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Delisted free agents: Who's on the shelf? Who gets a lifeline?

(L-R) Sam Gray, Josh Walker and Sam Murray are all looking for a new AFL home. All pictures: AFL Photos - News,Game,Update,AFL,Tag-Trade,Free Agency,Trade
(L-R) Sam Gray, Josh Walker and Sam Murray are all looking for a new AFL home. All pictures: AFL Photos

THE DELISTED Player Free Agency Period officially kicked off on Friday and there are a stack of names hoping for an AFL lifeline.

Who will get another opportunity and which clubs are interested?

Check out the list of players below that could be picked up.

Ryan Abbott

Free to explore his options as a delisted free agent after he was cut by the Cats with a year to run on his existing contract. The 28-year-old ruckman, who managed just one game this year, could fill the void at a club looking for big man depth. Has been promised a rookie spot at the Cats if he doesn't find a new suitor. 

Harley Bennell

There's genuine interest in the ex-Docker and Sun, who will almost certainly join a third club for next season. Melbourne, Geelong and Sydney are among the six clubs to have enquired or met with 83-gamer Bennell, who struggled with repeat calf issues at Fremantle and has gone under the knife in recent times. The 27-year-old's upside is huge and he is capable of being a difference-maker if his body behaves.

Kaiden Brand

Brand has been signed by Sydney. He looked set to be part of the Hawks' long-term future when he played 17 games in the 2017 season. However, the 25-year-old found senior opportunities harder to come by the past two years. At 198cm, Brand is genuine key defender height and he even swung forward to kick a couple of goals in a VFL match this year.

Mitch Brown

Starting to gauge interest in the hope of landing a third club after his surprise axing from Essendon on Wednesday. At 29 he won't suit all clubs, but has proven he can play a role across half-forward. Kicked 21 goals from 16 games in 2019. One to keep an eye on later through the delisted free agency windows.

Wylie Buzza

Has joined Port Adelaide on a one-year deal. After the Power lost Billy Frampton and Paddy Ryder last month, Buzza will provide key forward depth. The 23-year-old kicked 32 goals from 17 games in the VFL this year. Last played AFL in round 17, 2018.

Josh Deluca

Played the last six AFL games for Carlton after the Blues revived his AFL career – he made four appearances for Fremantle in 2017 – in the NAB AFL Mid-Season Rookie Draft. Starred in the WAFL as a midfielder but was utilised as a small forward at Ikon Park. Carlton cut him at year's end, but he scored an invite to train there in the pre-season.

Lynden Dunn

Available to any club after he was cut from the Pies following a second consecutive ACL injury. If he doesn't find a home, the 32-year-old will train at the Holden Centre in the hope of winning a spot as a rookie either through the draft or pre-season supplemental selection period (SSP).

Sam Gray

Sydney has signed Gray after the delisting of Daniel Menzel on Wednesday. Gray knocked back a one-year deal at Port Adelaide through September and canvassed options only to be left on the shelf at the deadline before the Swans came calling. Played 20 games for 20 goals at the Power in 2019.

Lachie Henderson

Can he find a fourth club? Preferred role is as a key defender but was thrown into attack for Geelong's preliminary final against Richmond. Will start next year as a 30-year-old. Hard to see the former Lion, Blue and Cat leaving Victoria for a second time.

Mitch Hibberd

The 23-year-old was on clubs' radars enough during the mid-season draft to earn a medical screening in the lead-up. The former Roo, who played four matches in 2017, had a strong end to the VFL season with Williamstown and was named in the League's Team of the Year on a wing.

Cody Hirst

Back on several clubs' radar after Sydney's surprise decision to delist the Eastern Ranges product, who was recruited in this year's mid-season draft. Hirst's best chance will come in the rookie draft or pre-season supplemental selection period rather than as a delisted free agent. Crushed Stephen Hill's agility record at the 2018 Rookie Me Combine, has speed to burn and now tips the scales above 70kg – still light – after his brief time at the Swans.

Aidyn Johnson

Has enough tricks as a half-forward to find a second home. Played five games in each of his first two seasons in 2017-2018 but was limited to one this season.

Ben Keays

The No.24 pick in the 2015 NAB AFL Draft was never able to establish himself as a senior regular at Brisbane after playing 16 of his 30 games in his debut season. Midfielder-forward Keays won the Andrew Ireland Medal as the best player afield in the 2017 NEAFL Grand Final but made only four more AFL appearances after that.

Chris Masten

Played in West Coast's 2018 premiership and became a selfless role player in more recent seasons. The 215-game veteran may be 30 but he is still a pre-season standard-bearer and is capable of slotting in immediately wherever he goes. Masten's had snippets of interest and appears best suited to a team in need of a hard-runner.

Connor Menadue

Had early interest from Fremantle which has dissipated after the Dockers landed James Aish and Blake Acres in the Telstra AFL Trade Period. His best-on-ground VFL preliminary final with 27 disposals and three goals impressed a few clubs. The dashing wingman played 39 games across five seasons at Richmond, including six games in 2019.

Daniel Menzel

Has been training on his own for four weeks and feels in his best physical shape in over seven years. Will attempt to meet with clubs in coming weeks after he was cut by the Swans on Wednesday.

Darren Minchington

Ex-Saint Minchington was nearing senior selection at his second club Hawthorn late in the year before his latest hamstring setback sidelined him and eventually saw him delisted. The small forward is set to take up an offer to continue training with the Hawks in the pre-season, assuming another club doesn't swoop beforehand.

Callum Moore

Cut by Richmond after an injury-interrupted year, the 23-year-old has gauged early interest from Essendon and could fill a role after Mitch Brown's delisting. Stands at 193cm and some clubs see him as a forward, where he played early in his time at Punt Road, or as a defender, where he was used in parts this year. Played the last of eight AFL games in 2018.

Sam Murray

The former Magpie and Swan can start training with an AFL club from December 17, following his 18-month ban after cocaine was detected in his system in a match-day test. Melbourne, Richmond, Greater Western Sydney and North Melbourne are believed to be among the parties to have shown interest in Murray. Expect the dashing defender to be on an AFL list in 2020.

Jack Newnes

Knocked back a two-year deal at St Kilda and has now joined Carlton. The wingman proven his durability with a stretch of 123 straight games up to round 14 this year when he was dumped by then-coach Alan Richardson.

Ryan Nyhuis

Received early interest from Greater Western Sydney which has cooled in recent times. The 23-year-old played five matches for Fremantle this season and has shown he's up to a number of different roles. Don't rule out a move to Carlton or Gold Coast with their new-found links to the Northern Territory – where Nyhuis was raised.

Luke Partington

Looks a different player from the inside midfielder who departed West Coast with six games to his name at the end of 2018. Has added run and carry to his game and recorded a sub-three second 20m sprint at the SA Combine. Averaged 29 disposals, winning a SANFL premiership and the Magarey Medal this year.

Fletcher Roberts

Roberts has never been a big possession-winner but he was a key defensive staple in the Western Bulldogs' 2016 flag run. The 26-year-old played only 14 more games in the next three seasons despite the Dogs not being flush for tall backline options. Could appeal to a club looking to bolster its defensive depth.

Nick Robertson

Played in Brisbane's semi-final loss to Greater Western Sydney before he was cut. Clubs will remember his 2017 and 2018 seasons where he played a combined 42 games. Fremantle is circling, while Adelaide has also registered some interest.

Archie Smith

Interestingly cut from the Lions' senior list on Thursday with two years to run on his contract. Had a few nibbles late in the Trade Period and is open to walk. The Hawks lost Marc Pittonet, could they be in need of some extra ruck depth?

Billy Stretch

The hard-running midfielder and son of ex-Demon Steven spent five seasons on Melbourne's list, but played only 20 of his 47 senior games in the past three years. Often afforded only short stints in the AFL side, Stretch won 21 disposals in round 23 before being cut at season's end. Will likely return to the SANFL to push his case if a lifeline doesn't eventuate.

Jacob Townsend

Townsend could follow Eddie Betts (Carlton) and Zac Smith (Gold Coast) in returning to where his career began, with the Giants interested in bringing the discarded Tiger back. He was an unlikely spark plug in attack in Richmond's 2017 premiership and is a tackling machine but was sighted just once at AFL level this year.

Josh Walker

There was some surprise when the Lions let former Cat Walker go after failing to find a trade suitor for him. The 26-year-old swingman played 52 of his 85 games in the past four years for Brisbane, largely in defence where his intercept marking proved a weapon. Should bob up somewhere in the 2020 season, with clubs already sniffing around.

Lukas Webb

The midfielder has endured a cursed injury run, most notably the fractured neck he sustained last year but including a broken fibula and syndesmosis damage to an ankle at training in 2019. That latest setback sidelined him for more than two months after his form for the Bulldogs' VFL team had him on the verge of senior selection. Don't be shocked if another club rolls the dice on the talented 23-year-old.

Brandon White

Won Sandringham's (St Kilda VFL affiliate) best and fairest and has proven he can assume a role across half-back. Starts next year as a 23-year-old after his four seasons at the Saints netted 11 matches.