Every Thursday AFL.com.au presents Inside Trading, with breaking news and the best analysis of the Continental Tyres AFL Trade Period covering contracts, re-signings, free agents, the NAB AFL Draft and industry insights.
PORT FREE AGENT ATTRACTING INTEREST
VICTORIAN clubs are tracking Port Adelaide free agent Karl Amon as he considers his future beyond 2022.
The Power wingman was omitted ahead of round five but won a reprieve after a late withdrawal at the club, with Amon facing the Blues and then holding his spot the past two weeks in the Power’s wins over West Coast and St Kilda.
Hawthorn is understood to be among the clubs with a level of interest in Amon who, as Inside Trading revealed last month, is expected to be an unrestricted free agent when the AFL releases its free agency bandings in coming weeks.
St Kilda, like the Hawks, was interested in Amon in 2018 when he was up for grabs on the trade table but while then contracted, he stayed at Port Adelaide and was last year named in the Therabody AFL All-Australian squad of 40.
Amon’s mother Katrina this year became St Kilda’s Indigenous development manager.
Contract talks have been parked at Port Adelaide, which wouldn’t be able to match a bid for him under free agency rules as an unrestricted free agent but would still acquire a compensation draft pick if he left Alberton Oval. – Callum Twomey
EAGLES BLOCKED FROM TRADING TOP PICK
WEST Coast will be unable to trade its first-round pick at this year’s draft under AFL rules unless it can pick up another top-end selection.
Under the AFL’s future trading rules, clubs must use two first-round picks over a rolling four-year period as the League ensures clubs can’t trade away all of their future selections.
The Eagles, who currently sit on the bottom of the ladder after a bleak start to the season, have used only one first-round pick in the past four years, which was Campbell Chesser with No.14 at last year’s national draft.
West Coast can only trade its first pick if it secures a second first-round selection. Clubs are able to apply for exemptions to trade out their picks if they haven’t reached the two-in-four requirement.
They are the only club who would be blocked from trading their first-round selection this year, having swapped their future first-round selection (for the 2018 draft) with Gold Coast in 2017 and then in 2019 traded out their first-round picks for that season and 2020 to Geelong to recruit Tim Kelly.
The Eagles would, however, be able to trade out their future first-round pick (for 2023) this year if they hold their first-rounder for 2022.
West Coast currently has three picks inside the top-25 selections based on the indicative draft order, having secured an extra second-round pick tied to Port Adelaide in a draft-night deal with the Power last year.
The next lowest number of first-round picks used over the past four years is St Kilda and Hawthorn, who have both activated three picks. – Callum Twomey
OUT-OF-CONTRACT DOCKER HITTING NEW HEIGHTS
FREMANTLE and Blake Acres will likely begin contract talks soon following the reborn wingman’s superb start to the season.
Acres is coming towards the end of the three-year deal he signed when he joined the Dockers at the end of the 2019 campaign, but has played some of the best football of his career this season to help Justin Longmuir’s side to a scintillating 6-1 start.
It’s understood the club is yet to begin talks with Acres over a new deal, but discussions are set to start imminently with Acres one of Fremantle’s best uncontracted talents.
Acres has put himself in early All-Australian contention following his strong start to the season on a wing, averaging a career-high 22 disposals to go with 468.7m gained per game and four goals.
However, his progress will be halted somewhat this week, with the much-improved West Australian to miss Friday night’s clash with North Melbourne after entering the AFL’s health and safety protocols.
Acres, 26, joined Fremantle as part of the deal that took Bradley Hill to St Kilda at the end of the 2019 season. A former first-round pick at the Saints, he played 75 goals for the club before spending the last three years and 32 matches with the Dockers. – Riley Beveridge
POPULAR SUN ON BOARD FOR ANOTHER YEAR
GOLD Coast forward Nick Holman is signed through to the end of 2023 after quietly inking an extension ahead of this year.
Holman was due to come out of contract at the end of this season, when he would have qualified for free agency after being previously delisted by Carlton, where he started his AFL career.
But the popular 26-year-old extended his deal at the Suns through to the end of next year before this season and is enjoying a strong start to his 2022 campaign.
Holman kicked three goals from 14 disposals against Brisbane in round six and was among the Suns’ better performers in the QClash defeat and last week booted two goals against Collingwood. He has kicked eight goals from seven games so far this season.
His attack on the ball and courage are highly regarded within the Suns, where has played 69 games after nine appearances for Carlton between 2014-15.
The Suns’ only free agents this season are ex-Blue Levi Casboult and Jez McLennan. – Callum Twomey
COLLINGWOOD BACK IN MID-SEASON MIX
COLLINGWOOD is set to be active in this year’s NAB AFL Mid-Season Rookie Draft after the season-ending injury to forward recruit Nathan Kreuger.
Kreuger required shoulder surgery after his Anzac Day injury against Essendon, with the former Cats forward likely to miss the rest of the season.
It means he can be placed on the inactive list, which would allow the Pies to open a pick for the mid-season draft, which is set for Wednesday, June 1.
Collingwood was active in last year’s mid-season intake, grabbing Ash Johnson and Aiden Begg, with the athletic Begg making an impressive AFL debut last week against Gold Coast in the ruck.
Five clubs – Sydney, Carlton, Hawthorn, Fremantle and Geelong – already have open spots for the mid-season draft while a number of other clubs can also open positions by placing players on the inactive list.
Gold Coast (for Ben King) can open a position, while St Kilda currently has the option of two spots (for Nick Coffield and Jack Hayes). Adelaide, too, could place captain Rory Sloane on the inactive list after his knee reconstruction to open a position, with doubt also surrounding Paul Seedsman’s return from concussion.
The retirement of Josh Caddy at Richmond will also open a position for the Tigers to use at the mid-season draft.
Last year there was 22 picks used at the mid-season draft, with far few expected in 2022 given the full lists of many clubs.
Nominations for the mid-season draft will open on Monday, May 9 and close on Tuesday, May 24. – Callum Twomey
EX-HAWK ON ROOKIE RADAR
FORMER Hawk Ollie Hanrahan is attracting interest from AFL clubs ahead of the mid-season rookie draft next month, following a strong start to the VFL season.
The 23-year-old was considered unlucky to be delisted by Hawthorn at the end of last year after playing 13 games in 2021, including the final three in the senior side.
Hanrahan signed with Werribee after speaking to a handful of AFL clubs before being overlooked for another opportunity at the NAB AFL Draft and Rookie Draft.
The Victorian has played predominantly as a midfielder under Michael Barlow at Chirnside Park, averaging 25.4 disposals, 4.8 tackles and 100 ranking points across the first six rounds.
AFL.com.au understands that Hanrahan is on the radar of at least two clubs as the mid-season rookie draft creeps closer.
Sydney nominated Hanrahan as one four Werribee players to be included on its top-up list in the unlikely event it requires players this year and is one club who is monitoring his progress.
Hanrahan played 29 games across four seasons at Waverley Park, but was surplus to the Hawks’ needs at the end of 2021, with the Hawks boasting an array of weapons inside 50, including Dylan Moore who became a permanent fixture last season. – Josh Gabelich
2023 TALENT ON SHOW
ALREADY recruiters are keeping a close eye on the talent pool for the 2023 draft, with a number of prospects putting their hands up as likely early selections.
Last weekend Zane Duursma, the brother of Port Adelaide young gun Xavier, starred at NAB League level for the Gippsland Power with a six-goal haul against the Bendigo Pioneers.
Duursma, who doesn’t turn 17 until August, is a 188cm medium forward with an exciting kitbag of tricks having debuted last year in the under-19 competition as a 15-year-old.
In the same game, medium forward Harley Reid also displayed some of his ability, with the Bendigo prospect gathering 19 disposals and four clearances. Reid also made his NAB League debut last season and caught the eye of scouts with his inside-50 smarts and looms as a top talent for next season.
Small forward Nick Watson has been sidelined recently with an arm injury, however started the NAB League season on fire for the Eastern Ranges. The 169cm goalkicker booted four goals in round one and five goals in round two and already has scouts enamoured with his ability ahead of next year’s draft.
Another player has emerged this season as part of the 2023 crop, with Glenelg teenager Ashton Moir looking a No.1 pick contender.
Moir is an electric midfielder/forward who can kick brilliantly on both feet and makes things happen with his hands on the ball, having also booted five goals in his side’s round one under-18 clash. – Callum Twomey