A SURPRISE early bid for Fremantle's Next Generation Academy forward Liam Henry has forced the Dockers into a live trade to salvage their NAB AFL Draft position.
Carlton launched a shock play at pick No.9 for the mercurial Henry, who was tipped to attract a bid about No.18, according to AFL.com.au draft guru Callum Twomey.
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Fremantle matched the Blues' bid but not before making a live pick swap that ensured it still had a selection before the tail-end of the draft.
The Dockers sent pick No.66 and a future second-round pick to Port Adelaide for picks 52 and 55.
Greater Western Sydney Academy midfielder Tom Green had been expected to draw the first interest from an opposing club, perhaps as early as Sydney's No.5 pick, but the Blues' bid on West Australian Henry was the first one lodged.
Once Fremantle secured Henry, Carlton followed up with a bid on Green that was matched by the Giants, before eventually trading its re-positioned pick No.11 to Gold Coast.
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It's the second year in succession Carlton has been the surprise packet of the opening night of the draft.
It was an early bid on a rival club's Academy prospect this year, while in 2018 it was the first live trade in AFL history with Adelaide.
On that occasion the Blues gave up their 2019 first-round selection – that Adelaide used on Victorian tall Fischer McAsey – in return for pick No.19 (used to select midfielder Liam Stocker) as well as the Crows' first pick in 2019.
That selection was of course the one they used to bid on Henry, then Green, before trading it to the Suns.