Opinion Commentary & Media III

Kangaroos4eva

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giantroo

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#4
https://www.smh.com.au/sport/afl/young-roos-give-north-a-hop-along-goldstein-20180630-p4zopx.html

AFL: Young Kangaroos give North Melbourne a hop along: Todd Goldstein
Jon Pierik

While North Melbourne's top tier have enjoyed strong, consistent seasons, one veteran says it's the emergence of a new wave of talent which has been instrumental in the Kangaroos' rise.

All-Australian ruckman Todd Goldstein has pointed to the likes of Jy Simpkin, the No. 12 overall pick in the 2016 national draft, former Hawk Jed Anderson, 24, and Trent Dumont, now in a new role, as reasons why the Roos are in the top eight and firmly in the finals hunt in a year when many in the wider football industry had them finishing near the foot of the ladder.

So impressive have the Roos been that club great Wayne Carey even wrote in his column in The Age that they could win the premiership – all going well.

That may be a step too far but the Roos have Hawthorn, Sydney and Greater Western Sydney among their victories, and have another chance to reinforce their claims against a resurgent Essendon at Etihad Stadium on Sunday.

"The senior guys have been pretty consistent for a little while now. But it's guys like Jed Anderson and Jy Simpkin that are really driving this footy club. You see some of the efforts Jy and Jed do, Trent Dumont as well in a new role on the wing – he has played unbelievable. You see all these guys stepping up and it's infectious," he said.

"The young guys don't know how to take a step back. With the older group, some of the demons can come in, where the young blokes don't have them. That really drives the group. It's a fun group to be around. We are having a lot of fun at the moment. We think that breeds good footy."

Ben Jacobs has become arguably the league's premier tagger and returns to the side this week from concussion, while Majak Daw, in a new role as a defender, has continued to develop. His steadying marks early in the final term against the Western Bulldogs last weekend were pivotal in the Roos forging a stunning comeback victory.

Billy Hartung, another former Hawk, has added dash but is now hurt (hamstring) while Mason Wood has flourished as the second or third option inside attacking 50.

The Roos have eight wins and will probably need another five from their remaining nine matches, which includes a testing three-game stretch against Sydney, Collingwood and West Coast.

"Over the last couple of years we have been very inconsistent. You never know when you are going to get that consistency. So far through 13 weeks we have done that. That's the pleasing side of it," Goldstein said.


"We know our best footy is good enough. We lost five or six games by 10 points or less last year. We know our footy is good enough, we just weren't able to do it for long enough."

The Roos had only six wins last year but strong seasons from Goldstein, who struggled last year amid personal issues, skipper Jack Ziebell, defender Robbie Tarrant, Coleman Medal favourite Ben Brown (40 goals) and Brownlow Medal fancy Shaun Higgins (averaging a team high 26.8 touches per game) have ensured the Roos regrouped.

"I’ll be the first to admit: I underestimated them. Throughout Brad Scott’s nine years as coach, scoring has never been a problem. His teams have generally played an exciting brand of footy, but the defensive side of their game often comes into question. Not any more," Carey wrote last month.

"North have managed to add defensive toughness like we haven’t consistently seen at Arden Street for some time."

Then there is midfield hardnut Ben Cunnington, averaging 25.15 disposals per game who is firmly in All-Australian calculations.

"You marvel at some of the stuff he does. His handballing is something out of this world – it's something that's even too quick for the umpires. They think he has thrown it but it was clearly a handball," Goldstein said.

"What Ben does, he has done for a long, long time. It's in his nature to keep to keep to himself, keep away from the media, he wants to get on his boat and go fishing and not really worry about footy too much - he doesn't like the attention."

That may change should the Roos make the finals. They already have been in the headlines. A five-year, $5 million offer to Collingwood's Jordan De Goey has ensured that, they are also chasing West Coast's Andrew Gaff, while they are seeking $10 million to upgrade their Arden Street base. What they really want, though, is a return to the finals.

"It's always on the agenda – that's what we play footy for. You don't go into any season saying we are not going to play finals this year or we don't want to play finals," Goldstein said.

"That's a realistic opportunity but we know we have a fair few tough games. The competition is so close there are no easy games. We just have to make sure we keep learning from each game and getting better."
 
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Moderator #5
The whole gender discussion has been moved to the gender equality thread.

Baz the twit may have started it with his on air comments but the discussion has gone waaaaaaay past commentary now.

Knock yourselves out over there and allow this thread to revert to discussing Bruce's homoerotic commentary and The Other Baz's buffoonery.
 

giantroo

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#6


Shaun Higgins felt his time at Western Bulldogs was over and it’s been North Melbourne’s gain



SHAUN Higgins was almost at wit’s end.

At the same time he was being courted by North Melbourne, the silky-smooth, but supposedly brittle Bulldog was being told by his club his position in the team no longer held any certainty.

It came during a tumultuous 2014 season at the Whitten Oval, where a few senior players - Higgins among them - believed they were being squeezed out by the Bulldogs and coach Brendan McCartney.


Higgins was playing in defence and felt left out in the cold. The soon-to-be free agent was dropped late in the year, with the Bulldogs seemingly losing faith in his ability and durability.

It got to a point where Higgins’ manager, and close friend, Bruce Kaider, began to worry about his mental wellbeing.

“There were a lot of conversations had in that last year at the Western Bulldogs that were disappointing,” Kaider recalled. “Some of the feedback we were receiving was that he was probably going to end his career in the back pocket.


Shaun Higgins breaks through Mitch Wallis’ tackle.
“They said to us he may not even be seen as being in the best 18 players the following season.

“I said to him, ‘Mate, where are you at mentally?’ I was concerned about him because he had lost his love of the game.

“We had to make a decision … the footy club at that point was having its challenges. If he hadn’t moved, I guess he wouldn’t be playing football today.”

Shaun Higgins is not only playing football today he is one of the AFL’s best players of 2018.

Four years on from that dark last season in the tricolours, he is on his way to potentially back-to-back best-and-fairests with the Kangaroos, considered an All-Australian lock for the first time, and has been backed into equal third favouritism for the Brownlow Medal.

The turnaround has been swift and stark, as he reaches the midpoint of his fourth year with the Kangaroos, with at least two more seasons to come.


Shaun Higgins at a Bulldog. Picture: Michael Klein.

Shaun Higgins as a Kangaroo.
He is thriving in the midfield, as well as going forward. Importantly, his body - once considered an Achilles heel - has in recent seasons allowed him to become the player those close to him knew he could be.

Nick Dal Santo, a former North Melbourne teammate, rates the 30-year-old has been the No.1 player in the league across the last six weeks.

“His last six weeks have been exceptional,” Dal Santo said. “Shaun Higgins has had as much influence on his team than any player in the league in that period.”

All of this begs the question of how the Western Bulldogs let it get to a situation where Higgins felt as if he had no other alternative than to leave.

Having been chosen as pick 11 in the 2005 draft, the one-time Geelong Falcon ended up playing 129 games with the Bulldogs, showing many good early signs, but encountering a series of nagging injuries.

In two of his nine seasons at the club - 2008 and 2013 - he was significantly handicapped by injury, playing only 10 games.

One-time teammate Brad Johnson said: “You could always see what Shaun could do when he was younger … but he had some injuries that were quite bizarre.

“He had elbows and thyroid issues and problems that hadn’t really been seen before. You just knew if he could get some continuity with his body, he was going to be a very good player.”


Shaun Higgins listens in as Brendan McCartney speaks.
Even in Higgins’ last season with the Dogs, he managed 20 games, often in the backline, despite an ongoing foot issue, and being dropped for two matches.

By that stage, he knew his “card had been marked”.

The first feelers from North Melbourne had come 12 months earlier. After the 2013 season, despite playing only three games, Higgins was short-listed as a Kangaroos’ free agency target.

That led to a preliminary coffee between Kaider and North Melbourne general manager of football Cameron Joyce.

“North Melbourne, and Cam Joyce, were well ahead of the curve,” Kaider said.

“Cam and I had a mutual friend at the LA Lakers, who was a mentor to me. We just had a coffee and a chat. It was just like, ‘Where are things at with Higgo?’ It was too early at that point, but we had it there for consideration.”

Joyce said: “There was no secret about the fact we wanted to attack free agency and keep our (national draft) picks at the same time.”

“We thought Shaun could give us something forward of centre and through the midfield. We thought he had a fair bit to offer.”


Brad Scott listens to Shaun Higgins.
Higgins attacked 2014 with everything he had, but by the early stages, it became patently clear if he wanted to have longevity in the game, he would have to leave.

“We realised where we were at (with the Bulldogs),” Kaider said. “I didn’t want to hear the word retirement (from him). He had too much to give the game.

“I said to him ‘I don’t know what your head space is, but I know where there might be another opportunity. I think we should explore it’.”

During the course of that year, Higgins met Kangaroos coach Brad Scott and was immediately sold on the club and the coach.

“Brad didn’t put on a hard sell … he was more about ‘this is what we are as a footy club’, and ‘this is who I am as a coach’,” Kaider said. “That resonated with Higgo.

“We both walked away from that conversation saying what an impressive bloke he was.”

Scott assured Higgins he saw him as a midfielder who could go forward. He told him the club backed its medical staff to get him on the park more often.

By mid-season, with his relationship with McCartney unworkable from his point, and feeling as if his club didn’t want to fight to keep him, Higgins made the decision to test his free agency options. He chose North Melbourne over another interested party in Carlton, thinking it was a better fit from a team perspective.

“He’d had some niggles,” Joyce said. “That was part of our message to him. We said ‘We think we can get your body right … We think we can look after you.’”

Kaider felt Higgins had to leave for his long-term future.


Shaun Higgins injured his elbow in 2006.

Shaun Higgins injured his ankle in 2010.
“We were respectful of the club, but I guess in the end we were disappointed … the guy was an elite player and the way it ended at the Bulldogs, and some of the commentary around it, wasn’t great,” he said.

Industry sources confirmed the Bulldogs had little intention of fighting to keep him. They didn’t match North Melbourne’s offer. One external source said they seemed happy to save the money needed to keep Higgins, bank the second-round compensation pick, and “move on”.

“There were a bit of excitement in his voice and a bit of relief,” Joyce said of Higgins’ confirmation call. “It was almost like a fresh start for him.”

As much angst as there was in the final year at the Dogs, Higgins has steadfastly chosen not to publicly criticise his former club, or McCartney.

“He never said a bad word to me about the Dogs, or Brendan McCartney,” Dal Santo said. “That’s just the way he is, he has moved on.”

Those close to him say he has never looked back, despite what was to follow.

Not even when McCartney stepped down as Bulldogs coach just days after he joined North, following skipper Ryan Griffen’s decision to also leave.

Not even when the Bulldogs won a remarkable 2016 premiership under a new coach two years later. A fairytale result no one saw coming.

“He was really happy for his former teammates, but he has never regretted his decision to leave,” Kaider said.

“It would have been very unlikely he would played (in the flag). He might have been 50/50 at best … because his card had been marked.


Shaun Higgins in action for North Melbourne.
“I don’t think he would have been playing football now, if he hadn’t left. He wasn’t in the right headspace, he would have been gone.”

Joyce agreed Higgins didn’t need any counselling after the Bulldogs’ premiership: “Don’t get me wrong, everyone wants to win a flag, and there are never any guarantees if you stay at a club or you go. But he knew he had to forge his own path. He made the right decision for him as a footballer.”

On the eve of his 196th game, and his 67th with the Kangaroos, Higgins is playing with freedom and with a beaming smile on his face again.

He and wife Heidi welcomed their first child, Rosie, this year.

His body is holding up well, too.

Part of that came from a decision Kaider and Higgins made about eight years ago, to work with running coach Bohdan Babijczuk - who played a role in shaping Shane Crawford’s career - and core strength specialist Domenic Trimboli.

On his own time, and at his own expense, Higgins altered his running gait to help him overcome career-interrupting injuries.

“We sat down with ‘Baba’ (and Trimboli) and said that our long term goal was to have him play for as long as he possibly could,” Kaider said.

Dal Santo knew from the first three months of doing a pre-season with him that he could reach a level far exceeding that which he attained with the Bulldogs.

“I do remember when he came to North Melbourne, one of the phys-eders saying that he has got one of the most efficient running styles they have ever seen,” Dal Santo said. “He is just professional the way he goes about things.”


Shaun Higgins goes on the attack.
So much so that a handful of Kangaroos — including Jack Ziebell and Ben Jacobs — have scheduling their pre-season holidays around his location so they can tap into his meticulous preparation.

Higgins’ pathway to the Kangaroos might yet lead him to a Brownlow, a return that seemed fanciful four years ago to all but those who intimately know his mental strength and resoluteness.

“I joke to him about having a good suit for the Brownlow, but that’s the last thing on his mind,” Kaider said. “To Higgo right now, he isn’t thinking about the best and fairest, or the All-Australian, or even the Brownlow.

“There’s nine games left and he wants to help give this team the best possible chance of going deep into the finals. That’s all he cares about.”

North Melbourne is confident Higgins can play beyond his current deal which runs until the end of the 2021 season.

Higgins, 30, is in career-best form, prompting Joyce to suggest he could have several more seasons left in him.

“It wouldn’t surprise me if he goes on past the next deal,” Joyce told the Herald Sun. “There is no doubt he has even exceeded our expectations.”

Dal Santo says the fact Higgins missed so much football early in his career might end up prolonging his career.

“I am always optimistic about those things,” Dal Santo said.

“He has missed so much footy that maybe his body is only 27 or 29 (instead of 30) in terms of the impact of football.

“I would back him in, having seen what they have done with (35-year-old) Jarrad Waite.

“It won’t be for a lack of preparation that will bring guys like that undone. It won’t be because they are complacent or they have lost the love of it.”

Johnson - who shares the same manager in Bruce Kaider as Higgins - believes the Kangaroos star will eventually return to the forward line, which will extend his career.

“What he can do is play in the midfield for the next couple of years and then (go forward),” Johnson said. “He knows the goals. He has that class. He is a good mark overhead and he is strong. I reckon he can finish his career doing what (Jack) Ziebell is doing now.”
 

Snake_Baker

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#7
Industry sources confirmed the Bulldogs had little intention of fighting to keep him. They didn’t match North Melbourne’s offer. One external source said they seemed happy to save the money needed to keep Higgins, bank the second-round compensation pick, and “move on”.

*
shakes head
 

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the big lebowski

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#12
Just getting back to our weekend discussion re sexism and over the top PC, I see a female jurno got Channel 10 play of the day for asking roger Federer a sexist question in a press conference. Saying he gets more handsome every year.

Obviously a male jurno would get the same treatment if he said the same thing to Maria Sharapova................
 

Hearts to hearts

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#13
Just getting back to our weekend discussion re sexism and over the top PC, I see a female jurno got Channel 10 play of the day for asking roger Federer a sexist question in a press conference. Saying he gets more handsome every year.

Obviously a male jurno would get the same treatment if he said the same thing to Maria Sharapova................
For another thread.
 

DarkPhoenix

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#15
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#17

giantroo

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#21
Deals of the century: Jay Clark reveals the best trades of all-time
Jay Clark, Herald Sun
7 minutes ago
Subscriber only
OUTSIDE on-field action — the big goals, the crunching tackles, the super pack marks — nothing excites the football fan more than the prospect of nabbing a star from a rival club.

JAY CLARK has considered every major transaction — some man for man, some much more complicated — since 2000 to determine the 50 most successful.

These deals have transformed teams, delivered premierships, given supporters hope. But not everyone is a winner in footy’s meat market.

Here is Jay’s top 10 trades — don’t miss the full list on Monday night.


1. Luke Hodge and Sam Mitchell

Blockbuster trade deals don’t get any better than this one. Hawthorn parted with Luke McPharlin and Trent Croad to Fremantle in late 2001 for picks No.1 (Luke Hodge), No.20 (Daniel Elstone) and No.36 (Sam Mitchell). It was an incredibly bold call at the time, with many Hawks fans up in arms about the shock decision to off-load favourite son Croad. And while Hawthorn initially copped some more flak for picking Hodge over two-time Brownlow medallist Chris Judd, the Colac product led the Hawks to four premierships. Hodge’s courage, leadership and performances on the big stage are now legendary.


The Hawks also weighed up St Kilda great Leigh Montagna with pick No.36 but instead opted for Box Hill onballer Mitchell, who became one of the premier midfielders and of his era, winning a Brownlow in 2012. Croad played two seasons in the west but rejoined the Hawks in 2004 and played a key part in their 2008 flag.

2. Brad Ottens

The big man was the missing ingredient for the Cats. Geelong had built a superstar young midfield group by late 2014 but desperately needed another marking target in attack and, as it turned out, a reliable ruckman. And despite a slow start to his career at Geelong, prompting a fierce public defence from Mark Thompson, the Cats simply would not have won the 2007 preliminary final without Ottens’ heroics against Collingwood at the MCG. He played a key role in three Geelong flags despite some ongoing knee issues.

The Cats off-loaded Brent Moloney to Melbourne and packaged together picks No.12 (Danny Meyer) and No.16 (Adam Pattison) to Richmond for the injury-plagued big man. Masterstroke.


3. Shaun Burgoyne

It went down to mediation after days of tense negotiations, but finally Hawthorn secured the man that would play an integral role in three premierships and is regarded as one of the best big-game performers of the modern era. A midfield star at Port Adelaide, Burgoyne had immense talent but was struggling with some knee issues, and there were no guarantees his career would last more than three more seasons.

But Hawthorn talent guru Chris Pelchen, who worked on the deal for a full year, brought “Silk” to Hawthorn in 2009 as part of a complicated four-way deal that saw the Hawks hand over pick No.9 (Andrew Moore) and No.16 (Jasper Pittard). Hawthorn received pick No.16 from Essendon for sharpshooter Mark Williams. Geelong came to the rescue when it parted with pick No.33 (which went to Essendon to use on Anthony Long) for later selections No. 40 (Allen Christensen), No. 42 (Nathan Vardy) and No. 56 (Josh Cowan).


4. Josh Gibson

Gibson was a solid, albeit somewhat undersized key defender when he was shipped off to Hawthorn in late 2009 for picks No.25 (Aaron Black) and No.41 (Ayden Kennedy). It was yet another trade coup for the Hawks as Gibson became a premiership linchpin, winning best and fairests in the 2013 and 2015 flag campaigns. He set the record for spoils with 21 in the 2011 semi-final against Sydney, moved on to Matthew Pavlich in the second-half of the 2013 Grand Final and had 32 and 29 disposals in the 2014 and 2015 deciders. The Hawks also picked up utility Taylor Duryea with pick No.61 as part of the Gibson deal.

5. Josh Kennedy (Syd)

Again Hawthorn is involved, but this time the Hawks are on the other end of a monster trade deal. One of the most consistent midfielders of the past decade, Kennedy was struggling to cement his position in a star-studded Hawthorn midfield playing 13 senior games in 2008-09. So he moved up north with Ben McGlynn for picks No.39 (Sam Grimley), No.46 (Ben Stratton) and No.70 (Matthew Suckling).

Yes, the Hawks hit the nail on the head with Stratton, who is one of the most underrated defenders of his time, and rocket-launching defender Suckling. But Kennedy’s influence on the Swans has been enormous. The three-time All-Australian, 2012 premiership player and current captain has finished in the top-four of the best and fairest count in each of the past seven seasons.


6. Patrick Dangerfield

The superstar midfielder has won a Brownlow and two Carji Greeves Medals in his first two seasons at the Cattery, helping keep open the club’s premiership window. Clearly, this trade has been a big win for the Cats already, and that’s not including his huge off-field marketing and media appeal. Dangerfield was technically eligible for free agency in late 2015, but Adelaide forced the Cats into a trade to ensure the Crows received meatier compensation.

In the end, the Cats coughed up picks No.9 (Wayne Milera) and No.28 (on-traded for Troy Menzel) and Dean Gore. Ironically, Gore was delisted from Adelaide without playing a senior game and has since rejoined the Cats’ VFL ranks. Dangerfield is one of the top players in the game his breakaway speed and forward craft remains the Cats’ No.1 asset.


7. Chris Judd/Josh Kennedy (WC)

Probably the most-talked about trade deal in the history of the game. Chris Judd was one of the top players in the league when he made the bombshell call to head home, and picked Carlton over Essendon, Melbourne and Collingwood. At the time, West Coast powerbrokers said it was impossible to receive fair compensation for a player of Judd’s calibre, but out of it they landed picks No.3 (Chris Masten) and No.20 (Tony Notte) and two-time Coleman medallist and six-time leading goalkicker Josh Kennedy.

While Kennedy has become a superstar spearhead, you can’t underrate Judd’s influence at Carlton from 2008. The brilliant midfielder led the club out of a dark era, changed the culture and gave the Blues hope. He was a heck of a player at Ikon Park, despite some early groin trouble, winning a Brownlow Medal, four-straight All-Australian jerseys, three Carlton best and fairests and, as captain, delivered two finals wins. So who won the trade? Even though Masten has never become a star and Notte didn’t make it, Judd himself believes West Coast “probably get the points”.


8. Barry Hall

Barry Hall’s off-field dramas reached breaking point when he requested a trade from St Kilda. The goal kicker turned down interest from Carlton to move up north to Sydney, with huge success. On the field, the powerhouse spearhead captained Sydney to a premiership in 2005 and Grand Final in 2006. He led the club’s goal kicking seven times and was a three-time All-Australian with the Swans. He was also voted the most valuable player in the competition by the AFL Coaches’ Association in the 2005 premiership year.

Off the field, he was a face of the game in Sydney. The move cost the Swans picks No.13 (Nick Dal Santo), No.17 (on-traded for Heath Black) and No.45 (Nathan Clarke). All up, it was a huge deal for the Swans, Cats (who gained James Kelly) and the Saints. Dal Santo became one of the smoothest-movers in the game and helped lead the Saints to Grand Finals in 2009-10.


9. Brian Lake

Some thought Brian Lake was shot at the end of 2012. Patchy form and injury troubles left the veteran defender’s career at the crossroads at the kennel. His manager Marty Pask discussed the trade to Waverley with Hawthorn list guru Graham Wright over coffee mid-year, and then kept it secret from Lake himself until Grand Final day. While some may argue Lake was just in the right spot at the right time, the move in hindsight was genius as the attacking key defender played a key role in three-straight flags between 2013-15.

He proved his worth in the tightly-contested 2013 Grand Final win over Fremantle, winning the Norm Smith Medal for his aerial dominance in the second half. Lake moved to Hawthorn along with pick No.27 (on-traded for Tim O’Brien) for picks No.21 (Nathan Hrovat) and No.41 (on-traded for Koby Stevens). We questioned why the Hawks would give up an early second-round pick for a veteran fullback at the time, but it paid rich dividends.


10. Fraser Gehrig/Daniel Kerr

One of the best win-win deals in AFL history, St Kilda and West Coast both benefited enormously from this swap in late 2000. The Saints parted with pick No.18 (Kerr) and David Sierakowski for cult figure Gehrig, who excelled at both ends for the Saints. The powerhouse was runner up in the best and fairest at fullback in 2001 and then won two Coleman Medals and led the Saints goal kicking in five straight seasons.

Kerr, meanwhile, quickly became one of the league’s most dynamic and tough on-ballers in a champion West Coast midfield. Kerr finished runner-up in the Brownlow Medal in 2005 and 2007 and polled the third most votes in 2006. Remarkably successful trade.

11. James Clement and Brodie Holland

There was little fanfare when Collingwood swapped pick No.39 (Adam McPhee) for two fringe Dockers only days before the 2000 Sydney Olympics. But what a turnaround. After managing only 14 games between them in their last season in purple, classy defender Clement and hard-running midfielder Holland became two of Michael Malthouse’s most trusted and consistent performers as the Pies contested the 2002-03 Grand Finals. A stand-in captain for Nathan Buckley at times, Clement won back-to-back best and fairests in 2004-05 and finished second in 2006. The deal hinged on another smart move to send Paul Williams to Sydney for picks No.8 and No.39.

12. Jordan Lewis

More cleverness from the Hawks. The club moved on Nathan Thompson for pick No.10 in the 2004 national draft and wanted a hard nut midfielder to partner twin towers Lance Franklin and Jarryd Roughead. But Jordan Lewis would be gone by pick No.10, so the Hawks shipped off that choice and Bo Nixon for pick No.7 to make sure they landed Lewis. The hard ball-winner played an integral role in four premierships at Hawthorn and is now chasing a fifth flag in his second season at Melbourne. Thompson finished sixth and second in the Roos’ best-and-fairest in his first two years at North before retiring due to depression after his third season.

13. James Kelly

The Cats off-loaded high-flying forward Clint Bizzell for pick No.17, which master recruiter Stephen Wells turned into three-time premiership midfielder James Kelly. Bizzell played 88 games for the Demons, while the uncomplicated and defensively-minded Kelly was a team favourite. Made All-Australian in the 2011 premiership season and played 313 games, including a two-year stint at Essendon.

14. Grant Birchall

Port wanted to top-up after its 2004 flag and targeted left-footer Nathan Lonie from Hawthorn. The Hawks received pick No.14 in return for Lonie and used that selection on four-time premiership defender Grant Birchall. Has there been a consistently better field kick than Birchall over the past decade? The Tasmanian’s centimetre-perfect ball use was one of Alastair Clarkson’s biggest weapons out of the back half. Runner-up in the 2014 best-and-fairest.

15. Mal Michael

Michael’s career took-off at Brisbane where he became a key cog in one of the greatest defensive units of all-time. While the triple-premiership Lion never received the individual accolades he probably deserved, missing out on All-Australian selection, he was one of the most physical, durable and consistent fullbacks in the competition, playing 140 of a possible 145 games in six seasons up north. An intimidating figure, the Lions nabbed Michael and pick No.22 (Richard Hadley) for Jarrod Molloy and pick No.44.

16. Sean Dempster and Adam Schneider

Exquisite trading from Saints. Dempster was already a premiership defender at the Swans when he moved to Moorabbin alongside clever goalkicker Adam Schneider for pick No.26 (Brett Meredith). The duo cost the Saints peanuts, in hindsight. Dempster was a blue-collar defender who became an even better player under Ross Lyon, finishing top-three in the Saints’ best-and-fairest four times.

17. Peter Bell

The two-time North Melbourne premiership player was a shining light during a tough time for the Dockers. The tenacious midfielder won three best-and-fairests in the west, but carried a huge load at times. He picked up 38 possessions and two goals and 44 possessions and three goals in Fremantle’s only two wins in 2001. The Dockers paid a big price for Bell, giving up Jess Sinclair, pick No.6 (Dylan Smith) and No.37 (Guy Richards), but welcomed a man who would become a club icon.

18. Darren Jolly

Collingwood needed a ruckman, and this superb trade helped signal a more aggressive mode of thinking from clubs in the premiership window. The Pies had relied on Cameron Wood in the 2009 finals series and smartly targeted 2005 Sydney premiership ruckman Darren Jolly. The big man played 26 games in 2010 and helped lead the Pies to the premiership win over St Kilda, finishing 10th in the best-and-fairest that year. Sydney received picks No.14 (Lewis Jetta) and on-traded No.46 to snare Josh Kennedy. Both were key planks in the 2012 flag win over Hawthorn. What a deal.


19. Dion Prestia/Josh Caddy

The foresight on this one went against the grain of public opinion. The Tigers were thought to be in major trouble after missing finals in 2016, but hard nut Gold Coast midfielder Dion Prestia saw the potential in the list. Richmond parted with pick No.6 and a future-second round selection for Prestia and pick No.26, which it on-traded for Josh Caddy. The two players were crucial cogs in the Tigers stunning flag win last year. The Cats nabbed Brandon Parfitt at No.26.

20. Jack Gunston

One of the hardest-running forwards in the game, the Jack Gunston trade has been another red-hot move from the Hawks. He arrived in late 2011 after two seasons in Adelaide and has bagged almost 300 goals in brown and gold, saving some of his best performances for the biggest stage. He placed second in the 2013 Norm Smith Medal for his crucial four-goal contribution against Fremantle in the 2013 Grand Final. Adelaide received picks No.24 (on-traded for Sam Kerridge), No.46 (Nick Joyce) and No.71 (on-traded for Cam Ellis-Yolmen) for Gunston.


21. Sam Jacobs

Jacobs was a back-up ruckman at Carlton when Adelaide snared him for a bargain-based price in late 2010. The Blues already had Matthew Kreuzer, Robbie Warnock and Cameron Cloke, so the Crows swooped on Jacobs, giving up picks No.34 (Patrick McCarthy) and No.67 (Andrew McInness). Since then, Jacobs has flourished into one of the league’s most consistent and prolific ruckmen. He led the AFL for hit-outs last year and has made the All-Australian squad three times, without ever making the team.

22. David Hale

Hale’s career at North was starting to stutter when Alastair Clarkson’s crew swooped again. The Hawks passed on picks No.27 (Kieran Harper) and No.71 (Ben Mabon) for Hale and pick No.52 (on-traded for Kyle Cheney). But the sweetener was Hawthorn also received pick No.66 from Melbourne in the Cheney on-trade which landed premiership small forward Paul Poupolo. The Dees did well, too, snaring Tom McDonald at pick No.53, which also came from Hawthorn. Hale was structurally important, playing key forward and second ruck in the Hawks’ three flags.

23. Scott Thompson

As it turned out, Melbourne let go one of the best ballwinners in the competition when it parted with Thompson for pick No.12 in at the end of 2014. The Demons used the choice to gain Brent Moloney from Geelong. Not a bad replacement, but Thompson was a star in Adelaide for long time, winning two best-and-fairests and an All-Australian guernsey over 308 matches. Fourth in the 2012 Brownlow Medal.


24. Ted Richards

Sydney just find blokes and turn them into premiership stars. Richards struggled to cement a regular spot at Essendon before moving to the Swans for pick No.19 (Courtenay Dempsey) and pick No.50 (Sam Lonergan). There, the workmanlike and sometimes unfashionable stopper became one of the best defenders in the AFL. He was All-Australian and finished second in the best and fairest in the 2012 premiership campaign.

25. Trent Croad

The Hawks rubbed salt into Fremantle’s wounds here. After a brief stint in the west, Croad returned to Waverley at the end of 2003 in exchange for pick No.10 (Ryley Dunn). The strong and athletic backman often took the opposition’s best forward and was All-Australian in 2005. He broke his foot in the 2008 Grand Final and courageously laid a bump on Joel Selwood as he limped off the ground. Played 100 games in five seasons at Hawthorn until the career-ending foot injury.


26. Tom Mitchell

Another home run from the Hawks. They gave up pick No.16 for one of the prolific ballwinner. The onballer won the Hawks’ club champion award by a street in his first season at Waverley and is the Brownlow Medal favourite this year. Sydney on-traded pick No.16 to nab X-factor goalkicker Will Hayward and also cleared some salary cap space.

27. Josh Kelly

No matter how you slice and dice this contentious deal, Josh Kelly remains a cut above. Melbourne of, course, had some short-term needs when it gave up its No.2 pick to Greater Western Sydney for Dom Tyson and pick No.9. But unless Salem becomes a genuine A-grader, the Giants clearly hold the upper hand here.


28. Brodie Grundy

This was the best move Collingwood made as part of its 2012-14 list turnover. The Pies traded Sharrod Wellingham to West Coast for pick No.18. Collingwood used the selection to net the big slider in the 2012 national draft, Brodie Grundy. Wellingham had little impact in his five seasons on decent money in the west, while Grundy has become one of the AFL’s top ruckmen.

29. Callan Ward

This trade went pear-shaped quickly for Richmond with McMahon demoted to the VFL reserves in his second and final season for the Tigers under new coach Damien Hardwick. But the Dogs were huge winners. They received pick No.19 and found Callan Ward who helped drive the club to consecutive preliminary finals. They Dogs received pick No.6 to welcome gun midfielder Jack Macrae as compensation for Ward’s departure at the end of 2011.

30. Shane Mumford

Mumford left Geelong for more money and more opportunity at Sydney and it was a smart decision. In a fabulous first season, the bone-crushing big man finished runner-up in the best-and-fairest and made the All-Australian squad. By late 2012, the man originally discovered several years earlier playing local footy for Bunyip at 120kg, was a premiership ruckman. Geelong used the Mumford pick (No.28) on jet premiership midfielder Mitch Duncan. Win-win.

31. Charlie Curnow

For all the talk about Carlton’s list build, this decision was a gem. The Blues flipped picks No.25 (Josh Dunkley) and No.26 (Kieran Collins) over to the Bulldogs so they could land Charlie Curnow at pick No.12. It helped that Curnow slid down the draft order off the back of a draft-week arrest for refusing a breath test. But the brilliant forward is rated one of the most versatile, dynamic and exciting young players in the game.

32. Drew Petrie

Whether it was smart trading or just high-quality drafting, the Roos hit the jackpot with pick No.23 in the 2000 national draft. The Roos traded Evan Hewitt for the second-round pick and picked up Ballarat product Petrie whose long arms provided a fine marking target for more than 300 games across 16 consistent seasons. He led the Roos’ goalkicking on five occasions and memorably booted seven goals in Glen Archer’s 300th in the win over the Western Bulldogs.

33. Byron Pickett

He was known as the human wrecking ball, and there is little doubt about the impact he had in Port Adelaide’s inaugural premiership. Upsetting the all-conquering Brisbane, Pickett turned in a blinder in the 2004 Grand Final, racking up three goals and 20 possessions to win the Norm Smith Medal. He was sixth in the best-and-fairest in his first season at Port the year earlier. North Melbourne traded him for pick No.13 (on-traded for Leigh Brown) and No.31 (Joel Perry).

34. Tom Boyd

Is there a more divisive or contentious trade than this one? The Dogs caused shockwaves when a meeting in the underground garage of Peter Gordon’s house led to Tom Boyd’s departure after one season at Greater Western Sydney. The Giants landed pick No.6 (Caleb Marchbank) and Ryan Griffen, or as Jeremey Cameron said, a city slicker for a pig shooter. Whatever your view of Boyd’s $1 million-a-year pay packet, he delivered big time in the 2016 preliminary and Grand Finals, helping the Dogs break the longest premiership drought in the game’s history. A tick? It has to be now.


35. Zach Tuohy

It is hard to believe, but Geelong effectively only dropped five spots in the draft order for Zach Tuohy. The Cats gave up Billie Smedts, pick No.63 and their first-round selection (No.17) in 2016 to gain the gun Irish defender and Carlton’s second-round pick (No.22) the following year. Tuohy replaced Corey Enright at halfback and finished third in the Cats’ best-and-fairest last year.

36. Elliot Yeo

Brisbane lowballed Elliot Yeo in contract negotiations, leaving the door ajar for West Coast to zero in on the game breaking midfielder in late 2013. Yeo’s game has taken off as a permanent onballer this season and his size and strength in the clinches, combined with his running and marking power, is a massive weapon for Adam Simpson. Brisbane received pick No.28 back and plucked small forward-midfielder and Rising Star winner Lewis Taylor.

37. Sam Docherty

This penetrating backman was one of five players who left Brisbane with devastating consequences for the Lions at the end of 2013. Carlton split with only pick No.33 for Docherty in what now looks like a huge steal for the Blues. The rebounding halfback won Carlton’s best-and-fairest in 2016 and was runner-up and an All-Australian last year. Probably vice-captain next season, too, when he returns from a knee reconstruction.

38. David Mundy

Fremantle has blown a few trades in its early years but they nailed it with this one. Exciting defender Steven Koops was exchanged for pick No.19 in 2003, which netted them permanent midfield-forward David Mundy. Silky ball-user has finished top-three in the best-and-fairest three times and was All-Australian in 2015. Koops played only 11 games at the Kennel.


Daniel Wells at Arden St in his first year at North Melbourne.
39. Wayne Carey/Daniel Wells

The champion centre half-forward teamed up with gun onballer Mark Ricciuto for two final seasons at Adelaide in 2003-04. While injuries curbed Carey’s impact at the Crows, booting 56 goals in 28 games, North used the Carey picks to select Daniel Wells at No.2 and Kris Shore at No.18. Wells also had some injury dramas but was one of the most skilful midfielders of his time and won two best-and-fairests before moving to Collingwood.

40. Aaron Hamill

Courageous forward fell out with Carlton president John Elliott at the end of a career-best season in 2000, prompting a trade to St Kilda to help spearhead the club’s rebuild. Hamill finished third in the best-and-fairest in 2001, was captain in 2003 and helped lift the club into preliminary finals in 2004-05. But injuries had taken their toll later in his career. Carlton got little out of the deal, using pick No.4 on 46-gamer Luke Livingston and trading in Sam Cranage who played 10 games.


41. Shannon Hurn

The Eagles made sure they were front of the queue for Shannon Hurn in the 2005 national draft with this clever exchange. West Coast parted with pick No.18 and fringe forward Daniel McConnell for No.13 (Hurn) and No.29 (Ben McKinley). Hurn is the current captain and perhaps the most lethal field kick in the AFL. McConnell played six senior games in his career.

42. Bradley Hill

Few would have predicted the impact this running machine had from the get-go at Hawthorn. His electric mix of speed and endurance on the wing helped power the Hawks to three-straight flags despite some inconsistency in his junior career. Hawthorn traded Brent Renouf to Port Adelaide for the Hill pick (No.33). He joined Fremantle for pick No.23 at the end of 2016 and won the best and fairest in his first season.

43. Josh Jenkins

Adelaide landed the versatile forward for a bargain. They swapped pick No.31 to Essendon for pick No.41 and Jenkins, meaning the Crows only slid 10 places in the draft order. He has been a consistent gaolkicker and handy back-up ruckman, bagging more than 40 majors in each of his past four seasons. Adelaide fought off intense interest from Brisbane to sign Jenkins to a lucrative five-year deal in 2016.

44. Dayne Beams/Jordan De Goey

Collingwood really turned the screws on the Lions in talks over Dayne Beams. Yes, the Pies lost a star midfielder entering his prime, but Collingwood got plenty back. They turned pick No.5 into bullocking ballwinner Jordan de Goey at the 2014 national draft, used pick No.25 to prise Levi Greenwood from North Melbourne and acquired underrated ex-Brisbane running defender Jack Crisp. Collingwood’s approach here encouraged others to play hardball.


45. Mark LeCras

West Coast off-loaded Chad Morrison to Collingwood for pick No.37, which in turn snagged clever goalkicker Mark LeCras. The small forward has booted 431 goals, the third-most in the club’s history, across 209 games. Morrison played only two seasons and 21 more games at Collingwood.

46. Nathan Brown

The blockbuster move sent one of the league’s most skilful small forwards to Richmond to join forces with Matthew Richardson. And for a 10-week period in 2005, Brown was red-hot booting 34 goals to lift the Tigers into third position on the ladder. He said in a recent FoxFooty interview: “I was probably the most influential player in the AFL. (Nathan) Buckley was playing, Michael Voss was playing, but I don’t think anyone was having the influence I was having in those first 10 games.” But tragedy struck when the gun left-footer snapped his leg, and was never the same player. The Bulldogs received pick No.6 for Brown which it used to land Lochlan Veale and, in a controversial move, Jade Rawlings through the pre-season draft. Pick No.20 secured Geelong ruckman Peter Street.

47. Lachie Weller

We may only be in the first year of this deal, but what a steal for Fremantle. Gold Coast was so desperate to land an emerging midfielder that it forked over pick No.2 in a bumper draft for Dockers’ Lachie Weller. While Weller has had a modest season, the man Fremantle selected, Andrew Brayshaw, has thrived in the midfield and already looks like a 200-gamer.

48. Shaun Grigg

He’s been dubbed the ultimate glue guy at Richmond. Not the most athletic or skilled midfielder going around, but his football IQ is rated highly at Tigerland and teammates love him. And now Grigg is a premiership back-up ruckman after playing valuable role in the Tigers’ stunning 2017 premiership win. The veteran has hardly missed a game since crossing from Carlton in exchange for tough-nut Andrew Collins at the end of 2010.


49. Scott Thompson

One of the most successful mature-age pick-ups out of the VFL in recent times. The Roos traded ruckman Brad Moran to Adelaide in 2007 for pick No.37 which it used to beat Geelong to reliable and competitive key defender Scott Thompson. Played 213 games and placed top-three in the best and fairest three times. Moran played only 18 matches with the Crows.

50. Toby Nankervis

Richmond poached Sydney’s third-string ruckman for pick No.45 (Jack Maibaum) and turned him into a reliable premiership ruckman. Sydney would surely keep him if it had its time over. Absolute moneyball move from the Tigers.
 

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#23
Deals of the century: Jay Clark reveals the best trades of all-time
Jay Clark, Herald Sun
7 minutes ago
Subscriber only
OUTSIDE on-field action — the big goals, the crunching tackles, the super pack marks — nothing excites the football fan more than the prospect of nabbing a star from a rival club.

JAY CLARK has considered every major transaction — some man for man, some much more complicated — since 2000 to determine the 50 most successful.

These deals have transformed teams, delivered premierships, given supporters hope. But not everyone is a winner in footy’s meat market.

Here is Jay’s top 10 trades — don’t miss the full list on Monday night.


1. Luke Hodge and Sam Mitchell

Blockbuster trade deals don’t get any better than this one. Hawthorn parted with Luke McPharlin and Trent Croad to Fremantle in late 2001 for picks No.1 (Luke Hodge), No.20 (Daniel Elstone) and No.36 (Sam Mitchell). It was an incredibly bold call at the time, with many Hawks fans up in arms about the shock decision to off-load favourite son Croad. And while Hawthorn initially copped some more flak for picking Hodge over two-time Brownlow medallist Chris Judd, the Colac product led the Hawks to four premierships. Hodge’s courage, leadership and performances on the big stage are now legendary.


The Hawks also weighed up St Kilda great Leigh Montagna with pick No.36 but instead opted for Box Hill onballer Mitchell, who became one of the premier midfielders and of his era, winning a Brownlow in 2012. Croad played two seasons in the west but rejoined the Hawks in 2004 and played a key part in their 2008 flag.

2. Brad Ottens

The big man was the missing ingredient for the Cats. Geelong had built a superstar young midfield group by late 2014 but desperately needed another marking target in attack and, as it turned out, a reliable ruckman. And despite a slow start to his career at Geelong, prompting a fierce public defence from Mark Thompson, the Cats simply would not have won the 2007 preliminary final without Ottens’ heroics against Collingwood at the MCG. He played a key role in three Geelong flags despite some ongoing knee issues.

The Cats off-loaded Brent Moloney to Melbourne and packaged together picks No.12 (Danny Meyer) and No.16 (Adam Pattison) to Richmond for the injury-plagued big man. Masterstroke.


3. Shaun Burgoyne

It went down to mediation after days of tense negotiations, but finally Hawthorn secured the man that would play an integral role in three premierships and is regarded as one of the best big-game performers of the modern era. A midfield star at Port Adelaide, Burgoyne had immense talent but was struggling with some knee issues, and there were no guarantees his career would last more than three more seasons.

But Hawthorn talent guru Chris Pelchen, who worked on the deal for a full year, brought “Silk” to Hawthorn in 2009 as part of a complicated four-way deal that saw the Hawks hand over pick No.9 (Andrew Moore) and No.16 (Jasper Pittard). Hawthorn received pick No.16 from Essendon for sharpshooter Mark Williams. Geelong came to the rescue when it parted with pick No.33 (which went to Essendon to use on Anthony Long) for later selections No. 40 (Allen Christensen), No. 42 (Nathan Vardy) and No. 56 (Josh Cowan).


4. Josh Gibson

Gibson was a solid, albeit somewhat undersized key defender when he was shipped off to Hawthorn in late 2009 for picks No.25 (Aaron Black) and No.41 (Ayden Kennedy). It was yet another trade coup for the Hawks as Gibson became a premiership linchpin, winning best and fairests in the 2013 and 2015 flag campaigns. He set the record for spoils with 21 in the 2011 semi-final against Sydney, moved on to Matthew Pavlich in the second-half of the 2013 Grand Final and had 32 and 29 disposals in the 2014 and 2015 deciders. The Hawks also picked up utility Taylor Duryea with pick No.61 as part of the Gibson deal.

5. Josh Kennedy (Syd)

Again Hawthorn is involved, but this time the Hawks are on the other end of a monster trade deal. One of the most consistent midfielders of the past decade, Kennedy was struggling to cement his position in a star-studded Hawthorn midfield playing 13 senior games in 2008-09. So he moved up north with Ben McGlynn for picks No.39 (Sam Grimley), No.46 (Ben Stratton) and No.70 (Matthew Suckling).

Yes, the Hawks hit the nail on the head with Stratton, who is one of the most underrated defenders of his time, and rocket-launching defender Suckling. But Kennedy’s influence on the Swans has been enormous. The three-time All-Australian, 2012 premiership player and current captain has finished in the top-four of the best and fairest count in each of the past seven seasons.


6. Patrick Dangerfield

The superstar midfielder has won a Brownlow and two Carji Greeves Medals in his first two seasons at the Cattery, helping keep open the club’s premiership window. Clearly, this trade has been a big win for the Cats already, and that’s not including his huge off-field marketing and media appeal. Dangerfield was technically eligible for free agency in late 2015, but Adelaide forced the Cats into a trade to ensure the Crows received meatier compensation.

In the end, the Cats coughed up picks No.9 (Wayne Milera) and No.28 (on-traded for Troy Menzel) and Dean Gore. Ironically, Gore was delisted from Adelaide without playing a senior game and has since rejoined the Cats’ VFL ranks. Dangerfield is one of the top players in the game his breakaway speed and forward craft remains the Cats’ No.1 asset.


7. Chris Judd/Josh Kennedy (WC)

Probably the most-talked about trade deal in the history of the game. Chris Judd was one of the top players in the league when he made the bombshell call to head home, and picked Carlton over Essendon, Melbourne and Collingwood. At the time, West Coast powerbrokers said it was impossible to receive fair compensation for a player of Judd’s calibre, but out of it they landed picks No.3 (Chris Masten) and No.20 (Tony Notte) and two-time Coleman medallist and six-time leading goalkicker Josh Kennedy.

While Kennedy has become a superstar spearhead, you can’t underrate Judd’s influence at Carlton from 2008. The brilliant midfielder led the club out of a dark era, changed the culture and gave the Blues hope. He was a heck of a player at Ikon Park, despite some early groin trouble, winning a Brownlow Medal, four-straight All-Australian jerseys, three Carlton best and fairests and, as captain, delivered two finals wins. So who won the trade? Even though Masten has never become a star and Notte didn’t make it, Judd himself believes West Coast “probably get the points”.


8. Barry Hall

Barry Hall’s off-field dramas reached breaking point when he requested a trade from St Kilda. The goal kicker turned down interest from Carlton to move up north to Sydney, with huge success. On the field, the powerhouse spearhead captained Sydney to a premiership in 2005 and Grand Final in 2006. He led the club’s goal kicking seven times and was a three-time All-Australian with the Swans. He was also voted the most valuable player in the competition by the AFL Coaches’ Association in the 2005 premiership year.

Off the field, he was a face of the game in Sydney. The move cost the Swans picks No.13 (Nick Dal Santo), No.17 (on-traded for Heath Black) and No.45 (Nathan Clarke). All up, it was a huge deal for the Swans, Cats (who gained James Kelly) and the Saints. Dal Santo became one of the smoothest-movers in the game and helped lead the Saints to Grand Finals in 2009-10.


9. Brian Lake

Some thought Brian Lake was shot at the end of 2012. Patchy form and injury troubles left the veteran defender’s career at the crossroads at the kennel. His manager Marty Pask discussed the trade to Waverley with Hawthorn list guru Graham Wright over coffee mid-year, and then kept it secret from Lake himself until Grand Final day. While some may argue Lake was just in the right spot at the right time, the move in hindsight was genius as the attacking key defender played a key role in three-straight flags between 2013-15.

He proved his worth in the tightly-contested 2013 Grand Final win over Fremantle, winning the Norm Smith Medal for his aerial dominance in the second half. Lake moved to Hawthorn along with pick No.27 (on-traded for Tim O’Brien) for picks No.21 (Nathan Hrovat) and No.41 (on-traded for Koby Stevens). We questioned why the Hawks would give up an early second-round pick for a veteran fullback at the time, but it paid rich dividends.


10. Fraser Gehrig/Daniel Kerr

One of the best win-win deals in AFL history, St Kilda and West Coast both benefited enormously from this swap in late 2000. The Saints parted with pick No.18 (Kerr) and David Sierakowski for cult figure Gehrig, who excelled at both ends for the Saints. The powerhouse was runner up in the best and fairest at fullback in 2001 and then won two Coleman Medals and led the Saints goal kicking in five straight seasons.

Kerr, meanwhile, quickly became one of the league’s most dynamic and tough on-ballers in a champion West Coast midfield. Kerr finished runner-up in the Brownlow Medal in 2005 and 2007 and polled the third most votes in 2006. Remarkably successful trade.

11. James Clement and Brodie Holland

There was little fanfare when Collingwood swapped pick No.39 (Adam McPhee) for two fringe Dockers only days before the 2000 Sydney Olympics. But what a turnaround. After managing only 14 games between them in their last season in purple, classy defender Clement and hard-running midfielder Holland became two of Michael Malthouse’s most trusted and consistent performers as the Pies contested the 2002-03 Grand Finals. A stand-in captain for Nathan Buckley at times, Clement won back-to-back best and fairests in 2004-05 and finished second in 2006. The deal hinged on another smart move to send Paul Williams to Sydney for picks No.8 and No.39.

12. Jordan Lewis

More cleverness from the Hawks. The club moved on Nathan Thompson for pick No.10 in the 2004 national draft and wanted a hard nut midfielder to partner twin towers Lance Franklin and Jarryd Roughead. But Jordan Lewis would be gone by pick No.10, so the Hawks shipped off that choice and Bo Nixon for pick No.7 to make sure they landed Lewis. The hard ball-winner played an integral role in four premierships at Hawthorn and is now chasing a fifth flag in his second season at Melbourne. Thompson finished sixth and second in the Roos’ best-and-fairest in his first two years at North before retiring due to depression after his third season.

13. James Kelly

The Cats off-loaded high-flying forward Clint Bizzell for pick No.17, which master recruiter Stephen Wells turned into three-time premiership midfielder James Kelly. Bizzell played 88 games for the Demons, while the uncomplicated and defensively-minded Kelly was a team favourite. Made All-Australian in the 2011 premiership season and played 313 games, including a two-year stint at Essendon.

14. Grant Birchall

Port wanted to top-up after its 2004 flag and targeted left-footer Nathan Lonie from Hawthorn. The Hawks received pick No.14 in return for Lonie and used that selection on four-time premiership defender Grant Birchall. Has there been a consistently better field kick than Birchall over the past decade? The Tasmanian’s centimetre-perfect ball use was one of Alastair Clarkson’s biggest weapons out of the back half. Runner-up in the 2014 best-and-fairest.

15. Mal Michael

Michael’s career took-off at Brisbane where he became a key cog in one of the greatest defensive units of all-time. While the triple-premiership Lion never received the individual accolades he probably deserved, missing out on All-Australian selection, he was one of the most physical, durable and consistent fullbacks in the competition, playing 140 of a possible 145 games in six seasons up north. An intimidating figure, the Lions nabbed Michael and pick No.22 (Richard Hadley) for Jarrod Molloy and pick No.44.

16. Sean Dempster and Adam Schneider

Exquisite trading from Saints. Dempster was already a premiership defender at the Swans when he moved to Moorabbin alongside clever goalkicker Adam Schneider for pick No.26 (Brett Meredith). The duo cost the Saints peanuts, in hindsight. Dempster was a blue-collar defender who became an even better player under Ross Lyon, finishing top-three in the Saints’ best-and-fairest four times.

17. Peter Bell

The two-time North Melbourne premiership player was a shining light during a tough time for the Dockers. The tenacious midfielder won three best-and-fairests in the west, but carried a huge load at times. He picked up 38 possessions and two goals and 44 possessions and three goals in Fremantle’s only two wins in 2001. The Dockers paid a big price for Bell, giving up Jess Sinclair, pick No.6 (Dylan Smith) and No.37 (Guy Richards), but welcomed a man who would become a club icon.

18. Darren Jolly

Collingwood needed a ruckman, and this superb trade helped signal a more aggressive mode of thinking from clubs in the premiership window. The Pies had relied on Cameron Wood in the 2009 finals series and smartly targeted 2005 Sydney premiership ruckman Darren Jolly. The big man played 26 games in 2010 and helped lead the Pies to the premiership win over St Kilda, finishing 10th in the best-and-fairest that year. Sydney received picks No.14 (Lewis Jetta) and on-traded No.46 to snare Josh Kennedy. Both were key planks in the 2012 flag win over Hawthorn. What a deal.


19. Dion Prestia/Josh Caddy

The foresight on this one went against the grain of public opinion. The Tigers were thought to be in major trouble after missing finals in 2016, but hard nut Gold Coast midfielder Dion Prestia saw the potential in the list. Richmond parted with pick No.6 and a future-second round selection for Prestia and pick No.26, which it on-traded for Josh Caddy. The two players were crucial cogs in the Tigers stunning flag win last year. The Cats nabbed Brandon Parfitt at No.26.

20. Jack Gunston

One of the hardest-running forwards in the game, the Jack Gunston trade has been another red-hot move from the Hawks. He arrived in late 2011 after two seasons in Adelaide and has bagged almost 300 goals in brown and gold, saving some of his best performances for the biggest stage. He placed second in the 2013 Norm Smith Medal for his crucial four-goal contribution against Fremantle in the 2013 Grand Final. Adelaide received picks No.24 (on-traded for Sam Kerridge), No.46 (Nick Joyce) and No.71 (on-traded for Cam Ellis-Yolmen) for Gunston.


21. Sam Jacobs

Jacobs was a back-up ruckman at Carlton when Adelaide snared him for a bargain-based price in late 2010. The Blues already had Matthew Kreuzer, Robbie Warnock and Cameron Cloke, so the Crows swooped on Jacobs, giving up picks No.34 (Patrick McCarthy) and No.67 (Andrew McInness). Since then, Jacobs has flourished into one of the league’s most consistent and prolific ruckmen. He led the AFL for hit-outs last year and has made the All-Australian squad three times, without ever making the team.

22. David Hale

Hale’s career at North was starting to stutter when Alastair Clarkson’s crew swooped again. The Hawks passed on picks No.27 (Kieran Harper) and No.71 (Ben Mabon) for Hale and pick No.52 (on-traded for Kyle Cheney). But the sweetener was Hawthorn also received pick No.66 from Melbourne in the Cheney on-trade which landed premiership small forward Paul Poupolo. The Dees did well, too, snaring Tom McDonald at pick No.53, which also came from Hawthorn. Hale was structurally important, playing key forward and second ruck in the Hawks’ three flags.

23. Scott Thompson

As it turned out, Melbourne let go one of the best ballwinners in the competition when it parted with Thompson for pick No.12 in at the end of 2014. The Demons used the choice to gain Brent Moloney from Geelong. Not a bad replacement, but Thompson was a star in Adelaide for long time, winning two best-and-fairests and an All-Australian guernsey over 308 matches. Fourth in the 2012 Brownlow Medal.


24. Ted Richards

Sydney just find blokes and turn them into premiership stars. Richards struggled to cement a regular spot at Essendon before moving to the Swans for pick No.19 (Courtenay Dempsey) and pick No.50 (Sam Lonergan). There, the workmanlike and sometimes unfashionable stopper became one of the best defenders in the AFL. He was All-Australian and finished second in the best and fairest in the 2012 premiership campaign.

25. Trent Croad

The Hawks rubbed salt into Fremantle’s wounds here. After a brief stint in the west, Croad returned to Waverley at the end of 2003 in exchange for pick No.10 (Ryley Dunn). The strong and athletic backman often took the opposition’s best forward and was All-Australian in 2005. He broke his foot in the 2008 Grand Final and courageously laid a bump on Joel Selwood as he limped off the ground. Played 100 games in five seasons at Hawthorn until the career-ending foot injury.


26. Tom Mitchell

Another home run from the Hawks. They gave up pick No.16 for one of the prolific ballwinner. The onballer won the Hawks’ club champion award by a street in his first season at Waverley and is the Brownlow Medal favourite this year. Sydney on-traded pick No.16 to nab X-factor goalkicker Will Hayward and also cleared some salary cap space.

27. Josh Kelly

No matter how you slice and dice this contentious deal, Josh Kelly remains a cut above. Melbourne of, course, had some short-term needs when it gave up its No.2 pick to Greater Western Sydney for Dom Tyson and pick No.9. But unless Salem becomes a genuine A-grader, the Giants clearly hold the upper hand here.


28. Brodie Grundy

This was the best move Collingwood made as part of its 2012-14 list turnover. The Pies traded Sharrod Wellingham to West Coast for pick No.18. Collingwood used the selection to net the big slider in the 2012 national draft, Brodie Grundy. Wellingham had little impact in his five seasons on decent money in the west, while Grundy has become one of the AFL’s top ruckmen.

29. Callan Ward

This trade went pear-shaped quickly for Richmond with McMahon demoted to the VFL reserves in his second and final season for the Tigers under new coach Damien Hardwick. But the Dogs were huge winners. They received pick No.19 and found Callan Ward who helped drive the club to consecutive preliminary finals. They Dogs received pick No.6 to welcome gun midfielder Jack Macrae as compensation for Ward’s departure at the end of 2011.

30. Shane Mumford

Mumford left Geelong for more money and more opportunity at Sydney and it was a smart decision. In a fabulous first season, the bone-crushing big man finished runner-up in the best-and-fairest and made the All-Australian squad. By late 2012, the man originally discovered several years earlier playing local footy for Bunyip at 120kg, was a premiership ruckman. Geelong used the Mumford pick (No.28) on jet premiership midfielder Mitch Duncan. Win-win.

31. Charlie Curnow

For all the talk about Carlton’s list build, this decision was a gem. The Blues flipped picks No.25 (Josh Dunkley) and No.26 (Kieran Collins) over to the Bulldogs so they could land Charlie Curnow at pick No.12. It helped that Curnow slid down the draft order off the back of a draft-week arrest for refusing a breath test. But the brilliant forward is rated one of the most versatile, dynamic and exciting young players in the game.

32. Drew Petrie

Whether it was smart trading or just high-quality drafting, the Roos hit the jackpot with pick No.23 in the 2000 national draft. The Roos traded Evan Hewitt for the second-round pick and picked up Ballarat product Petrie whose long arms provided a fine marking target for more than 300 games across 16 consistent seasons. He led the Roos’ goalkicking on five occasions and memorably booted seven goals in Glen Archer’s 300th in the win over the Western Bulldogs.

33. Byron Pickett

He was known as the human wrecking ball, and there is little doubt about the impact he had in Port Adelaide’s inaugural premiership. Upsetting the all-conquering Brisbane, Pickett turned in a blinder in the 2004 Grand Final, racking up three goals and 20 possessions to win the Norm Smith Medal. He was sixth in the best-and-fairest in his first season at Port the year earlier. North Melbourne traded him for pick No.13 (on-traded for Leigh Brown) and No.31 (Joel Perry).

34. Tom Boyd

Is there a more divisive or contentious trade than this one? The Dogs caused shockwaves when a meeting in the underground garage of Peter Gordon’s house led to Tom Boyd’s departure after one season at Greater Western Sydney. The Giants landed pick No.6 (Caleb Marchbank) and Ryan Griffen, or as Jeremey Cameron said, a city slicker for a pig shooter. Whatever your view of Boyd’s $1 million-a-year pay packet, he delivered big time in the 2016 preliminary and Grand Finals, helping the Dogs break the longest premiership drought in the game’s history. A tick? It has to be now.


35. Zach Tuohy

It is hard to believe, but Geelong effectively only dropped five spots in the draft order for Zach Tuohy. The Cats gave up Billie Smedts, pick No.63 and their first-round selection (No.17) in 2016 to gain the gun Irish defender and Carlton’s second-round pick (No.22) the following year. Tuohy replaced Corey Enright at halfback and finished third in the Cats’ best-and-fairest last year.

36. Elliot Yeo

Brisbane lowballed Elliot Yeo in contract negotiations, leaving the door ajar for West Coast to zero in on the game breaking midfielder in late 2013. Yeo’s game has taken off as a permanent onballer this season and his size and strength in the clinches, combined with his running and marking power, is a massive weapon for Adam Simpson. Brisbane received pick No.28 back and plucked small forward-midfielder and Rising Star winner Lewis Taylor.

37. Sam Docherty

This penetrating backman was one of five players who left Brisbane with devastating consequences for the Lions at the end of 2013. Carlton split with only pick No.33 for Docherty in what now looks like a huge steal for the Blues. The rebounding halfback won Carlton’s best-and-fairest in 2016 and was runner-up and an All-Australian last year. Probably vice-captain next season, too, when he returns from a knee reconstruction.

38. David Mundy

Fremantle has blown a few trades in its early years but they nailed it with this one. Exciting defender Steven Koops was exchanged for pick No.19 in 2003, which netted them permanent midfield-forward David Mundy. Silky ball-user has finished top-three in the best-and-fairest three times and was All-Australian in 2015. Koops played only 11 games at the Kennel.


Daniel Wells at Arden St in his first year at North Melbourne.
39. Wayne Carey/Daniel Wells

The champion centre half-forward teamed up with gun onballer Mark Ricciuto for two final seasons at Adelaide in 2003-04. While injuries curbed Carey’s impact at the Crows, booting 56 goals in 28 games, North used the Carey picks to select Daniel Wells at No.2 and Kris Shore at No.18. Wells also had some injury dramas but was one of the most skilful midfielders of his time and won two best-and-fairests before moving to Collingwood.

40. Aaron Hamill

Courageous forward fell out with Carlton president John Elliott at the end of a career-best season in 2000, prompting a trade to St Kilda to help spearhead the club’s rebuild. Hamill finished third in the best-and-fairest in 2001, was captain in 2003 and helped lift the club into preliminary finals in 2004-05. But injuries had taken their toll later in his career. Carlton got little out of the deal, using pick No.4 on 46-gamer Luke Livingston and trading in Sam Cranage who played 10 games.


41. Shannon Hurn

The Eagles made sure they were front of the queue for Shannon Hurn in the 2005 national draft with this clever exchange. West Coast parted with pick No.18 and fringe forward Daniel McConnell for No.13 (Hurn) and No.29 (Ben McKinley). Hurn is the current captain and perhaps the most lethal field kick in the AFL. McConnell played six senior games in his career.

42. Bradley Hill

Few would have predicted the impact this running machine had from the get-go at Hawthorn. His electric mix of speed and endurance on the wing helped power the Hawks to three-straight flags despite some inconsistency in his junior career. Hawthorn traded Brent Renouf to Port Adelaide for the Hill pick (No.33). He joined Fremantle for pick No.23 at the end of 2016 and won the best and fairest in his first season.

43. Josh Jenkins

Adelaide landed the versatile forward for a bargain. They swapped pick No.31 to Essendon for pick No.41 and Jenkins, meaning the Crows only slid 10 places in the draft order. He has been a consistent gaolkicker and handy back-up ruckman, bagging more than 40 majors in each of his past four seasons. Adelaide fought off intense interest from Brisbane to sign Jenkins to a lucrative five-year deal in 2016.

44. Dayne Beams/Jordan De Goey

Collingwood really turned the screws on the Lions in talks over Dayne Beams. Yes, the Pies lost a star midfielder entering his prime, but Collingwood got plenty back. They turned pick No.5 into bullocking ballwinner Jordan de Goey at the 2014 national draft, used pick No.25 to prise Levi Greenwood from North Melbourne and acquired underrated ex-Brisbane running defender Jack Crisp. Collingwood’s approach here encouraged others to play hardball.


45. Mark LeCras

West Coast off-loaded Chad Morrison to Collingwood for pick No.37, which in turn snagged clever goalkicker Mark LeCras. The small forward has booted 431 goals, the third-most in the club’s history, across 209 games. Morrison played only two seasons and 21 more games at Collingwood.

46. Nathan Brown

The blockbuster move sent one of the league’s most skilful small forwards to Richmond to join forces with Matthew Richardson. And for a 10-week period in 2005, Brown was red-hot booting 34 goals to lift the Tigers into third position on the ladder. He said in a recent FoxFooty interview: “I was probably the most influential player in the AFL. (Nathan) Buckley was playing, Michael Voss was playing, but I don’t think anyone was having the influence I was having in those first 10 games.” But tragedy struck when the gun left-footer snapped his leg, and was never the same player. The Bulldogs received pick No.6 for Brown which it used to land Lochlan Veale and, in a controversial move, Jade Rawlings through the pre-season draft. Pick No.20 secured Geelong ruckman Peter Street.

47. Lachie Weller

We may only be in the first year of this deal, but what a steal for Fremantle. Gold Coast was so desperate to land an emerging midfielder that it forked over pick No.2 in a bumper draft for Dockers’ Lachie Weller. While Weller has had a modest season, the man Fremantle selected, Andrew Brayshaw, has thrived in the midfield and already looks like a 200-gamer.

48. Shaun Grigg

He’s been dubbed the ultimate glue guy at Richmond. Not the most athletic or skilled midfielder going around, but his football IQ is rated highly at Tigerland and teammates love him. And now Grigg is a premiership back-up ruckman after playing valuable role in the Tigers’ stunning 2017 premiership win. The veteran has hardly missed a game since crossing from Carlton in exchange for tough-nut Andrew Collins at the end of 2010.


49. Scott Thompson

One of the most successful mature-age pick-ups out of the VFL in recent times. The Roos traded ruckman Brad Moran to Adelaide in 2007 for pick No.37 which it used to beat Geelong to reliable and competitive key defender Scott Thompson. Played 213 games and placed top-three in the best and fairest three times. Moran played only 18 matches with the Crows.

50. Toby Nankervis

Richmond poached Sydney’s third-string ruckman for pick No.45 (Jack Maibaum) and turned him into a reliable premiership ruckman. Sydney would surely keep him if it had its time over. Absolute moneyball move from the Tigers.
Look it's only a minor quibble but there are a heap of trades where they are being credited for getting player x but what they actually got was a draft pick and the selection on player x was a completely different scenario. I can understand trading for Luke Hodge at pick 1 but getting James Kelly at 33 isn't because of the trade.
 

Rooboy 96

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#24
Look it's only a minor quibble but there are a heap of trades where they are being credited for getting player x but what they actually got was a draft pick and the selection on player x was a completely different scenario. I can understand trading for Luke Hodge at pick 1 but getting James Kelly at 33 isn't because of the trade.
the other quibble is I am sure we got Collingwood's pick 8 of Freo as well for Bell or HTF did we get Junior?
 
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