Adam Treloar at the Western Bulldogs. Picture: westernbulldogs.com.au

Who won the AFL trade period? Who were the big losers? The Inner Sanctum takes a look at one of the craziest trade periods in recent memory.


Grade: B-

Lost: Rory Atkins (Free Agency – Gold Coast), Brad Crouch (Free Agency – St Kilda), Kyle Hartigan (Traded – Hawthorn), Bryce Gibbs (Retired), Riley Knight, Ayce Taylor, Patrick Wilson, Myles Poholke, Jordan Gallucci, Ben Crocker (All Delisted).

Received: –

Draft Picks: 1, 9, 22, 23, 40, 56, 66, 80 

Would be upset to not have gotten their man in Jackson Hatley in the trade period but have the luxury of having the first pick in the Pre-Season Draft to ensure he gets to West Lakes.

They allowed the ones that wanted to leave, to leave. The attention now turns to the draft where with a bumper early hand especially will give Matthew Nicks more elite young talent to continue the Crows rebuild.


Grade: C+

Lost:  Stefan Martin (Traded – Western Bulldogs) Alex Witherden (Traded – West Coast), Allen Christensen (Retired), Matt Eagles, Sam Skinner, Toby Wooler, Jacob Allison, Corey Lyons (All Delisted)

Received: Joe Daniher (Free Agency – Essendon), Nakia Cockatoo (Traded – Geelong)

Draft Picks: 25, 53, 58, 63, 68, 69, 74

Not only have they become a destination club, but they have become a destination club with a reputation of getting guys fit and ready to play again.

They will be hoping that their medical team can strike gold again with their inclusions this year. Assuming they both get their respective bodies right, both Joe Daniher and Nakia Cockatoo slot into what is already a potent forward line only adding to the star power down on Vulture Street.

They lose Alex Witherden to alleviate some salary cap room but he had fallen down the pecking order this year and the Lions need for draft points became apparent with Blake Coleman, their next generation academy likely to garner a bid from opposing clubs.

Fun times ahead at Woolloongabba.


Grade: A-

Lost: Matthew Kreuzer, Kade Simpson (Both Retired), Hugh Goddard, Darcy Lang, Finbar O’Dwyer, Ben Silvagni (All Delisted)

Received: Zac Williams (Free Agency – GWS Giants), Adam Saad (Traded – Essendon), Lachie Fogarty (Traded – Geelong)

Draft Picks: 38, 48, 78

One of the winners of the period.

Got their men they went after and look primed now to continue their steady rise up the ladder.

The additions of Saad and Williams, two guys who walk straight into the starting 18 in the prime of their respective careers creating the added layer of depth across half back and in the midfield for the Blues.

Lachie Fogarty comes across to add more to the midfield and forward rotation who foremost, will look to get his body right. They didn’t lose anyone the didn’t want to. No excuses now.


Grade: F

Lost: Jaidyn Stephenson, Atu Bosenavulagi (both Traded – North Melbourne), Tom Phillips (Traded – Hawthorn), Adam Treloar (Traded – Western Bulldogs), Matt Scharenberg, Tim Broomhead (Both Delisted) Travis Varcoe, Lynden Dunn (Both Retired)

Received: –

Draft Picks: 14, 16, 65, 70, 75, 92

Well that couldn’t have gone any worse. Oh boy.

What an awful situation and couple of days and weeks and probably days to come for those high up in the club.

As they begin to sift through the wreckage and try spin this in a positive way to their members and fans, the cold reality is that the playing list that was contending for a flag at the beginning of the year is now significantly worse off with three quality players being shown the door with not much coming back for them. 

There will be a time when the real story comes out as to what really has gone on behind the scenes and how it got to this point.

They will go to the draft and try get up the order but for the here and now for Collingwood, it’s how do they rebuild their brand, and win their supporters back.


Grade: B+

Lost: Joe Daniher (Free Agency – Brisbane), Adam Saad (Traded – Carlton), Orazio Fantasia (Traded – Port Adelaide), Tom Bellchambers, Conor McKenna (Both Retired), Josh Begley, Noah Gown, Mitch Hibberd, Shaun McKernan, Kobe Mutch (All Delisted)

Received: Peter Wright (Traded – Gold Coast), Jye Caldwell (Traded – GWS Giants), Nick Hind (Traded – St Kilda)

Draft Picks: 6, 7, 8, 44, 67, 74, 85, 87

What loomed as a total disaster in the leadup to the trade period ended up being not as bad as it was feared it could get.

The ones that wanted to go went, all to their desired locations.

They left it late but they managed to get young gun Jye Caldwell in the door who comes highly rated and with a big future.

Will no doubt be disappointed to miss out on Josh Dunkley but ultimately, did not want to cough up the farm for him as they have done for others in previous years.

We watch with interest to see how they use and manage thier draft bounty in the weeks leading up to and at the draft.


Grade: C

Lost: Jesse Hogan (Traded – GWS Giants), Isaiah Butters, Jason Carter, High Dixon, Brandon Matera, Cam McCarthy, Tom North, Dillon O’Rielly, Jarvis Pina (All Delisted)

Received:  –

Draft Picks: 12, 32, 55

Were hardly seen. Didn’t add anyone but at the same time, didn’t lose anyone they were not happy to let go.

Did have a crack at Jordan Clark but that was shut down pretty quickly by both player and opposition club.

Parted ways cheaply with Jesse Hogan but despite having to cough up big to get him (Pick 6) only two years ago, that won’t worry Fremantle or Justin Longmuir too much as they continue to rebuild the playing list with exceptional young talent and re-shape the culture.

Will add more youth through the draft and continue on an upward trajectory.


Grade: B+

Lost: Nakia Cockatoo (Traded – Brisbane), Lachie Fogarty (Traded – Carlton), Gary Ablett (Retired), James Parsons, Jacob Kennerly, Blake Schlensog (All Delisted)

Received: Issac Smith (Free Agency – Hawthorn), Shaun Higgins (Traded – North Melbourne), Jeremy Cameron (Traded – Geelong)

Draft Picks: 51, 96

We marvel at Stephen Wells and his ability to make things happen and get the guys he wants in the door, but I think even he was surprised when he was made to stump up big.

Nonetheless, the Cats finally got their man in Jeremy Cameron.

While they did need to give three top 20 selections for him, two future second rounders coming in the other way will be extremely valuable in next year’s draft.

Adding the class of Shaun Higgins and Issac Smith to the team that finished runners up only suggests that after getting so close this year, they are loading for a premiership assault in 2021 while they are still in the window.

Gold Coast

Grade: C+

Lost: Peter Wright (Traded – Essendon), Pearce Hanley, George Horlin-Smith, Anthony Miles (All Retired), Jacob Dawson, Corey Ellis, Sam Fletcher, Jacob Heron, Jesse Joyce, Mitch Riordan, Josh Schoenfeld (All Delisted)

Received: Rory Atkins (Free Agency – Adelaide), Oleg Markov (Traded – Richmond)

Draft Picks: 5, 27, 37, 76, 84

Consolidated the young talent which they have stockpiled over recent seasons which is only another sign that things are starting to turn the corner on the Gold Coast.

Better yet, they had more players wish to go and play thier football there, no doubt getting seduced by the extended stay in Queensland this year.

Oleg Markov really hit his straps at times this year and will provide some extra zip off half back while Rory Atkins will slot in to add another senior experienced body to the young Suns line-up.

Greater Western Sydney 

Grade: B

Lost: Jeremy Cameron (Traded – Geelong), Jye Caldwell (Traded – Essendon), Zac Wiliams (Free Agency – Carlton), Aidan Corr (Free Agency – North Melbourne), Zac Langdon (Traded – West Coast), Sam Jacobs, Tommy Sheridan (Both Retired), Heath Shaw (Delisted).

Received: Jesse Hogan (Traded – Fremantle), Braydon Preuss (Traded – Melbourne)

Draft Picks: 10, 13, 15, 20, 29, 52, 74, 88

It seems like the never-ending cycle.

Draft good players, good players develop into star players, star players leave.

Six departures of players who asked to leave this football club were ratified this period and that’s not including youngster Jackson Hatley wo will walk to the Crows for free in the Pre-Season Draft.

They did manage to get a ruckman in Braydon Preuss who finally gets his chance to be the main man and lead a ruck division.

They also threw Jesse Hogan a lifeline too which has big risk versus reward written all over it.


Grade: A-

Lost: Issac Smith (Free Agency – Geelong), Conor Glass, Paul Puopolo, Ben Stratton, James Frawley (All Retired) Will Golds, Darren Minchington, Jackson Ross (All Delisted)

Received: Kyle Hartigan (Traded – Adelaide), Tom Phillips (Traded – Collingwood)

Draft Picks: 4, 24, 45, 46, 49, 72

Hawthorn always raise an eyebrow this time of year because you never know what they are planning on doing.

They had a lot of older players exit through retirement and free agency but also managed to keep the balance between youth and experience.

Holding pick four, which will be their lowest selection at the draft since 2004 will allow them to add young talent to the list that needs it.

Kyle Hartigan fills a role in defence following the retirements in defence with Frawley and Stratton and Hartigan wanting to return to Victoria.

Being able to acquire Tom Phillips, for what they did, is a great replacement for Issac Smith running up the wing.


Grade: B+

Lost: Mitch Hannan (Traded – Western Bulldogs), Braydon Preuss (Traded – GWS Giants), Harley Bennell (Retired), Kyle Dunkley, Corey Wagner, Josh Wagner (All Delisted)

Received: Ben Brown (Traded – North Melbourne)

Draft Picks: 18, 19, 28, 50, 89

Got their man in Ben Brown and put themselves in a position where they can be flexible in this period leading up to and at the National Draft.

They offloaded Braydon Preuss so they could continue to develop Luke Jackson and Sam Weideman. Would have been disappointed in Mitch Hannan leaving but didn’t stand in his way.

Jason Taylor has a good track record in recent years of finding diamonds in the middle of the draft so you will back him in to find another couple of beauties for the Demons.

North Melbourne

Grade: B-

Lost: Ben Brown (Traded – Melbourne), Shaun Higgins (Traded – Geelong), Paul Ahern, Joel Crocker, Majak Daw, Sam Durdin, Lachie Hosie, Ben Jacobs, Jamie Macmillan, Tom Murphy, Jasper Pittard, Marley Williams, Mason Wood (All Delisted)

Received: Aidan Corr (Free Agency – GWS Giants), Jaidyn Stephenson, Atu Bosenavulagi (both Traded – Collingwood), Lachie Young (Traded – Western Bulldogs)

Draft Picks: 2, 11, 30, 39, 71, 81

Still plenty of questions to be answered and a number of list spots to fill.

After delisting 11 player the day after their final game and trading a few more established players away but this is a total reset of this football club.

Managing to acquire Jaidyn Stephenson from the Collingwood fire sale is massive for the club who desperately needed a lift in energy and an exciting young player to join their ranks.

The signature of Aidan Corr is also important for this club as a Free Agent as the long rebuild process begins.

Port Adelaide

Grade: A

Lost: Jack Watts, Brad Ebert, Justin Westhoff (All Retired), Joe Atley, Tobin Cox, Riley Grundy, Cameron Sutcliffe (All Delisted)

Received: Allir Allir (Traded – Sydney), Orazio Fantasia (Traded – Essendon)

Draft Picks: 35, 47, 57, 59, 73, 95

One of the underrated performers of the trade period.

Did not lose anyone, acquire two players who fit needs and will improve their team and secured enough points in terms of draft picks for Lachie Jones, their next generation academy selection who is slated to land in the top dozen of this draft.

Allir Allir coming across from Sydney will deliver some much-needed height to their backline to round out the quartet with Jonas, Clurey and McKenzie.

Orazio Fantasia adds more zip to the forward mix and might just unlock the permanent moves for Zak Butters or Connor Rozee to the midfield full time.


Grade: B-

Lost: Oleg Markov (Traded – Gold Coast), Jack Higgins (Traded – St Kilda), Luke English, Fraser Turner (Both Delisted),

Received: –

Draft Picks: 17, 36, 61, 79, 97

Much like last year, the Premiers sat back and watched it all unfold.

The biggest win for Richmond over this period was that the entire selected team that won the premiership a matter of weeks ago remains intact and could quite possibly, run out unchanged come round one next year which is a frightening prospect for 17 other clubs.

Oleg Markov leaves for more opportunities up North.

They would be disappointed to lose Jack Higgins, a player who has so much promise and is genuinely talented and smart. 

But all seems to be pretty rosy at Tigerland as they get ready to go for the three peat.

St Kilda

Grade: A

Lost: Logan Austin, Ryan Abbott, Doulton Langlands, Jack Bell, Jack Mayo, Matt Parker (All Delisted), Nathan Brown (Retired)

Received: Brad Crouch (Free Agency – Adelaide), Shaun McKernan (Free Agency – Essendon), Jack Higgins (Traded – Richmond)

Draft Picks: 21, 64, 67, 74, 93

Destination Linton Street.

The turnaround for this club has been remarkable and it’s even more reflective of how far they have come when it comes to this time of the year.

Adding Brad Crouch as a Free Agent adds another layer to an already classy midfield unit.

Jack Higgins’ arrival also adds more depth in the mid-small forward stocks.

Shaun McKernan also joins to take the burden a little bit off Max King as he continues to develop but also serve as backup should both their ruckmen be unavailable.

They also still have a first round pick at the end of it all so it’s another top job from James Gallagher and the recruiting team down at St. Kilda.


Grade: C-

Lost: Allir Allir (Traded – Port Adelaide)

Received: Tom Hickey (Traded – West Coast)

Draft Picks: 3, 31, 34, 43, 60, 82

Confusing period from the Swans.

They needed to add a ruckman and they did that by securing Tom Hickey, who joins a nice line of former Eagles ruckmen to go over to the Swans in either a playing or coaching capacity.

But needing to part ways with utility Allir Allir to make it happen?

I’m sure there could have been an easier way.

They did however manage to secure points through draft picks to account for their Next Generation Academy selections in Braeden Campbell and Errol Gulden who are tipped to go within the first 30 selections on draft night.

Knowing Kinnear Beatson, he always has a trick or hidden gem of a player up his sleeve too.

West Coast Eagles

Grade: B+

Lost: Tom Hickey (Traded – Sydney), Hamish Brayshaw, Nic Reid, Francis Watson, Anthony Treacey, Mitch O’Neil (All Delisted), Will Schofield (Retired)

Received: Zac Langdon (Traded – GWS Giants), Alex Witherden (Traded – Brisbane)

Draft Picks: 62, 86, 91

Didn’t have many assets to work with this year following thier pursuit of Tim Kelly last season but would be thrilled with what they managed to do this trade period given the limited resources.

Zac Langdon adds to the glut of small forwards but will look to fill the vacant spot in the forward line as Liam Ryan pushes more up the ground into the midfield.

The acquisition of Alex Witherden as a salary dump from Brisbane is one of the more underrated signings for the period.

Witherden is a beautiful distributor by foot and will be seen as the perfect permanent Shannon Hurn replacement when he eventually moves on at the end of season 2021 or 2022.

Provided they remain healthy and can play their full quota of games at home, they will be up there yet again.

Western Bulldogs

Grade: A+

Lost: Lachie Young (Traded – North Melbourne), Tory Dickson (Retired), Billy Gowers, Fergus Greene, Brad Lynch (All Delisted)

Received: Mitch Hannan (Traded – Melbourne), Stefan Martin (Traded – Brisbane), Adam Treloar (Traded – Collingwood)

Draft Picks: 26, 33, 41, 42, 54, 90

Someone give Sam Power a raise.

Keep Josh Dunkley, tick.

Gather enough picks and points to account for Jamarra Ugle-Hagan, tick.

Manage to sign a seasoned ruckman in Stefan Martin while Tim English continues developing, tick. Bring Adam Treloar in as a late bonus? You see where we’re going here.

What a period it ended up being for the Western Bulldogs.

No real notable departures, kept their man and managed to add some weapons.

Mitch Hannan returns to the place he won a VFL flag back in 2016 as another spark in the forward 50 while, in keeping their man in Dunkley, the Dogs now possess one of, if not the deepest midfield groups in the competition.

The question now turns to how they manage their glut of star midfielders and how they all get managed through a game in the various on ball rotations.

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