Every Thursday this season AFL.com.au will present Inside Trading, with breaking news and the best analysis of the player movement landscape covering contracts, trades, free agents, the NAB AFL Draft and industry insights.


GEELONG swingman Jack Henry is closing in on a fresh extension to stay at the Cats for multiple seasons. 

Henry's management, Mac's Sports, confirmed talks were progressing strongly on re-signing the 22-year-old who is set to fall out of contract at season's end. 

Overlooked for selection in the Cats' jam-packed backline in the opening round, Henry has impressed between attack and defence since winning a recall. 

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Henry was pushed forward in the second half of the Cats' nailbiting win over Hawthorn on Easter Monday and booted two goals to go with setting up the deciding major for teammate Jordan Clark. 

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He then started forward against Melbourne last weekend and kicked two goals but is expected to return to defence when recruit Jeremy Cameron becomes available. 

The St Mary's product signed a one-year deal until the end of 2021 in early 2020 but is now preparing to ink a longer contract. 

Small forward teammate Gryan Miers, who also falls out of contract this year, has opened talks on an extension to remain with the club. 

The Grovedale junior played his 50th consecutive game on the weekend – all from debut – and has become a vital member of the Cats' forward half. 

Other key Cats out of contract this season include free agents Cam Guthrie, Joel Selwood, Jake Kolodjashnij and Jed Bews, plus Tom Atkins, Gary Rohan and Rhys Stanley. - Mitch Cleary


FREMANTLE defender Ethan Hughes will earn promotion to the Dockers' senior list next season with a multi-year deal. 

It is understood talks are underway with Hughes' management and an extension has been proposed that would keep him at the club for at least the next two seasons.   

Hughes has played 41 of the past 42 games from the Dockers' rookie list, despite establishing himself as a regular senior player during that period, taking his career tally to 71 games.  

Ethan Hughes after the round one loss to Melbourne. Picture: AFL Photos

The 26-year-old has played every game this season and is regarded as an important part of the club's fabric, setting high standards with his training and game-day preparation. 

One benefit of keeping players such as Hughes on the rookie list is it allows clubs to select deeper into the NAB AFL Draft, particularly when they have Next Generation Academy players to pay for. 

The Dockers last year snared NGA pair Joel Western and Brandon Walker with late picks. They secured exciting forward Michael Frederick with pick No.61 in the 2019 NAB AFL Draft. - Nathan Schmook


GREATER Western Sydney's win over Collingwood last week meant more than just the four points, with the Giants willing the Magpies down the ladder as they hold their first-round pick at this year's NAB AFL Draft.

The Magpies swapped their future first-round pick to the Giants during last year's hectic draft night in exchange for pick 24, 30 and a 2021 fourth-round selection.

Collingwood made the move because a bid for father-son selection Nick Daicos will eat up their first-round selection this season, with the Giants quick to swoop on the deal having already landed three players inside the top-20 picks at last year's draft.

Nick Daicos in action during the Chargers' NAB League match in April. Picture: AFL Photos

The Magpies essentially used the swap to draft Caleb Poulter and Liam McMahon last year. 

It means the Giants will be hoping for the Magpies' underwhelming start to the season to continue to get as early a draft selection as possible. The Giants could hold two top-10 picks at this year's draft if both clubs miss out on the finals. 

Brisbane will also be hoping Melbourne's unbeaten start to the season stops promptly after the clubs' pick swaps last year.

The clubs made a deal on the last day of the Trade Period that saw the Demons hand their future first-round pick, pick 25, 68 and 69 to the Lions for pick 18 and 19 in last year's draft, and the Lions' second-rounder this year. 

The Demons drafted skillful duo Jake Bowey and Bailey Laurie with the pair of first-round selections last year. - Callum Twomey


WEST Coast has locked away defender Jackson Nelson to a new deal, with the competitive backman agreeing to a one-year contract extension. 

The 25-year-old was due to come out of contract at the end of this season but is understood to have added another season to his stay to sign through to the end of 2022.

That will take him to free agency with the Eagles after serving eight seasons with the club. 

Jackson Nelson lays a strong tackle on Jack Macrae during the round two clash. Picture: AFL Photos

Nelson has become one of the Eagles' core players in the backline, playing every game so far this season after 15 appearances last year. 

He has played 74 games across his career with the Eagles since joining the club at the 2014 NAB AFL Draft with pick No.51 and is trusted with some important roles in the club's back half.

Nelson was also deployed as a tagger against Western Bulldogs superstar Marcus Bontempelli in the second half of the clubs' thrilling round four clash at Marvel Stadium. - Callum Twomey


JOSH Fahey looms as the best Northern Academy talent for this year's NAB AFL Draft and is tied to Greater Western Sydney, but that hasn't been without some conjecture from rival clubs. 

Fahey, a poised and attacking half-back who some recruiters view as a possible top-20 pick, joined the Giants Academy when he was 13 and was part of their development programs before relocating to Queensland in 2020 with his family due to his father's work. 

While there, he joined Gold Coast's Academy while playing for Broadbeach in the local competition, and also played for the Suns' Academy. However, at the end of last year Fahey moved back to Canberra (where he is living with a family member) and he returned to the Giants' Academy, spending time with the club over summer and playing in some VFL practice matches for GWS.

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Under AFL rules, a player is eligible to join a club under the northern Academy system if they have spent five years in a row in its region leading into the draft, with Fahey's time in the Gold Coast Academy breaking that run.

However, earlier this year the Giants sought approval from the AFL to have first rights over Fahey and were granted permission, with the League ticking off on his eligibility given over a period of time he has spent five years – and a vast majority of his development – within the Giants' Academy.

Fahey, also a member of the NAB AFL Academy, has caught the eye with his penetrating left-foot kicking. - Callum Twomey