In short supply ... Regular key defender Jackson Trengove (that’s him on the left) has been holding up the rucking duties at Port Adelaide, but it can be a tall order against some of the game’s elite big men.
In short supply ... Regular key defender Jackson Trengove (that’s him on the left) has been holding up the rucking duties at Port Adelaide, but it can be a tall order against some of the game’s elite big men. BEN MACMAHON

Leave AFL trade game until end of season

I’VE said it before and I’ll say it again ... leave the mid-season trading to those other codes; ‘soccer’, league and the like.

Maybe I’m a little old-fashioned but I have (so far) been a firm believer that there is no place for it in the AFL.

List management has become such an art form, each club now employs a list manager. And part of their job is to ensure their club’s list has every base covered before the start of the season, with contingencies for any major setbacks that can befall them.

There’s 40 players on a list, with an extra six or seven rookies available to be promoted.

And, certainly since the AFL finally wised up and opened up the rookie list to players of any age, that should allow enough cover for injuries or retirements.

Unlike the old mid-season draft, when players from the lower levels were given a June lifeline, the league is now clearly keen on a mid-season trade involving a swap-and-go of currently listed AFL footballers.

There’s no doubt those languishing in the state leagues could get a real kick out of a move right now.

Not surprisingly, Travis Cloke’s name was the first to be thrown up. GWS wantaway Cam McCarthy, already back in Perth, would certainly love the chance to be traded to Fremantle, while North Melbourne pair Lachie Hansen and Aaron Black might also welcome the chance to have their 2016 season not completed wasted back in the VFL.

But from the AFL’s perspective, it’s more about benefiting teams rather than individuals.

AFL chief executive Gill McLachlan flagged the idea last week, saying “It’s real enough that discussions are being had with clubs”, and that 2017 could be the year for it to “come in”.

“There’s a lot to be worked out and it might not fly but the theory is that ultimately you don’t want an injury to cruel a club’s season,” he said.

McLachlan named Port Adelaide, which is having to use key defender Jackson Trengove in the ruck due to the unavailability of Patrick Ryder, Matthew Lobbe and Dougal Howard, as the prime example.

He then suggested St Kilda, which can’t find a place in its seniors for promising big man Billy Longer, would be an ideal trade partner, while Adelaide backup Luke Lowden would also be a walk-up start for the Power.

The league is understandably keen to keep the race to make the final eight alive as long as possible, because as of right now it already looks over.

But you reckon cross-town rivals the Crows, the rapidly improving Saints, or any team for that matter, would want to give a rival such as the stalling Power a jump-start on the road to the finals and leave themselves open to their own injury crisis?

No, of course not, and unfortunately it’s just bad luck Power.



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