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THE TRADING CHRONICLES - PART FIVE



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THE TRADING CHRONICLES 2011 by The Oracle

Part Five: FLIM FLAM MEN

It took until half way through the third day of the exchange period for its first genuine trade to be completed but if you think the story behind the first of the year's truly done trade deals was either spectacular or unexpected then please don't hold your breath.

It involved Jack Gunston, a fourteen game forward with the Crows, returning home to Victoria after two years in the City of Churches. He landed in the Hawks' nest at Waverley around lunchtime yesterday along with picks 53 and 71.

In return, Adelaide said "thank you very much" and received picks 24, 46 and 64 which is not bad when you consider that until a month or so ago, the name Gunston was only known to those on the wrong side of 40 who associated it with a television character known as "the little Aussie bleeder".

The modern day Gunston must have done something extraordinary to create the impression among the media deserving of the hype surrounding him after only a handful of games. It turns out that he kicked five goals in a losing effort against Richmond in Round 23. That's his only claim to fame but you could have been forgiven for believing that Buddy himself was changing clubs the way some of the media pundits were carrying on.

I had been led to believe that the winning bids for the GWS compensation ''mini-draft'' were to be announced late today with the actual selections to be determined at the close of trade proceedings next Monday but let's face it - this shambolic farce that we call the trade week has long lost any shred of structure or integrity for that matter. Where the GWS is involved, it's virtually a case of anything goes and therefore it came as no surprise that the next "trade" to be announced was actually the revelation of a deal done by GWS in exchange for pick 1 in the ''mini-draft'' more than a full day in advance.

For the record, Jaeger O'Meara is going to the Gold Coast Suns, for pick No. 4 in this year's national draft and the mid first-round compensation pick the Suns received from Geelong during last year's trade period. Now, I am completely lost because I thought it was the Cats who received a mid first round selection as part of the compo for Ablett Junior and not the other way around but I'm sure someone will explain it to me some day soon.

The second of the "mini draft" deals is also virtually done and dusted with Brad Crouch going to Adelaide and the Giants are being so nice about it that they're throwing in a handy SANFL player, Luke Brown, to seal the deal.

What seems strange is that GWS is accepting offers now when they could have waited another 24 hours to perhaps get improved deals for these players but I won't waste time trying to make sense out of anything GWS does because, after all, these blokes are paying a 20 year old kid with a wonky knee $2m to play next year.

The most interesting insight in the process was obtained from listening to O'Meara's manager. It seems the AFL have moved the mini draft goalposts on more than one occasion and one gets the distinct impression that the kid wouldn't have nominated at all if he thought he might end up at Blacktown. Perhaps this was the reason why the AFL was forced to intervene two days ago?

My admiration for O'Meara grew as a result of hearing the interview with his manager and, from that moment on, I found myself wishing Melbourne had tried harder to secure him. But there's a price for everything, the Giants wanted draft picks and pick 4 will always trump pick 12.

Sheedy now has cornered the field in this year's national draft and, if there are no further changes at the top of the list, the Demons will, at pick 12, hold the third highest non GWS selection!

And what of the Demon recruiters?

Apparently they were in there fighting against a few other clubs to win over St. Kilda's Irish recruit Tom Walsh, who has yet to make his AFL debut, in the race to get the second genuine trade of the week across the line.

Fascinating.

Completed Trades after Day Three:

1. Richmond get Steven Morris (West Adelaide) and first round draft selection (No. 15)

GWS Giants get first round draft selection (No. 14).

2. Collingwood get Marin Clarke (ex-Collingwood), Jamie Elliot (Murray Bushrangers) and fourth round draft selection (No. 67)

GWS GIANTS get first round draft selection (No. 25).

3. Adelaide get first round draft selection (No. 24), second round draft selection (No. 46) and third round draft selection (No. 64).

Hawthorn get Jack Gunston (Adelaide), third round draft selection (No. 53) and fourth round draft selection (No. 71).

4. Gold Coast Sun get first pick in the "mini draft".

GWS GIANTS get first round draft selection (No. 4) and a mid first round compensation draft selection for future use.

The Oracle is spending today in a padded cell.

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