Riley Collier-Dawkins, Liam Jones and Will Gould. Pictures: AFL Photos

Every Thursday 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.


LIAM Jones will land at the Western Bulldogs as a free agent after officially nominating his former club as his new home.

Jones was deemed by the AFL to classify as an unrestricted free agent this off-season after quitting Carlton due to his COVID-19 vaccination stance ahead of this season.

He met with numerous clubs but will play for the Bulldogs, who can sign him as an unrestricted free agent once the period opens on Friday, September 30. 

His manager Shane Casley confirmed the 31-year-old, who started his career with 66 games at the Dogs before playing 95 games for the Blues, would resume his time in the AFL with his original side.

Carlton's Liam Jones gestures during the clash against Richmond in R1, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos

"We've met with several clubs over the last couple of months and it's got to the point of declaring the Western Bulldogs as where he will nominate for once the free agency period begins," Casley told

"He's prepared himself in the QAFL, is raring to go and is looking forward to getting back into the AFL."

Rory Lobb, as reported by on Wednesday, officially requested a trade to the Bulldogs from Fremantle as part of his exit meeting. He is contracted for next year at the Dockers. – Callum Twomey


THE AFL Players' Association is tightening its regulations for agents' approaches to draft prospects, with leading company Hemisphere Management Group hit with a breach for conducting a training session.

The AFLPA has in recent months been clamping down on player managers approaching players before the rules permit them to in a bid to ease the pressure on young talents before they hit their draft season.

It has seen Hemisphere Management Group this week hit with a $10,000 fine for a training session it held with several prospects who were not yet signed to the company.

Hemisphere's managing director Alex McDonald said the company accepted the sanctions and had staged the training session in a bid to aid the development of prospects who had sat out much of the past two COVID-19 impacted years. 

"We had the best of intentions and were focused on the development of the players, but we have worked through this with the AFLPA and fully accept the decision handed down," McDonald said. 

The Players' Association, which runs the accreditation process for agents, went through the investigation process in recent months. Hemisphere is one of the leading management firms, with potential No.1 pick Will Ashcroft and likely top-five pick Aaron Cadman among their top draftees this year.

McDonald said Hemisphere will pay the fine as a donation to Movember, its charity partner of the past five years. – Callum Twomey


ESSENDON is looking at ways to bolster its group with hard runners this off-season, with delisted Hawk Tom Phillips a possible option.

The Bombers are keen to add to their running stocks and had been interested in Fremantle's Darcy Tucker, although North Melbourne looms as his most likely destination.

Phillips was cut by the Hawks after an injury-hit campaign and just two seasons with the club after being traded by Collingwood in 2020. He is keen to continue his AFL career at a third club after playing 115 games since making his debut in 2016.

The Bombers have previously had interest in Phillips during his career at the Magpies.

St Kilda has also been linked as a possibility for Phillips, but it would likely depend on if anything happened with Bradley Hill. Hill, who has two years to run on his contract, has been linked as an option for North Melbourne but there have been no trade talks between the Saints and Hill. 

Essendon has unearthed Nic Martin and Sam Durham as wingmen this year but is on the lookout for more midfield running strength. – Callum Twomey



BRISBANE defender Darcy Gardiner is set to wait until the end of the club's finals campaign before deciding on his future.

The Lions have tabled Gardiner a long-term offer and he remains determined to stay in Brisbane, but has set his focus solely on football ahead of the club's preliminary final against Geelong on Friday night.

Gardiner has been weighing Victorian interest throughout the campaign, though his position as a restricted free agent would allow the Lions to match any rival offer should he choose to leave.

TRADE HUB All the latest player movement news

The 26-year-old has once again been an ever-present for Brisbane throughout this season, playing 20 of a possible 24 games and playing crucial lockdown defensive roles during finals victories over Richmond and Melbourne.

Gardiner is one of just three restricted free agents still yet to re-sign beyond this season, with Collingwood's Jordan De Goey and Sydney's Lance Franklin also still considering their futures.

The Lions expect to lose fellow free agent Dan McStay on a long-term deal to Collingwood at season's end, while veterans Dayne Zorko and Mitch Robinson also remain uncontracted. – Riley Beveridge

Darcy Gardiner in action during round 23, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos


RIVAL clubs are monitoring Josh Walker's situation at North Melbourne, as the League-wide search for key-position depth continues.

Walker has been told he will have to wait until after trade period until his future at the Kangaroos is decided, with several clubs understood to be keeping tabs on whether he will be retained for season 2023 and beyond.

With teams around the competition still searching for experienced key-position depth, Walker has emerged as a potential cut-price option given his ability to play as a 197cm tall at either end of the field.

Josh Walker competes for the ball during round 16, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

Set to turn 30 in November, Walker has played 139 games across 12 seasons with Geelong, Brisbane and North Melbourne. That included 16 games for the Kangaroos last season, where he featured predominantly in the backline.

As revealed by earlier this month, North Melbourne is involved in the race to sign uncontracted Fremantle utility Griffin Logue and hopes to add him to key-position talents like Ben McKay in defence and Nick Larkey in attack. – Riley Beveridge


THE IMPENDING arrival of Greater Western Sydney duo Tim Taranto and Jacob Hopper has put clubs on alert as to the future of Richmond youngster Riley Collier-Dawkins, who remains without a deal at the Tigers.

A handful of clubs are monitoring Collier-Dawkins' situation at Punt Road, with the youngster starved of opportunity and set to fall further down the pecking order should the club secure both Taranto and Hopper.

As revealed by last week, Richmond officials met with Hopper and remain hopeful of securing the contracted midfielder alongside former GWS best and fairest Taranto during the upcoming trade period.

Collier-Dawkins, who the Tigers selected with pick No.20 in the 2018 NAB AFL Draft, has played just 11 games across four seasons with the club and managed only two appearances this season.

But the 22-year-old has stringed together a series of impressive performances playing as a big-bodied midfielder in the back-half of the most recent VFL season, averaging 27.4 disposals across the last five matches. – Riley Beveridge 

DRAFT HUB Click here for the latest draft news

Riley Collier-Dawkins gets a handball away during a round eight, 2022 VFL game. Picture: AFL Photos


SYDNEY youngster Will Gould is set to join the list of recent Swans re-signings on a new deal.

Gould, who has been out of contract for next year, is closing in on a one-year extension to stick with the Swans for 2023.

The 21-year-old joined the Swans at the 2019 national draft but has yet to make his AFL debut after three seasons with the club. 

The long-kicking South Australian has played off half-back and had a consistent season at VFL level with the Swans this year.

The Swans last week locked in the McCartin brothers – Paddy and Tom – to new deals, with Tom signed through to the end of 2027, while co-captain Callum Mills signed a mega six-year deal ahead of his free agency year, which locks him into the Swans until the end of 2029. – Callum Twomey

Kade Chandler of the Casey Demons is tackled by Will Gould of the Swans during the VFL Qualifying Final match between Casey Demons and Sydney Swans at Casey Fields on August 27, 2022. Picture: Quinn Rooney/AFL Photos


CLUBS will return to Marvel Stadium for the first and last days of the trade period for the first time since 2019.

The past two trade periods through the COVID-19 era have been run external to the AFL's base, allowing clubs to dial in through video hook ups to meet with the League officials to tick off trades.

The AFL has been based out of the ARC – the AFL Review Centre – to sort through deals in the past two years.

However, clubs are set to be back at Marvel Stadium for the opening day of the trade period on Monday, October 3 and again for deadline day on Wednesday, October 12 with the finish to the period again to be during primetime.

Clubs are anticipating one of the biggest and busiest exchange periods in recent times, with more than 30 players expected to change clubs over the trade and free agency windows.

Continental Tyres AFL Trade Radio will begin on and the AFL Live Official App on Monday, September 26. – Callum Twomey

General scenes during the final day of the 2021 AFL Trade Period in the ARC at Marvel Stadium on October 13, 2021. Picture: AFL Photos


HARVEY Gallagher's run of form late in the season has seen the Bendigo Pioneers prospect come into draft contention a year after being overlooked by recruiters.

Gallagher was eligible for last year's national draft, and this year's mid-season intake, but didn't get any bites however his late streak of performances in the NAB League have put him firmly on the draft radar.

The 179cm prospect started the year as a small forward but shifted into the back half later in the Pioneers' campaign, averaging 33 disposals in the last six games of the Pioneers' season.

He also managed to hit the scoreboard whilst being a rebounder, kicking three goals against the Dandenong Stingrays in round 15 and also kicking 1.5 against Tasmania in the elimination final.

Clubs see Gallagher now potentially featuring in the second round of the draft, such has been his impact with the ball and terrific kicking. He has been invited to the state Draft Combine in Victoria on October 9. – Callum Twomey