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Trade Wrap: Premiership Bulldog in limbo

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Jordan Roughead remains without a commitment from the Eagles - AFL,Western Bulldogs,Jordan Roughead,Trade,Contracts
Jordan Roughead remains without a commitment from the Eagles

WEST COAST'S acquisition of ruckman Tom Hickey has thrown a spanner in the works for Western Bulldogs ruckman Jordan Roughead ahead of Friday's free agency closure.

Having toured the Eagles' facilities and met with senior staff including coach Adam Simpson, Roughead had been touted as a replacement for premiership ruckman Scott Lycett.

However, understands with Hickey landing at the Eagles on a three-year deal, the 2016 premiership ruckman remains without a commitment from the Eagles for next season. 

The 27-year-old played 12 games this season, including time in the VFL, and had been exploring his free agency options with the Bulldogs' blessing.

Despite Hickey's departure, it is believed the Saints have minimal interest in Roughead and are preparing to re-sign out-of-contract big men Billy Longer and Lewis Pierce.

Should Greater Western Sydney agree to a deal, as expected, for Rory Lobb to Fremantle, it would leave the Giants with a hole in their ruck division, and Roughead holds a relationship with Giants list boss Jason McCartney from their time together at the Bulldogs.  

However, the Giants look set to address that need by bringing Shane Mumford out of retirement.

If Roughead is unable to find a new home before the trade deadline, it's understood the Bulldogs remain open offering him to a new deal.

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Pittard the circuit-breaker in Polec deal

Running half-back Jasper Pittard emerged on Wednesday as the secondary piece that clinched North Melbourne and Port Adelaide's trade around Jared Polec.

North and Port had been in talks for several weeks after Polec decided to accept a $3.5 million, five-year offer to cross to Arden Street. 

After the Kangaroos agreed to part with their first-round draft pick, No.11 overall, in the deal, the clubs had been haggling over what later pick or picks Port should give in return to ensure a fair deal.

That's when North's interest in improving its kicking and run across half-back became a factor in the discussions.

The Roos had met with out-of-contract Swan Nic Newman and contracted Giant Jeremy Finlayson with this goal in mind, but when Port offered to include Pittard in the Polec deal North's focus shifted. 

Although Newman and Finlayson are strong kicks, neither can also offer the run that Pittard, at his best, does.

Pittard made the Virgin Australia AFL All Australian squad after an outstanding 2016 season when he also finished third in the Power's best and fairest award.

However, he did not reach those heights over the past two seasons, falling out of favour at Port to the extent the club felt he was no longer in their best 22.

For Port, including Pittard in the deal was a twofold win.  

First, it clinched a deal that now gives it picks 10 and 11 and, with a week still to go in the Trade Period, plenty of time to explore packaging those picks to move up in the NAB AFL Draft order (see below).  

Second, it allowed them to get Pittard's salary off the books for the next two years, a saving that will allow it to be more aggressive this Trade Period and next. 

As for Pittard, himself, the 27-year-old is confident he can rediscover his best form with a fresh start at Arden Street.

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Crows and Power look forward

After Port Adelaide and Adelaide acquired first-round picks on Tuesday, both clubs will consider moving earlier in the draft to land high-end South Australian talent.

SA youngsters Jack Lukosius and Izak Rankine have been touted as top-three picks, with the Crows and Power considering plays to draft either player.

The move of Jared Polec and Jasper Pittard to Arden Street secured pick 11 for the Power, adding to their already strong draft hand of 10, 23 and 30, all or some of which could be bundled to acquire an earlier pick.

"We won't sell the farm to get up if we don't think players are there that we actually want, but they're the decisions that will happen the remainder of the Trade Period," Port football boss Chris Davies said. 

"We've got a week to go and make those decisions as we see fit." 

With Carlton all but certain to take pick No.1 to the draft, Port and Adelaide could target Gold Coast's pick No.2 or No.3. 

Obtaining Sydney's pick 13 in the three-way deal that sent Mitch McGovern to Carlton, the Crows now hold selections No.8, 13, 16 and 21.

"That's a possibility (trading up), we're not ruling anything out, we're certainly open minded. But at the same time, it's very rare that high-end picks move – top three, top five or even top eight," Crows list boss Justin Reid said. 

"You can always ask the question, it doesn't mean it's going to facilitate the end result. 

"We rate that South Australian talent highly, but at the same time we're not going to sell the farm to get to that position." 

St Kilda had said its pick No.4 could be used in pursuit of Dylan Shiel, however, after missing the Greater Western Sydney midfielder, it is expected to use the pick in acquiring an 18-year-old gun.

If the Dockers acquire pick No.5 from Brisbane in a trade for Lachie Neale, they would have picks No.5 and No.6 and could be open, say, to trade the latter pick if it would allow them to: (a) package another first-round pick with No.5 to snare Jesse Hogan from Melbourne; and (b) satisfy the Giants with a late-first to early-second round pick for Rory Lobb.


In other news:

  • St Kilda and Sydney are close to finalising a deal that will send three-time All Australian Dan Hannebery to Moorabbin. It is expected that the Saints' future second-round pick will be involved in the trade, but the finer points of the deal are still being thrashed out.
  • North Melbourne and Melbourne are in talks over a trade that would send Dom Tyson to Arden Street and Braydon Preuss to AAMI Park. However, it is not clear whether a straight swap will be sufficient to get the deal done, with the clubs discussing potential secondary elements.
  • St Kilda's Ben Long emerged as a trade target for Essendon and Melbourne. understands the 21-year-old's name was raised when the clubs met for the first day of the NAB AFL Trade Period on Monday.
  • Carlton's deal to land Mitch McGovern was confirmed on Tuesday morning, with Sydney providing the circuit-breaker in the three-way deal with the Crows. That evening, the Blues announced Collingwood goalsneak Alex Fasolo would cross to Ikon Park as an unrestricted free agent. Collingwood received a third-round compensation pick, No.57 overall.
  • North Melbourne's Ryan Clarke moved to Sydney and Swan Gary Rohan found his way to Geelong as part of a three-way trade. It saw the Cats' pick 61 move to the Swans and then to the Roos.
  • Sydney football boss Tom Harley confirmed Collingwood defender Tom Langdon underwent a medical screening at Swans headquarters on Monday. Like Collingwood, the Swans are awaiting an answer from the out-of-contract Pie on his future.
  • Brisbane and Gold Coast entered into a swap of picks on Tuesday, leaving the Lions with picks 32, 41, 44 and 77 in exchange for 24, 58 and 79. With the Lions attempting to bring in contracted pair Lachie Neale from Fremantle and Marcus Adams from the Western Bulldogs, their new hand could help both deals get over the line.
  • Forward Aaron vandenBerg turned down an offer from Sydney and the chance to return home to New South Wales to re-sign with Melbourne for three years. 

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