Dockers pull a clever AFL draft swifty

Justin Chadwick

Fremantle have boosted their hopes of landing Next Generation Academy gun Liam Henry for an absolute steal by trading up two spots in this month's AFL national draft.

The Dockers packaged their pick No.10, pick No.28, and their round four 2020 selection in exchange for Melbourne's pick No.8.

At first glance, the move might seem strange given the Dockers only move up two spots in the first-round pecking order.

But the deal was designed to avoid Fremantle having to use a first-round pick to snare Henry.

Melbourne (originally pick No.8) and Carlton (pick No.9) were set to make a bid for Henry, which would have forced Fremantle to use their original pick No.10 to secure his services.

But with Fremantle now boasting picks No.7 and No.8, it means they can use their next pick - No.49 - for Henry - barring the unlikely scenario that a team will select him with a top-five pick.

Before Fremantle were able to do the deal with Melbourne, they sent their No.22 pick and a 2020 round three selection to Adelaide in exchange for the Crows' pick No.28, No.49, and a future fourth-round selection.

Fremantle football operations manager Peter Bell said that Adelaide were involved in the deal due to a rule preventing Fremantle trading pick No.22 to Melbourne.

"We originally received pick No.22 from Melbourne in the trade period," Bell said.

"Under AFL rules, that selection cannot be traded back to Melbourne, so we involved Adelaide in the exchange to ensure the trade could be done."