COLLINGWOOD has secured Brownlow medallist Tom Mitchell just minutes before the 2022 Continental Tyres AFL Trade Period deadline after executing a deal with Hawthorn and Geelong in a dramatic three-way trade.
Ollie Henry has been granted his wish and been sent to Geelong, with Cooper Stephens landing at Hawthorn in a deal that was finalised in the dying minutes of the trade period.
The Magpies have also received pick No.25 from Geelong in the exchange, with Hawthorn landing picks No.41 and 50 from Collingwood in the deal.
TRADE TRACKER Every trade as it happens
After starting his career at Sydney, Mitchell will now move to a third club after a decorated stint at Waverley Park, where he won the game's most prestigious individual accolade along with three Peter Crimmins Medals, two All-Australian blazers and the 2018 Leigh Matthews Trophy.
The 29-year-old had been looking for a move away from Hawthorn due to the rebuild under Sam Mitchell, which is now set to become even more calculated following the departures of Ben McEvoy, Liam Shiels, Jack Gunston and Jaeger O’Meara.
He's signed a three-year deal at the Magpies.
"Being able to secure further picks has always been a priority for us," said Hawthorn recruiting manager Mark McKenzie.
"This deal allows us to continue to add further youth to our list, while also giving Tom a fresh opportunity.
"Being a three-time Peter Crimmins Medallist, Tom has played a pivotal role during his 106 games at Hawthorn, and the club would like to thank him for his contribution and wish him well for the future."
Henry moves to GMHBA Stadium to join his brother Jack after making his intentions clear to Collingwood this week that he wouldn't return to the club if a deal wasn't executed.
"Ollie is a very talented player and will be an exciting addition to our playing squad," said Cats list manager Andrew Mackie.
"He has been impressive in his first two seasons of senior footy and we believe Ollie can continue to flourish and develop as part of our football program and environment.
"We thank Graham Wright and Collingwood for facilitating Ollie's request."
Stephens heads to Hawthorn in search of greater opportunity after managing only seven appearances in three years at Geelong after being taken in the first round of the 2019 NAB AFL Draft.
The arrival of Jack Bowes and Tanner Bruhn to the Cats during this trade period would have further limited Stephens' opportunities in 2023, but the 21-year-old should expect more game time at the Hawks.
After coming back from a horrific broken leg in 2020, Mitchell returned to his best last year, winning the best and fairest after polling 25 votes in the Brownlow Medal.
But with Hawthorn changing direction following the departure of Alastair Clarkson, Mitchell's role was altered in 2022 under a new regime.
INDICATIVE DRAFT ORDER Your club's picks as they stand
Now Mitchell lands at the Magpies, who emerge from the trade period with a key defender (Billy Frampton), a key forward (Dan McStay), a small forward (Bobby Hill) and now an inside midfielder.
Mitchell's father Barry played one season at the Magpies in 1993.
Collingwood had been keen to retain Henry, who was recruited with the club's first pick at the 2020 NAB AFL draft (No.17) and kicked 28 goals in 25 games across his two seasons.
The Geelong Falcons product faced a battle to continue his progression in 2023, however, with forwards McStay and Hill joining the Magpies ahead of next season.
"We thank Ollie for being a part of our football program over the past two years," said Collingwood's GM of Football, Graham Wright.
"Ollie showed strong potential at AFL level this year and we wish him all the best for the next phase of his football career."
Henry did not play for Collingwood after round 17 in 2022, featuring only as the unused medical substitute in rounds 18 and 23 and missing the finals campaign.
He kicked 13 goals in a six-game stretch between rounds 10 and 16, rebounding from an inaccurate performance in round nine to boot a career-best four against Fremantle as the medical substitute.
TRADE HUB All the latest player movement news
Henry's manager, Tom McConville, told Continental Tyres AFL Trade Radio last week that being closer to his support network was the main reason he was seeking a trade.
"Obviously, his brother (Jack) playing at Geelong is a big draw for him as well," McConville said.
"It's nothing on the Pies. The Pies didn't do anything wrong or anything like that.
"It's more about Ollie getting the most out of himself and in the right environment. He feels that going back to Geelong he will be able to do that."
- with Nathan Schmook