L-R: Nic Naitanui, Taylor Duryea, Sam Sturt. Pictures: AFL Photos

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.


NORTH Melbourne will listen to offers on its prized No.1 draft pick as rivals look at ways to move up the order.

A No.1 pick has not been traded since 2001 but the Kangaroos will be open to discussing a deal to see if they can turn the selection into multiple early picks.

There is an expectation that clubs will come for the top pick in this year's pool given the valuable nature of the selection, with rivals believing the Roos will field offers for the top choice.

The form of gun midfielder Elijah Tsatas and key forward Aaron Cadman, as well as the standout performances of powerful midfielder George Wardlaw before his run of hamstring injuries, could see a number of clubs be keen to push up the order and grab one of the trio.

Oakleigh Chargers' Elijah Tsatas is tackled by Sandringham Dragons' Cameron Mackenzie in the NAB League on August 20, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

Greater Western Sydney holds pick three but is likely to have a bigger hand of picks within the first round with potential exits of Tim Taranto and Jacob Hopper, while Gold Coast could hold two top-10 picks – its own at No.7 and Adelaide's at No.5 – if a deal is struck on Izak Rankine

The Roos last year knocked back big offers from Adelaide and Richmond for the No.1 pick to select Jason Horne-Francis. They currently hold picks No.1 and 55 in the draft. – Callum Twomey


ESSENDON defender Aaron Francis will seek a trade this off-season, while hard-running wingman Brayden Ham is also attracting interest. 

Francis, who was the Bombers' prized No.6 pick at the 2015 NAB AFL Draft, has played 54 games for the club since his debut in 2016, including four games last season.

Aaron Francis during an Essendon training session at The Hangar on August 4, 2022. Picture: Getty Images

He is out of contract and looking at a trade from the Bombers. Although originally from South Australia, Francis is open for his next move, not just to clubs from his home state.

Francis has been moved back and forth from defence to attack in his time at the Bombers but recently moved into the backline at VFL level and found better form.

Ham is also out of contract and among a group of Bombers who will have to wait longer to know about their futures at the club.

Brayden Ham warms up ahead of the R17 clash between Essendon and Brisbane at the Gabba on July 10, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

The 23-year-old wingman has spoken to two rival Victorian clubs and is yet to be offered a new deal at the Bombers, where he has played 45 games over four seasons. The left-footer played 11 games this year, although five were as the medical substitute.

Ham's run and carry and strong aerobic capacity is likely to appeal to clubs searching to bolster their wing options, with the former Geelong Falcon also recently playing off half-back at stages. – Callum Twomey

TRADE HUB All the latest player movement news


PORT Adelaide's Sam Hayes could be a part of this year's ruck merry-go-round as clubs take stock of the big men available.

Hayes is contracted for next year at Port Adelaide, but rivals are aware he could be available as they scour the competition for more ruck resources. 

The 23-year-old made his senior debut this season after being drafted in 2017, and played seven straight games between rounds five and 11. Hayes' ruck work stood out in that time, averaging 30 hitouts a game, and he has shown he can make an impact around the ground as well.

Port preferred Jeremy Finlayson in the ruck in the second half of the season when No.1 ruckman Scott Lycett was injured, and also used mid-season pick Brynn Teakle as well.

Sam Hayes and Tom Hawkins battle in the ruck during the R10 clash between Port Adelaide and Geelong at GMHBA Stadium on May 21, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

The rotation of ruckmen looks set to again take place this off-season, with Melbourne's Luke Jackson expected to request a trade to Fremantle and the Demons among the clubs courting contracted Collingwood big man Brodie Grundy.

Inside Trading revealed the Magpies' interest in Crows ruckman Billy Frampton, while Essendon's Nick Bryan, Giant Matthew Flynn and Bulldog Jordon Sweet could all be looked at as options. Sydney's Sam Naismith is another ruck who is out of contract. 

North veteran Todd Goldstein has yet to decide if he is keen to stay at Arden Street, while Hawthorn is among the clubs who will look at adding to its ruck depth in the upcoming exchange period. – Callum Twomey


COULD a short-term extension of the players' collective bargaining agreement be a solution to end the uncertainty ahead of the trade and free agency period?

Clubs remain unaware of how much the total player payments will be for next year, with some players left in limbo around the AFL due to the uncertainty around the salary cap beyond this season.

A 12-month extension of the current form of the CBA shapes as a possible solution, with clubs believing the AFL could look at the extra year of the deal to add some clarity for clubs and players with the trade period and off-season imminent.

A pay increase is considered likely although clubs are unsure of what degree that could be, with list sizes still to be determined as well.

The AFL Players' Association said it wouldn't be discussing the CBA or beginning negotiations with the AFL until after the next broadcast rights deal is completed. The broadcast rights deal the AFL is brokering is for the 2025 season and beyond, however the CBA discussions will be on the 2023 season. – Callum Twomey 


WESTERN Bulldogs defender Taylor Duryea is set to earn a new deal for 2023 after forcing his way back into Luke Beveridge’s side on the eve of September. 

The 31-year-old was recalled for the trip to Launceston to face Hawthorn in round 23 after missing two months with a knee injury before returning via the VFL.

While the Dogs re-signed four young players earlier in the week – Toby McLean, Riley Garcia, Robbie McComb and Cody Raak – it is understood that Duryea’s management is working through the details on an extension with Sam Power at the moment. 

Taylor Duryea looks on during the Bulldogs' win over GWS in round 14 on June 18, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

Duryea was named in the leadership group at the start of the year after producing his best season in red, white and blue last year. 

The former Hawk finished ninth in the Charles Sutton Medal and won the coaches award after playing 25 games to help lead the club to a Grand Final appearance. 

The two-time premiership player has inked new one-year contracts to remain at the kennel late in each of the past two seasons. – Josh Gabelich 


CHAMPION Eagles ruckman Nic Naitanui is closing in on a new two-year deal.

The 32-year-old is an unrestricted free agent but is expected to sign a contract that will tie him to the Eagles until the end of 2024.

Naitanui played eight games this season in the Eagles' horror campaign that saw them finish second last on the ladder, but he remains a key cog in their hopes of a quick rebound.


He underwent surgery on his knee after the round 22 crosstown clash with Fremantle, having carried the injury since late in the season.

The Eagles have been active in their approach for out-of-contract Melbourne young gun Luke Jackson as a possible successor to Naitanui, although the Dockers are considered the favoured option. 

Naitanui has played 213 games across his brilliant career, including being an All-Australian last year for the third time. – Callum Twomey


FREMANTLE forward Sam Sturt has been offered a new one-year contract to remain at the Dockers.

Sturt has been out of contract through this year but has been presented a new deal for the 2023 season at Fremantle.

The 22-year-old hasn't featured at AFL level this season and last played for the Dockers' senior side last year, when he registered one game. He has had an unfortunate injury run, including a knee problem in 2021 and concussion issues as well at the start of his career.

The Victorian was selected with pick 17 in the 2018 NAB AFL Draft and has produced strong form in the WAFL, booting 19 goals from 15 games this year. – Callum Twomey

Sam Sturt celebrates a goal during the R5 clash between Fremantle and Adelaide at Metricon Stadium on July 5, 2020. Picture: AFL Photos


EDWARD Allan, the son of former Fremantle and Hawthorn star Ben, is making a late push up the draft board with a run of strong form.

But neither club will have priority access to Allan at the draft after Ben fell short of the 100-game father-son requirement.

Ed Allan missed the first half of the year with stress fractures in his back, but has had a lot of club attention in recent weeks after returning for the final game of Western Australia's under-18 championships.

DRAFT HUB Click here for the latest draft news

The 195cm prospect has played as an inside midfielder with Claremont and rotated onto the wing as well, averaging 25 disposals in five games since returning to the level from injury.

Allan's height and versatility has clubs differing in views on what he could be at the next level, with some looking at him as a potential key backman as well.

Ben Allan played 98 games for the Hawks between 1990-94, falling two games short of qualifying for father-son, before moving to the Dockers and being the club's inaugural captain. He played 47 games for the Dockers. 

Ben Allan in action for Fremantle in 1995. Picture: AFL Photos

He then coached the Dockers for 13 games in 2001 in a caretaker role.

In other draft news, potential top-five pick Aaron Cadman has trained with Carlton's VFL side this week after the Greater Western Victoria Rebels' unexpected finish to their NAB League season last week.

A range of surprise results in the competition meant some of the leading draft talents will have several weeks off before the deciding under-18 carnival clash between Vic Metro and Vic Country. It means some, like key forward Cadman, have found new short-term homes to remain fit and in form. – Callum Twomey  


GREATER Western Sydney has locked away Kieren Briggs for two more seasons, re-signing the young ruckman until the end of 2024.

The 22-year-old played four of the final five games of the season for the Giants, after making his debut early last year before adding four more games in 2021. 

Brisbane showed interest in the New South Welshman last year and other clubs have tracked his progress. 

Kieren Briggs and Tom De Koning in the ruck during the R19 clash between Greater Western Sydney and Carlton at Marvel Stadium on July 24, 2022. Picture: Getty Images

But with Braydon Preuss and Matt Flynn yet to completely grab the No.1 ruck spot at GWS, Briggs has a couple more seasons at the club to stamp himself as a regular AFL ruckman. 

With Adam Kingsley appointed as senior coach last week, the Giants will continue to work through some of the list decisions in the coming weeks, including Phil Davis who has a contract for next year if he wants it, but is yet to make a call on his future. 

October is set to be a busy period for the Giants with out-of-contract trio Tim Taranto, Bobby Hill and Tanner Bruhn all expected to move to Victorian clubs, while Jacob Hopper is also tipped to move south despite having a year to run on his deal. – Josh Gabelich