AFL trades: All the latest movement, free agency and contract news

Michael Voss has made a big call on whether Carlton will consider bringing back Liam Jones as the club wrangles with a real shortage in defence due to injuries.

Carlton coach Michael Voss has ruled out making a play to bring key defender Liam Jones back to the club if the AFL drops its vaccine mandates ahead of next season.

Jones had been contracted to the Blues this year but was forced to walk away from the final year of his deal last November due to the AFL’s mandates.

However, the league mandates are now under review and are expected to be dumped ahead of the next AFLW and AFL seasons.

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Carlton is not considering getting Liam Jones back to the club if the AFL drops its vaccine mandates.
Carlton is not considering getting Liam Jones back to the club if the AFL drops its vaccine mandates.

Jones, who turns 32 next February, is currently playing with QAFL club Palm Beach Currumbin where there are no vaccine mandates.

Voss said Carlton was not considering luring Jones back to the club if the rules did change.

“It’s a pretty clear no to us,” Voss said on 3AW radio when asked if there was a situation where the Blues could bring Jones back to the club.

Jones finished eighth in Carlton’s best and fairest last year.

Trade buzz: Vic club to mount chase for Giant

We might be right in the thick of an incredibly competitive season of footy on the field, but the heat is turning up off it, as well.

We’ve got our finger on the pulse of all the contract, trade and free agency news and rumbles.

Find out the latest below.

Bobby Hill, pictured with Giants teammate Nick Haynes, is tipped to request a trade again at season’s end. Picture: Phil Hillyard
Bobby Hill, pictured with Giants teammate Nick Haynes, is tipped to request a trade again at season’s end. Picture: Phil Hillyard

Will Bobby finally get move to Vic done?

Collingwood is again expected to mount a chase for GWS small forward Bobby Hill as he makes his return from testicular cancer in the late rounds of the season.

Hill is concentrating on his recovery after successful surgery and still hopeful of playing football in coming weeks.

He is expected to request a trade to Victoria after last year’s aborted deal, which saw GWS refuse to trade him to Essendon.

Collingwood was the underbidder last year, keen to secure him given their lack of small forwards but not able to convince him to nominate them because his cousins Courtney Ugle played for Essendon’s VFL side.

Hill remains a low-possession but high-impact player who clubs believe has upside, given he kicked only nine goals in his 11 games before his diagnosis.

The Pies are likely to be priced out of the market for Fremantle key back Griffin Logue but are still searching for key defenders.

Rivals believe they will secure Brisbane free agent Dan McStay, so the perfect scenario would be keeping Jordan De Goey on the right deal and adding McStay and a small forward like Hill.

Collingwood is developing an enviable batch of small forwards, with Ollie Henry, Beau McCreery and Jack Ginnivan all showing promising signs.

Henry is the mark-and-goal forward, McCreery the pressure forward and Ginnivan a goalsneak who is at the fall of the ball.

Sky’s the limit for cap-plenty Dons

Essendon’s vast cap space presents all kinds of options for the Dons as they assess the market for free agency and trade targets this off-season.

The Dons have well over $2 million of cap space but clubs have shown in recent seasons they can use that space in a variety of creative ways.

Fremantle secured Will Brodie to ease the Suns’ cap issues this year and also picked up selection 19, 61 and 69 for a future second and fourth-rounder.

So they secured an inside midfield weapon and improved their draft hand, taking Subiaco’s Matthew Johnson because they had cap space.

How might Essendon spend their riches?
How might Essendon spend their riches?

The deal was first offered to the Roos as Darcy McPherson considered heading to Arden St in an offer that would have seen pick 19 head there as well.

Essendon is looking for midfielders, half-backs, a key defender and possibly a tall forward, although they are aware it might take two years to fill out their list.

But as one of a few clubs with ample cap space, the Dons could significantly improve their draft hand — they currently have picks 3 and 21 — by prudently using cap space.

Essendon is seen to be one of the clubs that is assessing Jordan De Goey and also has interest in players including Karl Amon, Bobby Hill and Rory Lobb.

North Melbourne made a $1 million-a-year play for De Goey four years ago, and Kangaroos coach David Noble said on Thursday they were “open to all free agents”.

“There’s probably a discussion to be had at some point in time,” Noble said.

“Have we had any serious discussion about Jordan? No, we haven’t. Absolutely no.”

Mitch Lewis celebrates a goal with teammates this season. Picture: Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images
Mitch Lewis celebrates a goal with teammates this season. Picture: Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images

Young Hawk locked in for four

Hawthorn’s young contested marking star Mitch Lewis has signed away his future to the Hawks on a lucrative four-year deal.

Lewis had rival interest but was always keen to stay with the Hawks after being selected with a late pick in the wake of the departures of namesakes Sam Mitchell and Jordan Lewis.

Taken with the No.76 draft pick, it has been a breakout year with 27 goals in nine games leading into the clash against the Western Bulldogs.

“Just to repay the faith and we’ve got a really exciting young group coming through. I’m just super happy to ride the journey with them,” Lewis said on Friday.

It’s a no-brainer for the Pies to lock away Nic Daicos. Picture: AFL Photos/Getty Images
It’s a no-brainer for the Pies to lock away Nic Daicos. Picture: AFL Photos/Getty Images

Pies keen to lock away father-son gun

Collingwood is closing in on a new two-year deal with Josh Daicos as the onballer and brother Nick become a critical part of the club’s next generation midfield.

The Pies are deep in talks with Daicos and his management and are close to a resolution on a deal that would take him through to free agency.

He has averaged 20 possessions playing wing in a midfield that is blending getting bang for buck out of its kids as well as senior players like Scott Pendlebury, Taylor Adams, Jack Crisp and Patrick Lipinski.

Collingwood free agent Jamie Elliott is also progressing in his talks and while there is rival interest it would be a shock if he left for another club.

The question of whether Jordan De Goey remains in that midfield past this year will only be defined by his actions.

But there is certainly a level of frustration from senior Pies players that all of the hard work the club has done on its culture is being undermined by De Goey’s actions.

If De Goey does leave the club Nick Daicos, who signed an initial four-year deal, could not be better placed to move from half back into the midfield next year.

Dayne Zorko is likely to ink another one-year deal with the Lions. Picture: Getty Images
Dayne Zorko is likely to ink another one-year deal with the Lions. Picture: Getty Images

Niggles not enough to put Lions off Zorko

Brisbane is in talks with captain Dayne Zorko about extending his contract as he battles through the pain of niggling injuries to put together another solid season.

The 33-year-old is most likely to sign a one-year deal given his experience after 13 games in a year battling achilles and hamstring issues.

Zorko fell two or three days short of playing against Melbourne on Thursday night despite a tight hamstring and would have played if the game was on a Saturday.

He has contributed in a new role at half back this season and while he has looked to be hobbling at times keeps putting in excellent performance for a team that came into the round on top of the ladder.

The Lions are aware Dan McStay’s lack of a decision on his future isn’t a good sign but are holding out hope he might still re-sign.

But the writing is on the wall so they can only cross their fingers that he might rebuff Collingwood’s superior contract offer.

Dockers super-veteran David Mundy is keen to play on in 2023. Picture: Getty Images
Dockers super-veteran David Mundy is keen to play on in 2023. Picture: Getty Images

Age can’t weary unstoppable Mundy

Fremantle’s David Mundy will play on next year with talks set to kick off next week on a new one-year deal.

Mundy is flying on the field as he this week joins the top 10 for games played (366) alongside Bernie Quinlan before moving past the man nicknamed “Superboot” next week.

Mundy’s manager Anthony McConville said on Thursday talks would kick off next week with Fremantle list manager David Walls after the club’s list management discussions over the bye.

“He would like to play on. He is contributing on the field in a meaningful way and his body is really holding up so it is looking positive. We would like to get it sorted sooner rather than later.”

Mundy turns 37 next month and has remarkable durability with 13 seasons of 21 games or more.

Dylan Stephens is struggling to receive senior opportunities at Sydney. Picture: Getty Images
Dylan Stephens is struggling to receive senior opportunities at Sydney. Picture: Getty Images

Are the ‘some things’ Swan is ‘working on’ enough to put him back on market?

Could Sydney endurance machine Dylan Stephens emerge as a player of interest, not even 12 months after rejecting opposition interest to re-sign at the Swans?

The No.5 pick in the loaded 2019 draft has played only 18 games into his third season and none since round 3 this year despite Jordan Dawson’s defection to Adelaide creating more opportunity.

Collingwood, Essendon and the Crows, who were keen on Stephens in his draft year, were all linked to him before he signed a fresh two-year deal to remain at Sydney until the end of next season.

Quizzed on Stephens’ status this week, Swans coach John Longmire said the 21-year-old had “some things he’s working on”.

“He’s been refining his craft at the next level down, to be able to come in and get an opportunity and hopefully those steps are continuous steps forward to be able to come in and play footy,” Longmire said.

“We believe he’s got some really high-quality ability and it will be good to see him back in the team.”

Tim English will be at the Kennel for at least two more seasons. Picture: Getty Images
Tim English will be at the Kennel for at least two more seasons. Picture: Getty Images

Time for Dogs to erect Power statue

That Whitten Oval statue of list boss Sam Power is surely closer to being assembled as he ticked off another priority signing this week.

Tim English officially signed on for another two weeks, as reported last month in the Herald Sun, despite massive interest from West Coast.

Power went into the season having to sign English, Josh Dunkley, Caleb Daniel, Bailey Dale and Bailey Smith.

English, Dale and Daniel are now signed up and the club is finally making strong progress on talks with Smith.

They also signed Buku Khamis, Mitch Hannan and Dom Bedendo this week.

The Dogs have been putting away cap space for this year for some time and still believe they have room to secure a key forward and key back in this year’s trade period.

North Melbourne is monitoring the development of club great Brent Harvey’s son, Cooper. Picture: AFL Photos
North Melbourne is monitoring the development of club great Brent Harvey’s son, Cooper. Picture: AFL Photos

Boomer Jr on Roos radar

North Melbourne continues to keep close tabs on the eldest son of AFL games holder Brent Harvey, who remains a father-son prospect for the end of this year.

Cooper Harvey is highly-rated in terms of his talent by the Northern Knights and Assumption College football programs, despite having a few recent injury issues.

He showed good form as a goalkicking midfield-forward earlier this year.

Brent Harvey said Cooper, 17, had never made no secret of the fact that he wants to play AFL football, but knows he has to keep working hard to make that happen.

Harvey said: “My oldest boy (Cooper), his dream is to play AFL football and he is very open about that. I am sure if that happens, I am hoping it is at the North Melbourne Football Club and that we get to see another Harvey there.”

But the 432-game superstar acknowledged that his son was “living life with a bit of pressure”.

Meanwhile, the famous Collier lineage is still being represented in the football pathways, almost nine decades after the famous exploits of Collingwood champions Harry and Albert Collier.

Jack Raines, the great-grandson of Collingwood Brownlow Medallist and six-time premiership player Harry Collier, has played at times for the Magpies’ VFL side this season.

Nick Collier, the grandson of Magpie great Albert Collier (who also won a Brownlow Medal and won six premierships), has impressed with Dandenong Stingrays in NAB League, as well as in the Vic Country trials.

Jamie Pi hopes to make an impact in the AFL and AFLW as a player agent. Picture: Aaron Francis
Jamie Pi hopes to make an impact in the AFL and AFLW as a player agent. Picture: Aaron Francis

Pi time for Australia’s Jerry Maguire

Jamie Pi’s long road to becoming the next Jerry Maguire is slowly coming to fruition after client Massimo D’Ambrosio made his AFL debut last week.

The financial planner believes he is the only Chinese-born player agent in the market after coming to Australia at 13 and growing up in Dandenong.

The 42-year-old has a stable of 25 AFLW players but Pi’s only male client is D’Ambrosio.

In an AFL industry dominated by the heavyweights like Connors Sports, TLA and Colin Young’s Corporate Sports Australia, there is still room for agents like Pi.

“I came here at 13 from China and have been around a fair bit,” Pi said.

“I did some work on the China games and have a background in financial planning, so I advised a few boys and then went down the road of becoming an agent. Massimo is my first male player but I started with Ali Drennan back in 2019 and it’s been a lot of hard work and long hours but I wouldn’t change it for anything.

Massimo D’Ambrosio made his AFL debut for the Bombers last week. Picture: Getty Images
Massimo D’Ambrosio made his AFL debut for the Bombers last week. Picture: Getty Images

“It’s such a rewarding job to tell a player they have been picked up or are getting to a new club. To see the elation on their faces is worth it.

Pi cold-called D’Ambrosio and knew he had the capacity to play AFL despite his junior years being hampered by a back stress fracture.

“Six weeks ago, we sat down in a cafe. It was April 28 and not one club had called him about anything,” he said.

“We were wondering what might happen. Then six weeks later, he debuted as an AFL player. It is quite amazing.

“When he got spoken to by (Essendon coach) Ben Rutten and got the call to tell him he was playing, I think he was still in disbelief.

Jack Lukosius has recommitted to the Gold Coast Suns. Picture: Michael Klein
Jack Lukosius has recommitted to the Gold Coast Suns. Picture: Michael Klein

SA hopes dashed as coveted Sun re-sign

—Sam Landsberger

Jack Lukosius turned his back on national interest to sign a four-year contract with Gold Coast in the latest sign the Suns’ burgeoning list desperately wants the club to retain coach Stuart Dew.

It can be revealed the Lukosius’ camp fielded approaches from not only South Australia but also clubs in other states who wanted to lure the brilliant playmaker.

But Lukosius, 22, refused to even entertain the idea of leaving the Suns and has been locked in until 2026.

Dew told players before training that Lukosius had recommitted.

Lukosius has put pen to paper on a long-term deal that ties him to the Suns until 2026.

“I couldn’t be happier to commit for four more years at the Suns,” Lukosius said.

“I’m really grateful that they’ve shown the faith in me to play here and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.

“It was a decision that I wanted to come to myself, I didn’t want to rush it or be influenced by anyone else.

“I clearly took my time and it’s one that I couldn’t be happier with.”

Lukosius injured his PCL in round 8 this season but is set to return from that knee injury against Collingwood next week.

This season loomed as make-or-break for Gold Coast after finishing 16th last year with several players out of contract.

But Ben King and Lukosius are going nowhere while midfield diamonds Matthew Rowell and Noah Anderson are all-in on the Dew era.

Victorians Rowell and Anderson, close friends from Carey Grammar, couldn’t be happier in the Sunshine State.

The Suns sit on top of the form ladder over the past six weeks and are right in the mix to break their September duck.

They are 5-1 with a monster percentage of 154.3 in that stretch, sitting above Geelong (141.9 per cent) and Richmond (122.2 per cent).

Every other club has dropped at least two of their past six games.

Under list boss Craig Cameron, the Suns are also becoming somewhat of a destination club, having poached free agents Brandon Ellis and Mabior Chol from Richmond.

The faith in Dew has never been higher, with players openly telling club powerbrokers he is the man they want to play under.

Jack Lukosius has resisted the pull of home.
Jack Lukosius has resisted the pull of home.

Port Adelaide list manager Jason Cripps openly said before the 2018 ‘Super Draft’ that the South Australian clubs would be right into junior locals Lukosius and Izak Rankine should they get drafted by the Suns.

The Suns secured Rankine with the No.2 pick, Lukosius with the No.3 pick received as compensation for losing Tom Lynch to Richmond and King at No.6 in golden draft that has changed the trajectory of the club.

That was followed by landing Rowell and Anderson with the first two picks of the 2019 draft, banking five stars before most clubs had entered either draft.

Lukosius injured his PCL in round 8 this season.

But it is understood Lukosius could return next week against Collingwood at Metricon Stadium to help light up the club’s push for a maiden finals campaign.

While Lukosius has been used at halfback he is set to return to the forward line when he is fit.

“I think we saw exactly what we want from Jack in the Carlton game,” Dew said recently.

“He was able to have shots at goal, score assists (and) use the ball well forward of centre. I think we persevere with that.”

Roos call on expert to transform embattled club

— Jay Clark

North Melbourne has called on experienced football manager Geoff Walsh to help review the club’s operations less than one year after he helped transform Carlton.

In a move which could lead to a significant shake-up at season’s end, Walsh will scrutinise key areas of the club including the coaching and recruiting programs over the final two months of the season.

All senior figures including chief executive Ben Amarfio and senior coach David Noble are under pressure to lift the club up the ladder, although the club’s finances are solid.

Walsh was a key figure in the review which led to hard calls being made at Carlton last year including the moves to appoint new chief executive Brian Cook and senior coach Michael Voss.

In a statement on Thursday, North Melbourne confirmed the straight-shooting Walsh, who has worked at Collingwood and North Melbourne previously, would step into the club as an advisor and have a role on match day.

Geoff Walsh (right) will assist the Roos. Picture: Michael Klein
Geoff Walsh (right) will assist the Roos. Picture: Michael Klein

He will cast a key eye on Noble and the coaching staff as well as their relationships with the young playing group amid speculation No. 1 pick Jason Horne-Francis is weighing up a move to leave Arden St.

The Roos are second-last on the ladder with a 1-12 record, and farewelled three recruiters earlier this season including list boss Glenn Luff.

President Dr Sonja Hood, who worked with Walsh at the Roos between 2013-15, said he was the perfect man to help the club.

“Geoff is a prominent figure in the game and our football club, having run the football department alongside Denis Pagan in our two most recent premiership successes in the 1990s,” Dr Hood said.

“He has since had two stints running the football department at Collingwood and here again at North Melbourne and is a respected figure at both clubs.

“We don’t hide from the fact this has been a tough first half of the season and we couldn’t think of a better person to assist us as we work through this next phase of our club’s journey.”

Amarfio said the club needed Walsh’s experience at a challenging time.

“We will lean on Geoff’s experience as we look to improve all aspects of the football program and how we operate – from coaching and development, list management, preparation and performance, player welfare, culture and environment,” Amarfio said.

“He will provide us with an objective lens, will have unfettered access and be involved both on match day and during the week at the club.

“I look forward to working with Geoff as we look to hasten our redevelopment and eventual climb back up the AFL ladder.”

Originally published as AFL trades: All the latest movement, free agency and contract news

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