AFL guns left waiting on final-day trades

Oliver Caffrey and Shayne Hope
·3-min read

High-profile stars Jeremy Cameron and Adam Treloar headline a host of players left in limbo ahead of Thursday night's looming AFL trade deadline.

A steady stream of deals were processed on the penultimate day of the annual player exchange period, most notably Adam Saad's switch from Essendon to arch rivals Carlton.

But Geelong and Greater Western Sydney remain at loggerheads over the asking price for Cameron, with the Cats' offer of two first-round draft picks not yet considered enough to satisfy the Giants.

Contracted gun Treloar is resigned to leaving Collingwood amid the club's salary cap squeeze and has met with the Western Bulldogs, but his playing future remains unclear.

Meanwhile, fellow Magpie Jaidyn Stephenson, Josh Dunkley (Bulldogs), Orazio Fantasia (Essendon), Ben Brown (North Melbourne) and Jack Higgins (Richmond) are on a long list of players still waiting to learn if they will land at new homes.

Most clubs are active in negotiations as Thursday's 7.30pm AEDT deadline draws nearer.

On Wednesday, Saad became a Carlton player after protracted negotiations finally resulted in the Blues and Essendon agreeing on a trade for the dashing defender.

The Bombers received Carlton's prized pick eight as well as a fourth-round selection for Saad, who wanted out after three seasons at Essendon.

Along with the 26-year-old, the Bombers packaged up pick 48 and 78 to send to Carlton.

"Few in the competition are better to watch when in full flight than Adam and we can't wait to see his electrifying pace added to our backline," Blues list manager Nick Austin said.

Essendon are boasting about having picks six, seven and eight after not having used a first-round selection since 2016.

But they may have to use one or more of those if they are to secure Dunkley, who has formally requested a move to the Bombers, or GWS youngster Jye Caldwell.

"We now have three top-10 draft picks for this year's AFL national draft, which is a very strong position to be in, particularly with the calibre of this year's draft class," Essendon list boss Adrian Dodoro said.

In other moves, Port Adelaide secured versatile Sydney tall Aliir Aliir for a future second-round pick and Geelong added classy midfielder Shaun Higgins in exchange for pick 30.

A dual best-and-fairest winner at North Melbourne, Higgins lands at his third club and will help the Cats' push to go one better after losing this year's grand final to Richmond.

The former Western Bulldog will be 33 by the time the 2021 season begins and joins Hawthorn premiership hero Isaac Smith as veterans to have arrived at Kardinia Park during this off-season.

"Shaun is a very talented and accomplished player and he can fill a number of roles," Geelong list manager Stephen Wells said.

"We are looking forward to seeing him in Geelong colours."

Geelong also settled speedster Nakia Cockatoo's trade to the Brisbane Lions for a future third-round pick and fringe player Lachie Fogarty's move to Carlton.

The Bulldogs picked up Stefan Martin from Brisbane as a ruck partner and mentor for emerging star Tim English, while Sydney received fellow ruckman Tom Hickey from West Coast in a deal that included a complex swap of current and future draft picks.