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On the trade table? The players who may look for a fresh start in October

Roo Shaun Higgins, Crow Eddie Betts and Bomber Joe Daniher could all be in new colours in 2020. All pictures: AFL Photos - AFL,Tag-Trade,Trade,Contracts
Roo Shaun Higgins, Crow Eddie Betts and Bomber Joe Daniher could all be in new colours in 2020. All pictures: AFL Photos

THIS year's Trade Period already looms as the biggest yet as the industry becomes more mature and open-minded about player movement. 

Not every disgruntled player or individual linked to rival clubs will move, as the re-signings of the likes of Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti, Karl Amon, Jake Kelly, Peter Ladhams and Mason Redman proved.

With that in mind, there are still plenty of others being discussed as potential targets.

AFL.com.au provides an update below on some of the footballers who may look for a fresh start in October.

Callum Ah Chee (Gold Coast)

Ah Chee followed Jack Martin in requesting a trade out of the Suns after a high-grade ankle sprain ended his season in June. The No.8 pick in the 2015 NAB AFL Draft – a talented utility who's predominantly played forward at Gold Coast – might not be moving far, with Brisbane linked to him. 

Eddie Betts (Adelaide)

This is more complicated than Betts' playing career winding down, because he will leave a significant legacy at the Crows. Coach David Teague, a former Adelaide assistant, is driving Carlton's interest and any move back to the Blues is expected to include some sort of coaching component beyond just a playing deal for next year. Gold Coast, where he would link up with Izak Rankine, who he's close with and has the same manager as, is also keen and believed to be more open to Betts playing beyond next season. 

Josh Bruce (St Kilda)

The Saints are preparing to be the biggest player in this year's player movement period – and Bruce could be a casualty. The Bulldogs are keen to bolster their key-position stocks at both ends, and strong-marking forward Bruce, who isn't out of contract until next year, would be an excellent addition at the Kennel. 

Shaun Burgoyne (Hawthorn)

Burgoyne will add to his 376 AFL games next year, but the big question is whether that will be with the Hawks or the Suns. Hawthorn only ever offers one year at a time for players aged 30-plus, which, perhaps, is Gold Coast's trump card in this race. Burgoyne travelled north during the week as negotiations continue, and his bid to become the fifth player to reach 400 matches might carry on at a third club.

Dan Butler (Richmond)

The 2017 premiership-winning forward has tumbled down the pecking order at Tigerland and he toured Carlton's facilities this week ahead of a potential move. Butler's strength is his defensive prowess and speed, but he's also kicked 53 goals in 45 games across the past three seasons. Is likely to be elsewhere in 2020.

Darcy Cameron (Sydney)

Cameron's been starved of senior opportunity at the Swans and suffered an injury this year just when his chance might have come. Carlton's long been interested in him and his friendships with Patrick Cripps and Nic Newman, an ex-Sydney defender, would make it a smooth transition. Matthew Lobbe's delisting has left a ruck opening there as well. Greater Western Sydney inquired about Cameron earlier in the year, while he could re-emerge on North Melbourne's radar if Todd Goldstein chooses to leave.

Jon Ceglar (Hawthorn)

The former Magpie's had a few rival clubs ask about him, but it appears he'll either stay at the Hawks or renew acquaintances with one-time Hawthorn football boss Chris Fagan at Brisbane. Ceglar's senior opportunities in brown and gold have come alongside Ben McEvoy or when the latter was out, but he's still managed double-digit appearances in each of the past two seasons. The Hawks are more confident of keeping him now than they were a few weeks ago.

Joe Daniher (Essendon)

That seemingly innocent catch-up with Sydney's chief executive Tom Harley, a long-time mentor of Daniher's, could yet be something more. The industry whispers about the 2017 Virgin Australia AFL All Australian's status continue to grow louder, and he could have been more emphatic about his future at Tullamarine when quizzed about the rumblings at Kayo's AFL finals launch this week.

Brandon Ellis (Richmond)

The restricted free agent has cemented his spot in the in-form Tigers' senior side and may well play in a second premiership in three years in the coming weeks. But the dashing defender is highly unlikely to remain at Punt Road, given the money he will command elsewhere compared to at Richmond. The Suns lead the race for Ellis' services, but Essendon is the strongest contender if he stays in Victoria after Carlton suddenly went cold on him on finals eve

Todd Goldstein (North Melbourne)

Goldstein remains on the market as an unrestricted free agent in spite of the Kangaroos' season ending a fortnight ago. St Kilda was his original suitor but that move won't eventuate, while Geelong has entered the fray relatively recently. Is North willing to offer Goldy – at age 31 – three more years to put this situation to bed? The Roos handed Tom Campbell a two-year deal in July and have Tristan Xerri, too, but they'd have to add another ruckman if Goldstein walks.

Sam Gray (Port Adelaide)

The Power last week publicly outlined its willingness to help Gray find another club, a year after doing the same with Jasper Pittard and Jack Hombsch, who both ended up elsewhere. Gray won't be at Alberton next year, with Carlton and St Kilda among the forward-midfielder's possible landing points.

Hugh Greenwood (Adelaide)

Greenwood's ideal scenario is to stay at the Crows – and ideally on longer than a two-year contract, but that's not forthcoming at this juncture. Gold Coast, in particular, and Hawthorn are understood to be the inside midfielder's most fervent suitors, while Brisbane has also been linked to the former basketballer. Greenwood has headed overseas as he weighs up his next career move.

Shaun Higgins (North Melbourne)

The Higgins situation is an interesting one. The 31-year-old is contracted until the end of next season and also has an extra year on the table from the Roos, but it's believed the two parties are still some way apart despite this development. Higgins fronted the media in August to say there hadn't been any formal negotiations at that stage. Who will blink first? It's North Melbourne or Geelong for Higgins at this stage.

Bradley Hill (Fremantle)

The younger Hill brother, who is contracted at the Dockers until the end of 2021, has officially requested a trade back to Victoria, where he formerly played for Hawthorn. A number of clubs, including St Kilda, Carlton and Geelong, have shown interest in Hill. However, the Saints look to have blown everyone away with their financial offer and have the best pick out of that group to make the deal happen.

Sam Jacobs (Adelaide)

Regained his spot in the Crows' senior team by the end of the season, but Reilly O'Brien – seven years Jacobs' junior, at 24 – is the future at West Lakes. It's not impossible that Jacobs stays at Adelaide, but there is an opportunity for him to play regular senior football and contend for a premiership at the Giants.

Zak Jones (Sydney)

Much like Docker Ed Langdon's link to Melbourne, Jones' departure to St Kilda is seen as a fait accompli in industry circles. Jones, brother of Demons co-captain Nathan, graduated from defence to the midfield this season and his combination of speed and toughness makes him an ideal target for the Saints.

Alex Keath (Adelaide)

Is seriously contemplating a move back to Victoria, as evidenced by his trip to St Kilda headquarters for a medical examination. However, with Jake Carlisle almost certain to remain at the Saints, it's more likely he lands at the Western Bulldogs, who have a greater need for a key defender. Keath enjoyed a career-best season but Tom Doedee's return, along with Daniel Talia's and Kyle Hartigan's presence, means he's probably surplus to demands at his age with interest elsewhere.

Tim Kelly (Geelong)

Kelly won't make a definitive call on his playing future until after the Cats' season is over, but he's met with West Coast and Fremantle about potentially returning home, which has long been the likeliest outcome. The Dockers are in with a shout in that scenario – a change from last year – but his preference has always been the Eagles if he goes back to Western Australia. The asking price will again be steep and likely require multiple early picks be offloaded.

Ed Langdon (Fremantle)

The industry belief is this out-of-contract Docker ball-winner will end up at Melbourne, which is desperate for more outside run to complement its midfield bulls. Essendon is believed to have also had a nibble at trying to win Langdon's services, but it's long odds that he will stay at Fremantle, where he finished fourth in the best and fairest last season.

Jack Martin (Gold Coast)

Has already requested a trade from the Suns. This is essentially considered a race in two between the Western Bulldogs and Carlton at this stage, with Essendon somewhere in the background. It's understood the Bulldogs have the best financial offer in front of Martin, but the Blues are well and truly in the mix. Martin is expected to cost anywhere from a late first-round to an early second-round pick.

 

Tom Papley (Sydney)

Papley and Jack Martin are at the top of Carlton's off-season priority list and it would be a significant coup if they scored both. The gun Swan's forward is contracted through the 2023 season, but that serves as only a minor nuisance these days if the player wants out badly enough and has compelling circumstances. North Melbourne is another club interested in Papley if he requests a trade home to Victoria. 

Nick Robertson (Brisbane)

Robertson is one of a group of former senior regulars at the Lions who have fallen out of favour during the club's surge up the ladder in 2019. The hard-at-it tagger, originally from West Perth, has multiple suitors should he choose to seek more opportunity elsewhere, with Fremantle believed to be among them. Greater Western Sydney asked the question, but he won't end up there.

Paddy Ryder (Port Adelaide)

Like Sam Gray, the Power is happy to facilitate a trade for Ryder, who would have struggled for ruck opportunities there next year because of Scott Lycett and emerging big man Peter Ladhams. Ryder is one of an army of ruckmen Greater Western Sydney sounded out in recent months, but it's St Kilda and Essendon fighting it out to sign him. The Saints are more likely at this stage, especially since Rowan Marshall is the only recognised ruckman left on their list.

Jack Steven (St Kilda)

The four-time Saints club champion took an extended break from the game to focus on his mental health this year and seems certain to request a trade to Geelong. Steven's bid to join the Cats last year didn't gain traction, but there is a strong likelihood of the trade going through this year.

Mason Wood (North Melbourne)

The Kangaroos could yet be heavily involved in this year's NAB AFL Trade Period, and they've already made it known to opposition clubs that the talented Wood is available. The athletic forward has genuine upside but a history of soft-tissue injuries. Sydney previously made a play for him, while Fremantle has registered its interest this time around.