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THE TRADING CHRONICLES - WHAT AM I BID?

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Demonland    5,041

The opening day's trade activity might have been frenetic but there were no trades completed on day one. It was left to the bidding process to produce a record of twelve new faces while free agency finally flushed out James Frawley who officially became a Hawk. Very late in the day it was announced that another free agent, Nick Malceski had signed on with the Suns.

The bidding process introduced the following new faces on club lists through father-son and academy selections:-

Isaac Heeney, (Sydney) for pick 17 after Melbourne bid pick 2;

Darcy Moore (Collingwood f/s) for pick 8 which matched the Bulldogs with pick 5;

Jack Steele (GWS) at pick 23 after North's pick 15 bid;

Billy Stretch (Melbourne f/s) taken at 39 following an Adelaide bid bid at 29 on Billy Stretch, which Melbourne matched with pick 39;

Liam Dawson (Brisbane) matched with pick 41 after Richmond bid 31;

Jack Hiscox, (Swans) for pick 36 matching Fremantle at 32;

Harris Andrews (Lions) taken with pick 60 to match North Melbourne's pick 34;

Zaine Cordy (Western Bulldogs f/s) for pick 61 after Fremantle's bid of pick 51;

Abe Davis (Swans) taken with pick 73 which matched Geelong's 70; and

Josh Clayton (Brisbane Lions), Alec Waterman (West Coast) and Jeremy Finlayson (GWS) did not receive bids, meaning they will join their nominated clubs with their last picks in the draft.

(Note: Compensation picks are not taken into account in draft order)

The day was more notable for the things that didn't happen. The farcical events at Bomberland continued to play themselves out when the much awaited sacking of James Hird failed to materialise. The Bomber coach was heard to comment afterwards that there were lots of things to do including the week's trades but he hardly sounded like a man about to do any horsetrading. Nor did his recruiting people who were asking for Hartlett, Wines or Wingard for Paddy Ryder who could, if he so desired, possibly jump across as a free agent under AFL rules because of the goings on at his club. The rumblings are growing louder by the day as more players show their frustration and put up their hands to leave.

There's not much noise coming from Collingwood these days either and the usually outspoken Eddie McGuire has been rather reticent as a number of his players also seem to want out while rivals Hawthorn and Sydney take the limelight. Eddie doesn't usually take these things lying down.

Mick Malthouse is one who has spoken out and he's clearly not happy about the fact that the Blues received no compo for Jarrad Waite on account of his age after his forward defected to North. I can't wait to see his face change colour in the event that Swans are granted a pick for losing Malceski.

There were two big stories on the day for the Demons:

1. They gained Stretch for draft selection 39 (although this will change slightly when the free agency compensation picks are factored in). Stretch, an AIS graduate and All Australian at Under 18 level, shone at senior SANFL level with Glenelg in 2014 and is a solid prospect as an outside midfielder. His Draft Combine performances were outstanding.

2. They lost Frawley to free agency (the fourth player to leave in three years) but gained a first round compensatory national draft selection at pick 3 giving them two of the three picks in November (assuming the club doesn't trade one or both of them away).

The AFL's football operations officer Mark Evans might have announced the band 1 compensation today but in a way, it was communicated between the lines when he knocked back Melbourne's application for draft assistance last month.

Philosophically, the decision not to grant both draft assistance and the Frawley compensation was a below the belt hit at the club. It was clear at the time that Frawley was well and truly out of the door and that the AFL was under pressure not to enable a club to come into the trade period with a fistful of early draft picks even though it had a good case for special assistance.

Assume that Frawley decided to stay. Was Melbourne's record over the past three years (ten wins in three seasons) not one which justified the claim that its circumstances were exceptional enough to warrant the assistance requested by the club.

Especially, as I mentioned yesterday that Sydney was able to snaffle three players, including one rated in the top two in the land for a late first round draft pick.

The system stinks. Now let's see what Melbourne can get out of it.

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