Former Hawk Stephen Gilham has been traded to GWS. Photo: Sebastian Costanzo
THE SKINNY: Is in turmoil after explosive allegations about a secret deal with Kurt Tippett to trade him to his club of choice was exposed. It had originally been thought Tippett would have headed home to Queensland and linked with either the Suns or Lions but he chose Sydney. The Swans had offered their first-round pick, No.23 overall, and Jesse White for the key forward. But Tippett is in limbo and he could be forced into the draft. The Crows had been one of the first movers in free agency, allowing unrestricted free agent Chris Knights to join Richmond. The Crows wanted a third-round draft pick for the forward but received nothing. The club later did a deal with ruck-forward Angus Graham. The Tigers exchanged Graham and their round-three selection to the Crows for their round-two selection. Brenton Sanderson had also shown some interest in former Geelong forward Shannon Byrnes.
VERDICT: An unmitigated disaster. The Crows were happy to take pick 23 for Tippett but Sydney's insistence that White be thrown in has exposed an alleged shady deal between Tippett, his manager and the Crows.
DRAFT PICKS: 20, 54, 64, 83, 101, 119, 137
THE SKINNY: Started the period as a major player to lure Kurt Tippett home, but soon realised the big Adelaide forward was leaning towards Sydney. The Lions then shifted their focus to a midfielder, securing former Melbourne best and fairest Brent Moloney, a restricted free agent. The Lions also interviewed Demons ruckman Stefan Martin, who had a year left on his contract, and had to wait until the last minute to resolve a stalemate in negotiations. The 25-year-old will reunite with Moloney in a deal that sent picks 53 and 73 to Melbourne.
VERDICT: The Lions had craved Tippett as the man to build their forward line around when Jonathan Brown retires. Moloney, though, adds to their midfield depth and the Lions will hope he can return to his form of 2011.
DRAFT PICKS: 8, 24, 33, 91, 109, 127
THE SKINNY: Football manager Andrew McKay made it known before the trade period that his club was unlikely to make a splash, and that proved the case. The Blues, with little room to move in their salary cap, did not bring in any new players, despite showing interest in luring a key forward. Eagle Quinten Lynch, Collingwood’s Chris Dawes and Essendon’s Scott Gumbleton were looked at. The only deal they did banked a fourth-round selection in exchange for defender Jordan Russell, who was likely to be delisted anyway. Paul Bower and Bret Thornton are out, too. But the Blues did set about re-signing midfielder Brock McLean and key forward Levi Casboult. Tom Bell will also return, despite interest from other clubs in the strongly-built midfielder.
VERDICT: Didn't lose any key players. New coach Mick Malthouse has preferred to develop a list he has inherited rather than make too many early changes. It's one many commentators feel needs toughening up but is in premiership contention.
DRAFT PICKS: 11, 36, 56, 71, 76, 94, 112, 130
THE SKINNY: The Magpies were shrewd operators. They lost Chris Dawes to Melbourne and Sharrod Wellingham to West Coast but found like-for-like replacements in Quinten Lynch and former Hawk Clinton Young. They also traded Tom Young for a fourth-round draft pick and then used that as a bargaining chip to add Carlton’s Jordan Russell to the list, essentially replacing a young defender for a more experienced one. The club had admitted it needed to improve its ball use when kicking inside 50 and Young will help in this area. Lynch will play the ruck-forward role the club values so highly. The Magpies have also cleverly accrued key picks in next month’s national draft, leading off with 18, 19 and 21.
VERDICT: Was smart with its moves, reinforcing why it is one of the league’s power clubs.
DRAFT PICKS: 18, 19, 21, 39, 82, 100, 118, 136
THE SKINNY: Landed the big fish of free agency when, on day one, it lured Brendon Goddard from St Kilda on a four-year deal. The Saints refused to consider anything more than a three-year contract. Then traded Angus Monfries to Port Adelaide for a round-three selection. Joe Daniher was announced as a father-son selection, with the Bombers to use their first-round pick (No. 10) on the promising forward. Retained Scott Gumbleton, who agonised over a two-year offer from the Western Bulldogs. Re-signed David Hille and Alwyn Davey, but Nathan Lovett-Murray remains uncontracted.
VERDICT: Goddard will add some much-needed class through the midfield and half-back as the Bombers look to secure a top-four spot. Daniher will be the man they eventually build their forward line around — all going well.
DRAFT PICKS: 10, 35, 52, 55, 75, 93, 111, 129
THE SKINNY: Was active on day one of free agency when it lodged a bid for Port Adelaide’s Danyle Pearce, a former Rising Star award winner. The Dockers also pursued Sharrod Wellingham but the Perth native chose West Coast. Defender Greg Broughton was chased by a few clubs but ultimately linked with Gold Coast. The Dockers also threw in pick 60, with the Suns returning pick 37. Have re-signed Adam McPhee to a one-year extension. There is speculation Jack Anthony has quit the club.
VERDICT: Had a fairly quiet trade period but landed the man it wanted in Pearce. The Dockers wanted more run through the middle and Pearce will provide this.
DRAFT PICKS: 17, 37, 40, 80, 98, 116, 134
THE SKINNY: Changed its philosophy of the past decade and actively sought talent from rival clubs. This approach would generate a bountiful harvest, securing Josh Caddy (Gold Coast), Hamish McIntosh (North Melbourne) and Jared Rivers (Melbourne). The Cats hope Caddy will be a midfield general among their next generation of talent, McIntosh — provided he can remain fit — is a major boost in the ruck, while Rivers will help replace the retired Matthew Scarlett. Shannon Byrnes, who had little impact under Chris Scott, went to Melbourne while Orren Stephenson, the feel-good story of last year’s national draft, has been delisted.
VERDICT: Gave up three draft picks to get Caddy and McIntosh, but still has No.16 as its first-round selection. McIntosh is a gamble because of injury but Caddy and Rivers should deliver what the Cats hope. Remains in premiership calculations.
DRAFT PICKS: 16, 79, 97, 115, 133
THE SKINNY: Was given the right to draft highly rated 17-year-old West Australian Jack Martin — who can’t play until 2014 — after giving Greater Western Sydney its No.2 national draft pick and a swap of lesser picks. Opted against bidding for Melbourne’s father-son Jack Viney. Lost Josh Caddy, its former No.7 draft pick and a man Gary Ablett had tipped good things from, in exchange for the Cats’ 2010 Ablett compensation pick and a round-three selection. Ruckman Tom Hickey has left for St Kilda, but the Suns claimed the Saints’ Brendon Goddard compensation pick, meaning they will have a first-round selection. Would appear to have boosted their leaky defence by securing former Hawk Tom Murphy and former Fremantle rookie Greg Broughton, who finished third in the Dockers’ best and fairest in 2011.
VERDICT: Murphy was a shrewd selection but the emphasis remains on developing a young list. Heading into its third AFL season, the pressure to deliver is now on.
DRAFT PICKS: 13, 57, 59, 60, 87, 105, 123
GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY
THE SKINNY: Used its start-up concessions and its hold on the 17-year-old mini draft to stockpile draft picks and build for the long-term future. Deals involving West Australians Jesse Hogan and Jack Martin left the Giants with the top three choices in this year's draft. Overall, the Giants will enter the draft with five first-round selections. There were suggestions that the Giants would use a high pick to lure a key player from another club but that did not eventuate. However a late deal, involving an exchange of draft picks and the loss of Jed Anderson, brought former Hawks premiership defender Stephen Gilham to the club, where he will get far greater opportunities.
VERDICT: A bit hard to call. Stephen Silvagni's master plan means the Giants will have 25 first-round draft picks on their list once this draft is over. They hope this will be the basis for their eventual first premiership but the immediate future will be about avoiding the second-year blues and grooming coach-in-waiting Leon Cameron.
DRAFT PICKS: 1, 2, 3, 12, 14, 28, 65, 69, 86, 104, 122
THE SKINNY: Pulled off what it hopes will be a masterstroke by luring former All-Australian Brian Lake from the Western Bulldogs. The Hawks have long needed a big, quality defender who they can trust to go one-on-one against an opponent. While the Hawks gave up their first-round pick, an exchange of second-round selections means their first pick in this year's draft will only be six spots lower than it otherwise would have been. But while Lake came in, the Hawks lost defenders Tom Murphy (Gold Coast) and Stephen Gilham (Greater Western Sydney) to expansion clubs. The Gilham deal involved the two clubs swapping draft picks, and the Hawks snaring the Giants' Northern Territory zone selection Jed Anderson. Hawthorn also lost unrestricted free agent Clinton Young to Collingwood and were upset about the compensation. But Matt Spangher and pick 72 arrived from Sydney for pick 66.
VERDICT: If there was a glaring weakness, it was at full-back. Having Lake means the desperate need for Josh Gibson to help cover a teammate and go third-man up may not be so great.
DRAFT PICKS: 29, 68, 72, 84, 102, 120, 138
THE SKINNY: Made the decision to let Hamish McIntosh go, realising Todd Goldstein played his best football when allowed to shoulder the ruck load, rather than sharing it with another front-liner. Got back a second-round selection in the McIntosh deal, giving them four picks in the top 50. Pursued Port Adelaide's 20-year-old key defender Ben Jacobs, who had nominated the Roos as his preferred club. But the deal didn't get done. Key defender Cam Pedersen has joined Melbourne in a straight swap for midfielder Jordan Gysberts, a former first-round draft pick, while Aaron Edwards will be a Tiger next year. Re-signed midfielder Liam Anthony and key forward Lachie Hansen, the latter having had interest from Fremantle.
VERDICT: Coach Brad Scott has had a spring clean-out. Will now be hoping the natural improvement the list showed this season continues.
DRAFT PICKS: 15, 38, 42, 48, 58, 63, 78, 96, 114, 132
THE SKINNY: Mark Neeld realised his list required a major overhaul and was aggressive in trying to recruit experienced talent. Pounced on two-time Geelong premiership forward Shannon Byrnes to add leg speed and outside polish. Port Adelaide midfielder David Rodan, who was chased by a few of clubs, came at the cost of a fifth-round pick. Officially added father-son Jack Viney, and did not have to give up a first-round pick to do so. Were also in the market for Scott Gumbleton and Quinten Lynch but eventually landed Chris Dawes. On the final day of trade, swapped Jordan Gysberts for North's Cam Pederson and ran out of patience with Cale Morton, sending him to West Coast. The clean-out also featured Stefan Martin moving to Brisbane for two late draft picks, while Jared Rivers (Geelong) and Brent Moloney (also Brisbane) left as well. The Demons parted with their No. 3 draft pick for the services of 17-year-old key forward Jesse Hogan, who will be ineligible to play next year. The deal also included the club trading away selection 13 to secure midfield dynamo Dom Barry and pick 20 from the Giants.
VERDICT: Was busy right throughout. Appeared to focus on their forward line - now and in the future. Dawes and Byrnes now, Hogan the future. With two years remaining on his contract, Neeld knows he needs wins next season.
DRAFT PICKS: 4, 27, 49, 53, 70, 73, 74, 88, 106, 124
THE SKINNY: The Power have been busy. Secured young defender Jack Hombsch and Jake Neade from the GWS for a round-two selection. Lost Danyle Pearce to Fremantle and key defender Troy Chaplin to Richmond on the opening days of free agency but have added run through the midfield in securing Angus Monfries via a trade with Essendon. Interviewed Carlton's Jordan Russell but pulled out of talks. Were also interested in Fremantle's Greg Broughton but gave up on the bid. Allowed Steven Salopek to leave. Had several clubs target former first-round draft pick Ben Jacobs. David Rodan would have been delisted and then become a free agent, but Port managed to secure a fifth-round pick from Melbourne for the 29-year-old. They then on-traded that selection to West Coast for defender Lewis Stevenson. Secured former Swan Campbell Heath for a fourth-round selection.
VERDICT: Under new coach Ken Hinkley, the Power face a major rebuild that is going to involve more pain. Has No. 7 as its first draft pick plus a pair of second-round selections.
DRAFT PICKS: 7, 30, 31, 85, 90, 108, 126
THE SKINNY: Coach Damien Hardwick said his recruiting team would again be aggressive, believing it had hit the mark with players such as Ivan Maric, Shaun Grigg and Bachar Houli in recent years. The Tigers would like to think they have again done well, grabbing Port Adelaide key defender Troy Chaplin, former Crows forward Chris Knights and North Melbourne's Aaron Edwards, who fell out of favour at Arden Street. The Tigers needed experience in defence and believe Chaplin can be the man to assist Alex Rance. Sent reserve ruckman Angus Graham and a round-three selection to Adelaide in return for a second-round selection.
VERDICT: Were active early, identifying Chaplin and Knights as players that could fill a specific role in a similar manner to what Sydney has successfully done. How Edwards fits into the forward mix will be interesting.
DRAFT PICKS: 9, 32, 34, 43, 92, 110, 128
THE SKINNY: After a season of conjecture, Brendon Goddard made the decision to leave, with the Saints refusing to budge from their offer. Coach Scott Watters delivered a parting shot, claiming Goddard had left for money. Although the Saints were disappointed to lose him, the compensation pick — No. 13 — allowed them to secure Gold Coast ruckman Tom Hickey. They also claimed Claremont forward Tom Lee — hoping he can be another Terry Milera or Ahmed Saad — but were unsuccessful in their bid to get Josh Caddy. West Coast defender Mitch Brown had wanted to head home but the Eagles refused to trade him. Saint Jamie Cripps would have been part of the deal, but ended up at West Coast in a deal that involved an exchange of draft picks as well. Also acquired Trent Dennis-Lane from Sydney for a round-three selection. Midfielder Farren Ray was linked to Melbourne, but wound up staying.
VERDICT: Identified the need for a back-up ruckman for Ben McEvoy and were successful in claiming Hickey. It remains to be seen if Goddard's absence will harm their bid to return to the finals.
DRAFT PICKS: 25, 26, 41, 44, 77, 95, 113, 131
THE SKINNY: It's been a month to forget. First of all, the Swans provoked anger from rivals and claims they were abusing their cost-of-living allowance by using this extra money to lure off-contract Kurt Tippett. This allowance is now being investigated by the AFL. The Crows had been happy to take the Swans' pick 23 for Tippett, but the deal hit a hurdle when the Swans insisted unwanted forward Jesse White be thrown in. It had been known there was a gentleman's agreement to get Tippett to his club of choice but it then emerged there was an official deal — sparking allegations of draft tampering against the Crows. As of the trade deadline, Tippett's future — and the Swans' hopes — was in limbo. Just hours before deadline, Sydney started dealing, shipping 21-year-old defender Campbell Heath to Port, as well as Matt Spangher and pick 72 to Hawthorn in return for selection 66. Trent Dennis-Lane also left for St Kilda.
VERDICT: The glory of a premiership has been somewhat sullied by the Tippett fiasco. Because of this, and already boasting a strong list, the Swans did only low-profile deals late, a rare outcome for a club traditionally very active during the trade period.
DRAFT PICKS: 23, 45, 47, 66, 67, 103, 121, 139
THE SKINNY: Lost Quinten Lynch to Collingwood, but played hard ball with defender Mitch Brown to ensure their key-position stocks did not take another hit. Won the battle for former Magpie Sharrod Wellingham, who had also been targeted by Fremantle and Melbourne. However, the Eagles had to part with their first-round pick to seal the deal, meaning they will not enter the draft until deep into the second round. Still, Wellingham's speed figures to be an asset on the vast expanses of Patersons Stadium. Picked up Jamie Cripps in a late trade from St Kilda. And an extra pick, a fifth-rounder, by shipping defender Lewis Stevenson to Port Adelaide and then added Cale Morton, Melbourne's No. 4 pick in the 2007 draft.
VERDICT: The Eagles have quality big men to cover for the loss of Lynch, and Wellingham will bolster the midfield, ensuring they remain in premiership contention next year.
DRAFT PICKS: 46, 61, 62, 81, 99, 117, 135
THE SKINNY: The Brian Lake deal at least leaves the Dogs in a position of power at the draft table — armed with five picks in the top 51, including three first-rounders. The agreement, which sent Brian Lake and pick 28 to Hawthorn in return for selections 22 and 44, seemed generous to the Hawks. But had Lake played out the final year of his contract next season and then tested the free-agency market, the Dogs might have lost him for minimal compensation. Brendan McCartney's focus has been on winning the contested ball, and he hopes former Eagle Koby Stevens, secured with pick 44, helps in this regard. The Dogs also sought a key forward. They offered Essendon's Scott Gumbleton a two-year contract and also pursued Chris Dawes but were unsuccessful. Father-son Lachie Hunter was secured with a third-round selection and gave up a fourth-round pick to get young Pies defender Tom Young in a late deal.
VERDICT: Lake's departure leaves a hole in the defence but had he stayed he would have played forward next year, anyway. Club officials hope their major presence in the draft will build the base for long-term success.
DRAFT PICKS: 5, 6, 22, 50, 51, 89, 107, 125