Clubs to tread carefully in trade week - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Clubs to tread carefully in trade week

By Adam Cooper 05/10/2008 07:57:27 PM Comments (0)

Chris Judd's not available, but recruiting conservatism is.

They're the two compelling factors which should make clubs tread carefully in AFL trade week, which starts on Monday.

Where the beginning of the silly season usually prompts club officials to dream big and consider just about any deal as a way of bolstering player lists and premiership chances, the 2008 version is expected to veer on the safety-first course.

Judd provided the marquee trade last year given he had confirmed beforehand he was leaving West Coast, which allowed Carlton officials to make an immediate beeline to the Eagles camp to begin the successful negotiations.

But two recent re-signings have denied the coming trade week of major star power, as the Brisbane Lions last month secured powerhouse forward Jonathan Brown, while gun midfielder Daniel Kerr last week re-committed to West Coast.

Brown and Kerr had been touted as potential trades throughout 2008 due to their stalled contract talks.

Collingwood star Alan Didak was another touted as a possible swap after his part in the drink-driving fiasco in August, but he also appears destined to stay with his club after being given another show of support by Magpies president Eddie McGuire over the weekend.

With Brown, Kerr and Didak staying put, the best player potentially on offer entering trade week is Sydney half-forward Ryan O'Keefe, who is considering a return to Victoria.

The Swans are keen to retain the 2006 All-Australian, but O'Keefe could be set for a straight swap for Essendon's Andrew Lovett, whose disciplinary problems have forced the Bombers to put him on the trade table, and who has been pursued by Sydney.

Other experienced players likely to come up for considerations include West Coast ruckman Mark Seaby, his Fremantle counterpart Robert Warnock, North Melbourne midfielder Daniel Harris and Hawthorn forward Tim Boyle, who could not break into the Hawks' premiership side.

Although the likes of O'Keefe, Lovett and Warnock offer excellent value, clubs will caution their considerations knowing they must make every recruiting decision a winner over the next two months.

Next month's 2008 national draft will be the last uncompromised selection pool from the next four, as the Gold Coast consortium will be given unmatched access to the national drafts in 2009-10.

The Gold Coast will be granted access to 10 elite 17-year-olds before the 2009 draft and in the 2010 draft will have nine of the first 15 selections, before the franchise is admitted into the AFL in 2011.

The Western Sydney team is expected to be granted similar concessions before it is admitted into the competition in 2012.

The concessions available to the new teams from 2009 onwards and the talent on offer next month mean clubs will be desperate to hang on to their first and second-round picks, which could have an impact on the number of players traded this week.

Melbourne have the No.1 pick in the national draft courtesy of their wooden-spoon finish in 2008.

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