Every Thursday AFL.com.au presents Inside Trading, with breaking news and the best analysis of the Continental Tyres AFL Trade Period covering contracts, re-signings, free agents, the NAB AFL Draft and industry insights.
SAINTS SECURE PRE-SEASON SIGNING TO NEW DEAL
MATURE-AGE sensation Jack Hayes has signed a two-year extension to remain at St Kilda until the end of 2024.
The 26-year-old was one of the great stories of the first part of the season, rising from the rookie list to star at AFL level, before he ruptured his ACL against Greater Western Sydney in round six.
Hayes has recently returned to RSEA Park after spending the early stages of his recovery back home in Adelaide, increasing his rehabilitation program under the watch of St Kilda's high performance boss Nick Walsh and rehab coordinator Marcus Krygger.
AFL.com.au understands St Kilda list manager James Gallagher has finalised an extension with Hayes this week.
The Woodville-West Torrens product was signed during the pre-season supplemental selection period after being overlooked in a handful of drafts despite dominating in the SANFL.
After forcing his way into Brett Ratten's side in round one, Hayes kicked three goals from 18 disposals and 10 marks in a dazzling debut against Collingwood.
Hayes played five of the first six games before he went down with injury in Canberra.
Now the South Australian has two more years at Moorabbin to look forward to once his knee fully recovers. – Josh Gabelich
BRAYSHAW STILL HOLDING OFF TALKS
OUT-OF-CONTRACT Melbourne star Angus Brayshaw is yet to put a timeline on when he will begin contract negotiations.
The 26-year-old is a restricted free agent, and has connections in the west, with brother Andrew playing for Fremantle.
He told AFL.com.au his recent move to defence has been his sole focus through the Demons' 10-0 start to the year but that he knew a crunch time was fast approaching.
"I could roll out any sort of cliché, you could take your pick. With that stuff, round one I got thrown into the backline, having prepared for the wing all pre-season. Very, very quickly, my focus has shifted from everything that surrounds football to how to play and execute this role," Brayshaw said.
"There are super high standards, we pride ourselves on our defence back there, so if I'm thinking about something else or not 100 per cent focused, you get found out pretty quickly. And that stuff just takes care of itself if you focus on your footy.
"I understand this is a reality and these things will probably start popping up soon, when I need to sit down and sort it out, but I'm in a good position, I think, off the back of 10 solid weeks of footy.
"I'll sit down – I don't know when that'll be – but I'll figure that out when it comes. I'm looking forward to getting it out of the way, because that's seems to be all anyone wants to know these days. What will be, will be." – Sarah Black
FUTURE PICKS PUT SUNS IN STRONG SPOT
GOLD Coast is loaded up with selections for this year's draft, with the Suns holding four picks inside the first 33 choices in the indicative order.
The haul of picks puts the Suns in a strong position to either bundle their selections to trade up the order for extra early selections or attack the trade market with a strong draft hand.
The Suns, who drafted Mac Andrew at No.5 last year, currently hold picks No.7 and 25, which are their own picks, but traded in future selections last year that are tied to Collingwood (No.27 currently) and Fremantle (No.33 currently) in the second round.
They also hold their own pick and the Magpies' third-round pick, meaning they have six selections in the first 45 picks on the indicative order after round 10.
There was only one future first-round pick that was traded last year, with Sydney having Melbourne's first selection that came to the Swans via Adelaide in the Jordan Dawson trade, while there are four clubs who traded out future second-round selections.
TRADE HUB All the latest player movement news
North Melbourne's woes are a good result for Richmond, which holds the Kangaroos' second-round pick (currently No.20), while West Coast has three picks inside the top-26 selections at the moment after bringing in Port Adelaide's second-round pick last year in a draft-night deal.
In the third round, 11 picks have swapped hands, with Collingwood holding three selections that round which are all tied to other clubs' finishing positions – Hawthorn, Richmond and the Western Bulldogs. – Callum Twomey
YOUNG PIE KEEN TO STAY
COLLINGWOOD young gun Ollie Henry wants to remain at the Magpies but isn't in a rush to put pen to paper on a contract extension.
The 19-year-old produced a match-winning performance against Fremantle at Optus Stadium, kicking four goals in 76 minutes game time after being activated as the medi-sub when Mason Cox dislocated his finger on Sunday night.
Henry has played 17 games since the Magpies used pick No.17 in the 2020 NAB AFL Draft on the talented forward from the Geelong Falcons.
"I'm loving my time at Collingwood. I've got so many great friends here at the club," Henry told AFL.com.au on Wednesday.
"I'm pretty much just looking to stick the year out, play the best footy I can, and we will go from there.
"Right now, I'm loving where I'm at. Hopefully we get something done."
Henry is one of eight players who were taken in the first round two years ago who are yet to sign deals beyond this season.
Nik Cox, Tanner Bruhn, Lachie Jones, Finlay Macrae, Max Holmes, Bailey Laurie and Blake Coleman are the others. – Josh Gabelich
MID-SEASON PROSPECT BACK FROM COVID BREAK
MID-SEASON draft contender Wade Derksen will return to the field this week after an untimely bout of COVID-19 kept him in isolation.
Clubs have been keen to watch Derksen ahead of the mid-season intake but a knock several weeks ago then COVID last week has made for some disruptions for the 195cm key forward.
But the 20-year-old is expected to line up for Peel Thunder this week in the WAFL as he presses his claims for an AFL chance.
"Unfortunately I missed out on footy last weekend due to it but I'm slowly getting over it so it's not too bad," Derksen told the Road to the Draft podcast.
"I get out this Thursday and we have training on Thursday so hopefully I'll put my name there for selection and hopefully play footy this weekend.
"It has been pretty frustrating considering I haven't played a great deal of footy over the last few years. All I want to do is showcase my talent and show the recruiters what I have to offer. But with things like this I can't control it so I'll play this weekend and see how I go."
Derksen has been a mid-season wildcard, having previously been a part of Essendon's VFL program and also moving to Peel via Nightcliffe in the Northern Territory competition.
He kicked four goals from 22 disposals against West Coast's WAFL team earlier this year and has met with a number of clubs ahead of next Wednesday's rookie draft.
"It's always been a dream, it's always been a goal and I've never given up on it. I moved to Perth and was training with the Dockers on a Monday and Friday as a top-up in their match sim and their pre-season for close to eight weeks and I thought I fit in really well in that sort of environment," he said.
Derksen, who has a young son with his partner, said he was willing to move anywhere for his AFL dream.
"It [can be] very, very chaotic and parents do understand that. It's very, very hard and it's a long journey but I've managed to balance all footy, work and being a father at the same time and I'm hoping one day it all pays off." – Callum Twomey
NAB AFL Mid-Season Rookie Draft LIVE
Join Cal Twomey, Nat Edwards and Riley Beveridge for all the LIVE picks and analysis from 6.30pm AEST on Wed, June 1LATEST DRAFT NEWS
FORMER HAWK KNOCKS BACK MID-SEASON CHANCE
MORE than 200 players nominated for next Wednesday's Mid-Season Rookie Draft, but one player didn't despite attracting plenty of interest.
Former Hawk Ollie Hanrahan was on the radar of the Western Bulldogs, North Melbourne and a couple of other clubs.
The 23-year-old was unlucky to be delisted by Hawthorn at the end of last year after playing 13 games in 2021 – including the final three in the senior side – for a total of 29 games across four seasons at Waverley Park.
Hanrahan signed with Werribee in the VFL after speaking to a handful of AFL clubs before being overlooked for another opportunity at the national and rookie drafts.
After playing predominantly as a small forward during his time at Hawthorn, Hanrahan has starred as a midfielder at Chirnside Park.
AFL.com.au can reveal Hanrahan has decided not to nominate for the mid-season draft because he wants to move on with his life away from a full-time environment, exploring study, travel and other interests.
This hasn't stopped some clubs asking the question in recent days.
Sydney nominated Hanrahan as one four Werribee players to be included on its top-up list in the unlikely event they require players this year and was monitoring his progress in the VFL. – Josh Gabelich
WHY YOUNG SUN TURNED DOWN THE BOMBERS
GOLD Coast small forward Mal Rosas jnr says he was always keen to stay a Sun despite significant rival interest last off-season.
The 20-year-old had the attention of Essendon, which was keen to add to its small forward mix, but after being pre-selected by the Suns from its Darwin Academy zone in 2019, Rosas jnr stayed at Carrara.
"I went back home and stayed with family and didn't worry about that stuff," he told AFL.com.au.
"I love this club. I was always keen to stay. They got me before the draft, so I was very thankful for that."
Rosas jnr took some time to find his feet at AFL level, not making his debut until the middle of 2021.
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He played four games last season and has found a home in Gold Coast’s forward line in recent weeks, kicking three goals against Carlton in round four and playing five games since.
Rosas jnr will return to his Darwin home to play Hawthorn at TIO Stadium on Saturday night.
"I've built really good relationships with players and staff at the club and love it," he said. "I trust them. It's a great place." – Michael Whiting