Moneyball column: All the latest AFL trade, draft, free agency and list news
Moneyball column: All the latest AFL trade, draft, free agency and list news

Trade talk: Hawks make call on stars

Gold Coast tall Peter Wright is on the lookout for a new home and could attract some late interest from Essendon in the trade period.

Suitors aren't banging down the door for the 24-year-old key-forward-ruck who didn't play a senior game for the Suns this season.

But the Bombers are a club who could come late for Wright after flagging some minor interest.

The former Calder product wants to re-establish himself at AFL level after kicking 58 goals across 39 games in his two best seasons in 2016-17.

 

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The Bombers could come calling for Gold Coast big man Peter Wright.
The Bombers could come calling for Gold Coast big man Peter Wright.

Wright has also shown exciting potential in the ruck but it is understood his preference is to play as a key-forward where he was leapfrogged at the Suns by Ben King.

At 203cm, he could form a combination with Essendon ruckman Sam Draper if the Suns accept a late pick.

The man taken with the No. 8 pick in the 2014 draft, and who has since played 66 games, is contracted for one more year at Gold Coast.

Essendon is considering North Melbourne key forward Ben Brown, who is also in discussions with the Demons about a fresh start.

 

North Melbourne’s Ben Brown is the other Essendon is considering. Picture: Michael Klein.
North Melbourne’s Ben Brown is the other Essendon is considering. Picture: Michael Klein.

 

The Demons are the frontrunners to land Brown in exchange for a mid-round pick.

The Suns could get Wright's money off the books to help clear room for Adelaide's Rory Atkins and potentially Richmond's Oleg Markov.

Gold Coast also has interest in Magpie Adam Treloar but the star midfielder is yet to meet with the Suns and told Collingwood he did not want to be traded.

 

HAWKS MAKE CALL ON STAR FORWARD

Hawthorn has made clear it has absolutely no intention of trading any of its stars including best-and-fairest winner Jack Gunston.

Gunston has been at the heart of persistent rumours that he might be trade bait as clubs like Collingwood look for key-position forwards.

But Hawthorn, which seems likely to take an exciting kid with pick No. 4 in the draft, wants to remain in the flag window despite introducing more youthful talent.

Gunston has won three premierships with the Hawks and, as a veteran and leader, seems more than happy to invest in the club that gave him so much success.

Jack Gunston looks set to stay at the Hawks. Picture: Sarah Reed
Jack Gunston looks set to stay at the Hawks. Picture: Sarah Reed

Hawthorn isn't playing games or waiting for the right price, it just isn't interested in moving on a 29-year-old who is one of their best and most versatile players.

The Hawks hierarchy has made clear to its senior players that after assembling a senior core of talent under Alastair Clarkson, they want to give them a chance to thrive.

The club will bring Adelaide's Kyle Hartigan in as a free agent on a three-year deal after captain Ben Stratton and James Frawley retired.

Jaeger O'Meara is likely to be the club's new captain for 2021, with Clarkson adamant during the year many of the Hawks' issues were related to difficulties acclimatising to hub life.

 

IS YOUNG TIGER BETTER OFF AT BLUES?

Jack Higgins will make a decision on his future at Richmond this week when he returns to Melbourne.

It comes as any hopes Alex Rance might return to the Tigers next year are consigned to wishful thinking.

Richmond half-forward Higgins, who overcame two brain surgeries to return to the field in Round 2, was pushed out of the best 22.

He will return from 110 days in the club's hub and consider whether he could get better opportunities at a club like Carlton.

But Richmond is keen to keep the contracted forward and he was not told to explore his opportunities in his exit interview with the Tigers.

Will Jack Higgins remain at Punt Road? Picture: Michael Klein.
Will Jack Higgins remain at Punt Road? Picture: Michael Klein.

The premier will secure Maurice Rioli Jr in the draft and while he will take time to develop after a year with only a handful of NTFL games, he will be another small forward on the club's list.

Rance is content in retirement, despite speculation mid-year he could backflip on his plans, and is aware he would have had to tell clubs by now if he wanted to play in 2021.

He told the Geelong Advertiser last week he was"really happy" the Tigers had made the Grand Final but didn't regret his decision.

"I made the decision based on me and what I wanted," he said.

"There's days I think about it, but it's a once in a blue moon.

"I'm really enjoying the life I have got."

 

 

 

DEES TO RETAIN DEFENSIVE DUO

Michael Hibberd has agreed to another one-year deal at Melbourne after a torrid year that included the death of brother Geoff.

Hibberd finished a very respectable ninth in the club's best-and-fairest award, averaging 306 metres gained and 71 ranking points per game.

The Demons are set to retain Neville Jetta as a small running defender, with Collingwood adamant they won't do a deal on the contracted backman.

Michael Hibberd gathers the ball for the Demons . Pic: Michael Klein
Michael Hibberd gathers the ball for the Demons . Pic: Michael Klein

Melbourne will lose Braydon Preuss on a three-year deal to GWS and isattempting to lure Ben Brown, which will allow top-three draft pick Luke Jackson to spend more time in the ruck.

Simon Goodwin's side is expected to re-sign former captain Nathan Jones, given his exceptional leadership and versatility as a player.

 

LIONS VETERAN SET FOR ANOTHER YEAR

Stefan Martin is still expected to remain at Brisbane next year despite the club citing uncertainty about list sizes over their inability to offer him a new contract.

Martin would be in perhaps his final year if he did re-sign and could even do so as a rookie after a season marred by a back stress fracture.

The Dogs don't seem to be interested in him or Mason Cox, despite Luke Beveridge suggesting they might look for a back-up ruckman for Tim English.

Lion Stefan Martin, left, struggled with injury this year. Picture: Michael Willson/AFL Photos
Lion Stefan Martin, left, struggled with injury this year. Picture: Michael Willson/AFL Photos

Cox will remain at the Collingwood, with no rival clubs contacting his management and the Pies giving absolutely no inclination that they want to lose him.

He is on a solid deal of around $500,000 next year but the Pies are out to bring in key-forwards, not lose them.

On the Dogs, Jackson Trengove comes off a hefty three-year free agency deal but he might still remain at the club.

If the the club want a solid back-up ruck, who can play forward and back, he is the man - and he's right there under their noses.

Trengove received a lucrative contract when he crossed from Port Adelaide so he would need to take a significant pay cut but still has solid footy left in him.

 

PORT THWART SWANS' APPROACH

Port Adelaide has outright rejected Sydney Swans' interest in two of its ruckmen, Scott Lycett and Peter Ladhams.

The Swans are chasing a new ruckman after missing out on Richmond premiership big man and former Swan Toby Nankervis.

Port has a third big man, youngster Sam Hayes, who shows some exciting upside but needs to build his fitness before he is ready for AFL.

The ruck riches at Port is what saw the Swans come calling but the Power have no interest in trading either of them.

It means Sydney has moved on to West Coast big man and former Saint Tom Hickey.

Port Adelaide has expressed an interest in Swan Aliir Aliir, who is contracted, and could strengthen the Power's defensive setup.

 

 

 

IS THERE ROOM FOR WEBSTER AT THE SAINTS?

St Kilda is happy to retain Jimmy Webster on the club's list but his robust contract is one reason why they won't be shattered if he does find another home.

St Kilda list boss James Gallagher said this week the Saints were happy to keep Webster, who has a deal through to 2022.

But he signed in August 2018 after averaging 22 possessions and 87 ranking points per match.

It means he signed coming off the best season of his career, and still holds a contract which reflects it.

With Hunter Clark, Nick Coffield and Josh Battle among the players who have gone past him, it might mean his best chance of finding a regular spot is elsewhere.

 

 

 

 

Originally published as Trade talk: Hawks make call on stars


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