressed the speculation surrounding his future, saying he's determined to lock away his spot in the Western Bulldogs' senior side before he weighs up any other options.

Lobb, who is contracted at the Whitten Oval for a further two seasons until 2026, started the year in the VFL but has cemented his place in Luke Beveridge's plans over the past fortnight following an impressive display of his versatility.

The 206cm Lobb kicked three goals from 19 disposals as a ruck-forward against Fremantle, before swinging into the backline against North Melbourne last weekend and finishing with 16 disposals, five intercept marks and 12 intercept possessions.

Speaking to this week, Lobb said he understood there would be commentary around his future while he was out of the side earlier in the season but said he was happy to remain at the Dogs if he found a consistent spot in the team.

"There's obviously going to be a lot of speculation when players aren't playing. I see myself as an AFL player and I know that I have a lot of good footy left in me. I just want to be playing at AFL level," Lobb told

"I honestly don't mind where it is, whether it's back, forward or midfield. I'm happy to just do whatever the team needs. But I've wanted to leave that [contract] stuff for the end of the year and into the future."

Any potential move would make Lobb a four-club player, having already had stints at Greater Western Sydney, Fremantle and now the Bulldogs across his 167-game career.

Talks around Lobb's future heightened earlier in the season when he was stuck behind Aaron Naughton, Sam Darcy and Jamarra Ugle-Hagan in a stacked Bulldogs attack, leading to just three AFL appearances in the first 13 weeks.

However, Lobb – who signed a four-year deal when he joined the Dogs from the Dockers at the end of 2022 – said he never sought clarity around his future during his extended stint in the reserves side.

Rory Lobb kicks for goal during the R14 match between Western Bulldogs and Fremantle at Marvel Stadium on June 15, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

"To be honest, I take it week to week," Lobb said.

"I want to be playing AFL. If I go down to the twos, I try to play the footy I want to play to get back in the team. Obviously, I want to string games together.

"It's been a bit of an in and out year, but hopefully I've found my spot down back and I can play the rest of the year in the AFL." – Riley Beveridge


NORTH Melbourne has rewarded young defender Jackson Archer with a new two-year deal. 

The 21-year-old is now locked in at Arden Street until the end of 2026. 

After playing eight games across his first two seasons at the Kangaroos, Archer has played the past seven games for Alastair Clarkson and been handed some key roles this winter. 

Jackson Archer celebrates after the R13 match between North Melbourne and West Coast at Optus Stadium on June 8, 2024. Picture: Getty Images/AFL Photos

The son of 'Shinboner of the Century' Glenn, who played 311 games for North, quelled Melbourne star Bayley Fritsch a fortnight ago and was locked in an enthralling battle with Cody Weightman on the weekend. 

While North Melbourne's midfield is stacked with young talent, the defence has been light on, with Archer a shining light amid a season where the club has won only one game. 

North Melbourne has taken care of most of its list management business this year, but are still yet to re-sign free agent Cam Zurhaar and Bailey Scott. – Josh Gabelich 


THE AFL is considering a change to the rules where players would be able to stay on rookie lists for up to five years.

Currently players can only spend three consecutive seasons on the rookie list before needing to be upgraded to the senior list or delisted. 

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But as part of discussions with clubs, the League has had support for extending the limit to five years under certain parameters in a bid to allow clubs more time to develop key-position types and ruck talents as rookies.

Under a possible stipulation raised, rookies would be able to stay on the rookie list after their third year if they have not played a certain number of games at AFL level by then and again at the end of their fourth year. 

The rule has had support from clubs as the AFL looks at different mechanisms as part of its wide-ranging competitive balance review. – Callum Twomey


FREMANTLE has tabled an offer to Bailey Banfield as the free agent enjoys a career-best season with the Dockers.

Banfield has been offered a multi-year deal to remain at the club, having played 15 games this season and kicked 18 goals.

The versatile forward has become a permanent fixture in Justin Longmuir's side and the new deal would be reward for his consistency in 2024.

Banfield, 26, has played 90 games for the Dockers and qualified as a free agent after previously being delisted by the Dockers in 2020 during the COVID list cuts. – Callum Twomey



NORTH Melbourne youngster Will Phillips has declared he sees his future at North Melbourne, having successfully broken back into the club's plans over an impressive last month.

Phillips has reinvented himself as a tagger recently and has completed successful jobs on Nick Daicos (14 disposals in three quarters), Clayton Oliver (14 disposals) and Adam Treloar (22 disposals) in the past three weeks.

It's led to a series of improved Kangaroos performances throughout that stretch, with Phillips complementing a midfield group spearheaded by Luke Davies-Uniacke, George Wardlaw, Tom Powell and Harry Sheezel.

Will Phillips tackles Tom Liberatore during the R16 match between North Melbourne and Western Bulldogs at Marvel Stadium on June 29, 2024. Picture: Getty Images/AFL Photos

Coming towards the end of his contract at Arden Street, Phillips' future had remained clouded throughout an extended VFL stint earlier in the campaign. However, the former No.3 pick is determined to now lock down a new deal at North Melbourne.

"I'll leave that up to my manager to discuss," Phillips told last week.

"I love playing at North Melbourne, I love my teammates, I love this club. The spirit we've shown (over the past few matches) just proves to me, and I think to the fans as well, where we're heading. I want to be part of that.

"But, in terms of my contract, I'll leave that to my manager." – Riley Beveridge


POTENTIAL No.1 pick Finn O'Sullivan is set to return from injury for his first game with Vic Country on Sunday.

O'Sullivan has had a frustrating season, at first interrupted by a thumb injury early in the year with the Oakleigh Chargers and more recently a seven-week absence with a fractured finger he suffered playing for the AFL Academy. 

The Oakleigh Chargers midfielder has been back in training and all going well this week will return for Vic Country against the Allies on Sunday in the Marsh AFL Under-18 Boys Championships. 

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

The 18-year-old was an All-Australian last year as a bottom-ager for Vic Country after an impressive carnival and remains touted by many scouts as being among the best three midfielders in the draft class with his hardness, skills, overhead marking and consistency. 

Sunday will be the Allies' final game of the championships, with Vic Country closing its campaign the following week against Vic Metro, giving O'Sullivan two games at the level. – Callum Twomey


MIDFIELD talent Murphy Reid has elevated himself to be in the very top rungs of this year's draft pool, with the classy Vic Metro ball-getter one of the best performed at this year's Marsh AFL Under-18 Boys Championships.

Murphy, from the Sandringham Dragons, collected 31 disposals, eight clearances and kicked three goals against South Australia last week in Vic Metro's strong win. It saw him lift his average to 26 disposals a game across Metro's three appearances so far this season.

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Speaking on Gettable this week, the likely top-10 pick said he had set himself to prove his midfield credentials alongside other likely early selections Levi Ashcroft, Josh Smillie and Jagga Smith in Metro's onball brigade.  

"I knew I was going to be playing midfield so I wanted to put my best foot forward, be effective with my disposals and also hit the scoreboard," Murphy said.


Murphy said he had spoken to around 10 clubs' recruiting teams so far this season, with another two interviews to come this week, and that he had been pleased with his form for the Dragons and with Caulfield Grammar at school level. 

"I really like playing the best of the best, I think that's where my best footy comes out and it was a good start. Our Dragons team is pretty good and hopefully we go on to do better things but our school team has been good as well with Caulfield," he said. 

The composed and deft ball-user said he had closely watched Magpies pair Scott Pendlebury and Nick Daicos as players who used their skills to impact the game. – Callum Twomey