THE CLOCK might be ticking down on the 2021 Continental Tyres AFL Trade Period but some of the biggest deals can only be made – or missed – with deadline day dramas.
Ten (up to and including Jordan Dawson) players have already changed clubs as part of a trade this year but recent history shows we should expect a flurry of moves on another frantic final day.
Of the 53 players that were traded in 2019-20 just over half (27) switched clubs on deadline day.
Wheeling and dealing until the final few minutes has helped some clubs benefit from driving a hard bargain while others have missed their top trade targets.
With the deadline for trade deals involving players being 7.30pm AEDT on Wednesday October 13, we take a look at some of the most dramatic deadline day moves and misses.
THE LAST-MINUTE MOVES
Jeremy Cameron: Greater Western Sydney to Geelong in 2020
The Giants became the first club to match an offer to a restricted free agent then drove a hard bargain by demanding three first-round picks or two early picks and a player. The Cats threatened to take the Giants’ all-time leading goalkicker for ‘free’ in the NAB AFL Draft but with interest from other clubs rising they buckled and made a last-minute deal that included picks No.13, 15 and 20.
Adam Treloar: Collingwood to Western Bulldogs in 2020
The midfielder was told to explore his options as a heavily back-ended contract was putting pressure on the Magpies’ bulging salary cap. With Treloar only wanting to move to a Victorian club in finals contention and the Dogs not desperate for another onballer, the Pies were forced to accept a cut-price deal of pick No.14 and some second-round pick swaps. They also agreed to pay a significant portion of Treloar’s salary for five years although the finer details had to be finalised weeks later.
Dylan Shiel: Greater Western Sydney to Essendon in 2018
A stand-off for more than a week almost allowed Carlton to swoop late but the Shiel deal was eventually done with 10 minutes to spare when the Bombers handed over pick No.11 and a future first-round pick. The Giants used that first pick to select Jye Caldwell, who Bombers’ list manager Adrian Dodoro and Giants’ football manager Jason McCartney would clash over in 2020. The two tough negotiators could be set for another showdown over Bobby Hill this year.
Jaeger O'Meara: Gold Coast to Hawthorn in 2016
The young midfielder had been sidelined for two seasons but the Hawks still had to work with multiple clubs and until the final few minutes of the Trade Period to get a deal done. Picks No.23 and 36, and a future first-rounder, were sent to St Kilda to secure the top-10 pick the Suns demanded, then Carlton was dragged into the saga 90 minutes before the deadline as the Hawks searched for a future second-round selection. O’Meara played six matches in his first season at the Hawks and still manages ongoing issues with his body.
Brett Deledio: Richmond to Greater Western Sydney in 2016
The Tigers’ former No.1 pick and two-time Therabody AFL All-Australian had a year left on his contract but eyed a move to preliminary finalists Geelong in search of the ultimate team success. When the Cats couldn’t finalise a deal that year’s other preliminary finalists pounced with an offer of picks No.15 and 54. A series of soft tissue injuries restricted Deledio to 32 matches in three seasons at the Giants while the Tigers won two premierships in that time.
THE DEADLINE DAY MISSES
Josh Dunkley: Western Bulldogs to Essendon in 2020
The midfielder was contracted for the next two years but had his head turned by a lucrative offer and the promise to play on the ball more at the Bombers. The Dogs were steadfast that Dunkley wouldn’t be leaving but later proposed handing him over if two first-round picks were on the table. The Bombers were only prepared to offer pick No.8 and a second-round pick so Dunkley stayed put and went on to play in the Toyota AFL Grand Final this year.
Jack Martin: Gold Coast to Carlton in 2019
The Suns’ resolute stand to only trade Martin for a first-round pick backfired when the Blues refused to budge on their offer of two second-round picks and instead claimed him in the NAB AFL Pre-Season Draft. It is a trade route clubs prefer not to take although Adelaide went down it last year to nab Jackson Hately from the Giants. The Suns would eventually land that same first-round pick from the Blues on NAB AFL Draft night, selecting Sam Flanders with pick No.11, while Martin put a hefty price on his head to get to his club of choice.
Bryce Gibbs: Carlton to Adelaide in 2016
The former No.1 pick shocked the Blues by requesting a trade to his home state, which then demanded two first-round picks in return. The Crows held firm not to hand over those picks for a 27-year-old but after losing the next year’s Grand Final they doubled-down on their chase for a flag by paying the initial asking price for Gibbs. Picks No.10 and 16 went to the Blues along with some pick swaps, while Gibbs had a strong first season at his second club but struggled in his final two seasons.
Ryan O'Keefe: Sydney to Hawthorn in 2008
The Swans’ star wanted to move back to Victoria and the reigning premiers were his preferred destination. The Hawks weren’t prepared to use a first-round pick on the All-Australian forward, while Collingwood and Carlton also baulked at the asking price. Rather than try his luck at the Pre-Season Draft, O’Keefe signed a four-year deal with the Swans then won the club champion award the following season as a midfielder. He reminded the Hawks of what they missed out on while winning a Norm Smith Medal against them in the 2012 Grand Final.
Mark Alvey: Western Bulldogs to Essendon in 2002
It is a story from another age where a deal fell over in the final minutes due to an epic fax machine fail. The Bombers worked frantically on a late multi-club deal to have a suitable pick to exchange for Alvey and were able to lodge the paperwork two minutes before the deadline. But the fax machine at AFL House was engaged and the deal arrived too late to be approved. Alvey played on at the Dogs but injured a knee in round four – against Essendon – and was ruled out for the rest of the season, then finally moved to the Bombers at the end of that year. Heath Black was another player to be stuck at his club when a deal to move from St Kilda back to Fremantle was faxed a minute too late in 2003.