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Front of house renovations: Whose new forward line will shine in 2020?

Bomber Joe Daniher, Giant Jonathon Patton and Swan Tom Papley could all be on the move. All pictures: AFL Photos - AFL,Carlton Blues,Sydney Swans,Hawthorn Hawks,Tag-Trade,Trade
Bomber Joe Daniher, Giant Jonathon Patton and Swan Tom Papley could all be on the move. All pictures: AFL Photos

CARLTON, Sydney and Hawthorn were among the most offensively challenged teams in season 2019.

Only three clubs kicked fewer points than the Blues' 73.1 per game; the Swans ranked 12th; and the Hawks were just one rung higher and didn't crack triple digits in a game until round 22. 

However, the Telstra AFL Trade Period is set to transform these three clubs' fortunes.

SYDNEY

Two words: Joe Daniher. 

The sublimely talented Bomber has officially requested a trade to the Swans, setting in motion the bartering process between the clubs. 

Daniher's played only 11 games in the past two seasons because of groin problems, but a look at his four-goal Anzac Day performance against Collingwood's Darcy Moore was a reminder of his talents.

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This was a man who stands 200cm and booted 65 goals and made the Virgin Australia AFL All Australian side in 2017. 

Daniher's contested marking will complement Lance Franklin's skillset, and he joins a mix that includes Tom Papley, rising star Nick Blakey, Sam Reid, Will Hayward, Tom McCartin and Ben Ronke. 

At the same time, that is far too tall of a forward line, so some magnet shuffling is required, while Papley wants to return to Victoria (ideally at Carlton).

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Reid and McCartin have both spent time in defence, and Blakey – despite being 195cm – sees himself eventually moving into the midfield.

Ronke should revel at the tall timber's feet, especially with Papley almost certainly moving on. 

It's going to be fun watching how John Longmire makes this work. 

HAWTHORN

The 'General' is Waverley Park-bound, with 2011 No.1 draft pick Jon Patton requesting a move from Greater Western Sydney to the Hawks. 

Patton sat out the entirety of the 2019 season to fully recover from his third knee reconstruction mid-last year, but kicked 83 goals across the 2016 and 2017 campaigns. 

He is one of the AFL's best set shots and takes serious stopping in the air. 

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Alastair Clarkson is already excited about the prospect of recreating the structure of yesteryear, where he deployed giants Jarryd Roughead, Lance Franklin and David Hale in attack.

Instead, Patton (198cm) joins promising key forward Mitch Lewis (198cm) and 2018 All Australian Jack Gunston (193cm), while the resurgent Tim O'Brien (193cm) is another option. 

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"That's what Clarko would like to do," Hawthorn football boss Graham Wright said.

"Obviously, Jon's coming back from a third knee reco but he trained at the backend of the year, so we think he'd be up and going early but we'd be really comfortable with three (tall forwards)." 

Brownlow medallist Tom Mitchell's return next year could also result in Chad Wingard going back to the forward role he was intended for.

CARLTON

The Blues went and snatched a contracted Mitch McGovern from the Crows a year ago and now they have set their sights on Sydney's Tom Papley, who is signed up until 2023.

There is no shortage of marking power, with McGovern, Harry McKay and Charlie Curnow the tall options. 

Veteran Levi Casboult can play up forward as well, but shone down back in the second half of this year. 

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The problem for Carlton in recent seasons is the smaller corps. 

Mick Gibbons, Ed Curnow, David Cuningham and Darcy Lang and mid-sizers such as Will Setterfield, Matthew Kennedy and Jack Silvagni were used with limited success since Matthew Wright departed last year.

There hasn't been a standout small forward at Ikon Park since Eddie Betts and Jeff Garlett left at the end of 2013 and 2014, respectively. 

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Betts, who became a superstar at the Crows but is nearing the end of his career, and the Blues will reunite next year but a trade is still to go down.

Along with Papley and Betts, wantaway Sun Jack Martin has also nominated Carlton as his destination of choice and should spend time in attack, on top of his midfield duties. 

Fellow small forwards Dan Butler and Sam Gray have also piqued the Blues' interest.

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