Magpies deny holding AFL trade fire sale

Oliver Caffrey and Anna Harrington
·2-min read

Collingwood boldly claimed offloading four players, headlined by star midfielder Adam Treloar, in the final hours of the AFL trade period had nothing to do with freeing up salary cap space.

Treloar landed at the Western Bulldogs after his deal was processed right on the Thursday night deadline.

The 27-year-old joined wingman Tom Phillips (Hawthorn), goalsneak Jaidyn Stephenson and three-game youngster Atu Bosenavulagi (both North Melbourne) in exiting Collingwood.

The Magpies' salary cap issues are well known, with a plethora of players on lucrative long-term contracts but list manager Ned Guy denied it was the reason for clearing out three best-22 players for draft picks.

Collingwood have played finals for three-straight years and lost the 2018 grand final by five points.

"I don't think it's a fire sale at all. I just think we want to replenish the list," Guy told Fox Footy.

"To be able to get into the first round (of the draft) you've got to give something up.

"I think it's a bit of a beat-up, the salary cap issues. I think it's topical and people like to talk about it."

It was a messy split between Collingwood and Treloar, who was told to look for other clubs despite being happy and contracted.

Treloar will join a star-studded midfield next year alongside captain Marcus Bontempelli and Josh Dunkley, who will remain with the Bulldogs after his trade request to Essendon was knocked back.

Stephenson, the 2018 Rising Star winner, said he was "hurt" by the way he was pushed out the door and claimed he was left in the dark about a potential move until ringing Magpies coach Nathan Buckley.

Phillips was snapped up by Hawthorn in a bargain-basement deal, with the Hawks only giving up pick 65.

Meanwhile, star Greater Western Sydney forward Jeremy Cameron was granted his wish and will play for beaten grand finalists Geelong next season.

The nine-time Giants leading goalkicker became a Cats player with his now former side receiving three first-round draft picks (13, 15 and 20) in return.

Port Adelaide secured injury-plagued Essendon forward Orazio Fantasia, who was adamant on returning home to South Australia.

It was a mixed bag for the Bombers, who picked up GWS youngster Jye Caldwell but missed out on luring Dunkley.

They also lost dashing defender Adam Saad (Carlton) and key forward Joe Daniher (Brisbane).

Earlier on Thursday, Melbourne snared North Melbourne forward Ben Brown in a cut-price deal when trades were able to be officially lodged from 3pm.

Brown, 27, booted 287 goals in 130 games at North Melbourne but form and injury limited him to eight goals in just nine appearances this year.

After the Brown trade, St Kilda completed a deal for contracted Richmond youngster Jack Higgins, while Brisbane defender Alex Witherden headed to West Coast.