Esava Ratugolea at GMHBA Stadium on February 1, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

KEY TALL Esava Ratugolea will remain with Geelong in 2023 after Port Adelaide failed to tempt the premiers into a trade for the contracted Cat on the final day of the Continental Tyres AFL Trade Period.

Ratugolea was among a small handful of players that didn't have their trade wishes granted during a flurry of activity in the final hour of deadline day on Wednesday. 

Deals sending Gold Coast wingman Jeremy Sharp to Fremantle and St Kilda defender Hunter Clark to North Melbourne were also called off as the 7.30pm AEDT deadline approached.

Ratugolea, who met with Port earlier this month, was the final piece in what remained an excellent AFL Trade Period for the Power, who were keen to add to their tall stocks and targeted Ratugolea.


The 198cm big man impressed as a defender in the VFL this year after returning from shoulder and ankle injuries that kept him sidelined for much of the first half of the season.

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He featured at senior level only once after round three in 2022, missing the Cats' entire finals series and ending the season with 59 games to his name since being recruited with pick No.43 in the 2016 NAB AFL Draft.

Sharp was tied up in negotiations around several deals on Wednesday but ultimately could not find his way to the Dockers after the club failed to table a compelling offer.

Jeremy Sharp celebrates a goal during the R20 clash between Gold Coast and West Coast on July 31, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

Gold Coast list manager Craig Cameron said Fremantle's highest offer of a future third-round selection was not going to be entertained by the club.

"In the end it was not really close, to be honest," Cameron told Continental Tyres Deadline Day on

"He's a contracted player who has only been with us for three years. We had to get something compelling to make us move, and I think in the end Fremantle prioritised other things.

"It appeared that [a future third-round pick] was their ceiling, but it certainly didn't get close for us."

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North Melbourne list boss Brady Rawlings said the club had prioritised Clark on the final day of the Continental Tyres AFL Trade Period and had pushed hard to make a deal happen.

Hunter Clark during St Kilda's round 19 match against West Coast in 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

"We had a really strong interest there in Hunter and we thought he'd be a great acquisition to our footy club," Rawlings told Continental Tyres Deadline Day on

"But the Saints obviously feel the same way and, in contract, they weren't willing to deal. We had a pretty good throw at the stumps … but it wasn't quite enough."

Rawlings said the Kangaroos were not willing to slide from pick No.3 down to the Saints' No.9 as part of the deal, as much as they wanted to secure Clark.