THE list of players to find new clubs stands at eight entering day nine of the AFL Trade Period.
Jackson Trengove, Hayden Crozier (Western Bulldogs), Tom Rockliff, Steven Motlop (Port Adelaide), Devon Smith, Adam Saad (Essendon), Jake Lever (Melbourne) and Jarman Impey (Hawthorn) will all be donning new colours next season.
But that still leaves 13 of the league’s 18 clubs without a new face at this point so expect plenty more wheeling and dealing today.
AFL rule fooled Lions into buying a lemon
COLLINGWOOD legend Michael McGuane has put forward a damning assessment of Brisbane forward Josh Schache.
The Magpies great says it was foreseeable years ago that the former No. 2 draft pick would struggle at AFL level — and believes the Lions were misled by a TAC Cup rule technicality that blinded AFL recruiters to the power forward’s terminal shortcomings.
McGuane on Tuesday told SEN Breakfast the Lions bought a lemon when they recruited Schache off the back of his extraordinary performances in Victoria’s U18 TAC Cup competition.
TAC Cup football is played under density zoning rules designed to avoid players bunching around contests.
Under the density rules, two key forwards and two key defenders must remain inside the 50m arc even when the opposition has the ball in the other half of the ground.
McGuane says the rules allowed Schache to benefit from extra space inside his forward 50 and concealed his inability to compete when outnumbered in pack marking contests.
He said the rule hoodwinked the Lions.
He also appeared to accuse Schache of running scared in AFL footy.
“You watch him in a contest at AFL level, he reaches for the footy at times, he turns his body sideways, he avoids contact,” McGuane said.
“Now that may be a subconscious thing that can be clearly removed from his game — and I hope so at 199cm. He needs to be smashing packs and either marking the ball to creating crumbing opportunities for his smalls.”
Schache has become a victim of TAC density rule. Struggles at AFL level when defenders surround him, come into his space at different angles— Michael McGuane (@MickMCG34) October 16, 2017
No I wouldn't take him on the evidence at AFL level. Looks disinterested at times, uncompetitive also. Don't think it means enough to him— Michael McGuane (@MickMCG34) October 16, 2017
He said Schache is nothing like the star power forwards of recent times because he hasn’t put his body on the line for his teammates.
“They were all forward that defenders feared and teammates could trust and I reckon defenders are content going back into his space knowing that full well it won’t be them that shirks the contest,” McGuane said.
“He’s a forward who was an absolute star at TAC Cup level,” McGuane said.
“He’s a forward who needed lead-up space. He had a great aerobic capacity. He would run defenders off. He rallies to space that was afforded to him and I think it’s misleading form due to that density rule.
He said Schache’s struggles to take just two contested marks in 10 games this season can’t be ignored.
He said he would not go anywhere near Schache this trade period.
“I just don’t like what I see from the competitive standpoint,” he said.
“Josh Schache, he was classified as the next Jonathan Brown, he was going to be their saviour.
“This year, when you get to the pointy end of the season, to say that fatigue was the reason he didn’t play in the NEAFL finals campaign, I just really struggle to comprehend that.
“Lets put that into perspective, he’s 20, he played only 10 AFL games this year. The pointy end of the season is about winning a premiership and as far as I’m concerned fatigue becomes a distant memory when a grand final was there to be won. The mind has to take control. There has to be more to it.”
New kids on the trade block
AFL fans tired of waiting to see what happens with Jake Stringer and Jack Watts received a welcome distraction on Monday when Fremantle youngster Lachie Weller declared he wanted to move to the Gold Coast.
The Herald Sun reports the deal has already hit a roadblock with Fremantle reportedly demanding the Suns’ No. 2 draft pick in exchange for letting Weller leave.
The report claims the Suns are unwilling to meet the Dockers’ demands in exchange for the 21-year-old.
The Weller revelation reshuffled the trade deck — and offered the Suns new leverage as they attempt to complete deals for Gary Ablett and Brandon Matera.
The Courier Mail indicated Weller’s arrival could alter what the Gold Coast requires of Geelong in return for Ablett.
Weller wasn’t the only new name to emerge as trade week entered its second week — or the only one to reveal a desire to move to the Gold Coast.
Former Kangaroos captain Andrew Swallow told LightFM radio he would love to head north to play alongside his brother David.
Fringe Geelong midfielder George Horlin-Smith also reportedly put his hand up to be part of the deal to bring Ablett back to the Cats.
“A player that’s said, ‘OK I’ll go’, is George Horlin-Smith,” reported Jake Niall on Fox Sports News. “He’s OK to go there but the Suns don’t want him.
“It’s got to be someone that plays every week for the Suns, that seems to be the measure of it.”
Young Brisbane forward Josh Schache remains up for grabs. The Western Bulldogs are the latest club to consider the 2015 No. 2 pick, per AFL.com.au.
But if the Lions fail to find a suitable trade partner Schache will remain in Queensland, where he could be joined by Port Adelaide ruckman Matthew Lobbe who is reportedly close to signing with Brisbane.
Key third party emerges in Stringer stand-off
West Coast has reportedly emerged as the key to breaking the Essendon-Western Bulldogs trade stand-off over the future of star Jake Stringer.
Reporter Sam McClure told SEN on Tuesday the three-way trade could happen as early as Tuesday with the Eagles agreeing to give up their first round pick to the Bulldogs (No. 11 overall) in exchange for a deal with Essendon which includes the club’s two second round selections (currently picks No. 25 and No. 30) at this year’s national draft.
That deal would reportedly satisfy the Bulldogs into letting Stringer walk to Essendon.
“I think Jake Stringer will find his way to Essendon, I think it could happen as early as today,” he said.
“Picks 25 and 30, as we told you yesterday, could be moved on to the West Coast Eagles for pick 13. That would satisfy all parties.”
Stringer jetted to the United States on Monday as negotiations between Western Bulldogs and Essendon dragged into a second week.
The Bulldogs placed the contracted forward on the trade table but have since dug their heels in, threatening to keep the 2015 All-Australian on their list unless they receive suitable compensation.
Speaking at Melbourne Airport, Stringer gave a blunt assessment of his future at Whitten Oval. “I won’t be going back,” he told the Seven Network.
Essendon has offered the Bulldogs two second-round draft picks — a package worth roughly the same amount of points as the first-round selection they dealt to Greater Western Sydney for small forward Devon Smith.
The Bombers ticked another name off their wishlist, signing Gold Coast speedster Adam Saad on a three-year deal after sending a future second-round draft pick to the Suns.
Tensions between the Stringer camp and the Bulldogs continued to grow, with Stringer’s father criticising the 2016 premiers for their conduct. “He’s probably been through a little bit of a public stoning,” John Stringer told AFL trade radio.
“From our perspective, we thought that he was contracted at the Dogs and he was going to stay there so for them to come out publicly and say ‘it’s time to move on’ is a little bit disappointing.”
His views were echoed by the father of Melbourne forward Jack Watts, who was also put up for trade and has been courted by Port Adelaide. “We feel Jack’s been put out there as a bit of a reprobate, a misfit ... not turning up fit, not putting in a good effort, a bad influence on younger kids,” Andrew Watts said.
“I think a lot of the AFL people have seen him for eight or nine years in the media and he turns up with a smile on his face and he does work hard, so we just don’t understand that language.”
- New kids on the trade block
- Stringer gone to look for America
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