A MID-season trade period is on the cards, with AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan saying he believes the radical move will be introduced in coming years.
The League boss says there should be more player movement among clubs, and again raised the concept of establishing the extra trade period.
Previously clubs have been largely against the idea of the chance to reshape their list mid-year, citing intellectual property concerns if a player leaves one club for another.
However, McLachlan told AFL.com.au's Road to the Draft podcast that a mid-season trade period remains strongly in play despite their misgivings.
"You don't have to do the trade if you don't want to. The reason some people don't like it is there's an emotive side to the trade, but there's no difference to [it happening] at the end of the year," he said.
"No one likes change generally. Our clubs like it as little as anyone. I think we'll get there on that (to have a mid-season trade period)."
McLachlan did not give a timeline on when he thinks the extra trade period could come in.
"I would [like to see it]. It's one of the only times where you have the weaker clubs – i.e. the club lower down the ladder – having more leverage in the trade," he said.
"It's four, five or six years for a club to get in the position to be competing deep into the finals. And you might get the wrong couple of injuries, and you've got everything right and you're travelling well, and you need a player [and you have] the ability to trade mid-season to pick up a key defender or ruckman."
The introduction of free agency in the past six years, plus the ability to trade future draft picks, has made for more activity in the trade period.
However, some clubs have bemoaned the seemingly increased levels of young players who have left clubs and nominated their preferred destinations before they have reached free agency status.
McLachlan said an increased capacity to get deals done would allow clubs to rise up the ladder more swiftly.
"I don't think it's a bad thing. People talk about loyalty and all those challenges of free agency. Players are incredibly loyal, which is good. We get to the end of trade period and people are bemoaning the lack of trades and player movement again," he said.
"If anything, I think there needs to be more player movement. If you actually want to get clubs who are well managed climb quicker, then freer player movement helps that.
"I think there's an opportunity for greater player movement."
On this week's Road to the Draft podcast:
- AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan joins the show as special guest
- McLachlan shares his views on a mid-season trade period and live trading on draft night
- What happens on draft night? McLachlan shares what happens behind the scenes before each pick
- What can the AFL do to make draft night bigger? McLachlan gives his take
- All the latest whispers and your Twitter questions answered
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