Thu, Oct 19, 5:36pm by Head Editor
It took until the final hour of the 11-day trade period, but finally, Geelong’s favourite son, Gary Ablett Jr, can pack his bags, and move back to Victoria’s second largest city, after six seasons on the Gold Coast.
The Suns said goodbye to their inaugural captain, and the man who won the Brownlow medal in the Queensland city in 2013, for pick 19, and both a second and fourth-round selection in next year’s draft.
The trade of the 33-year-old – who’s played 302 games – made an immediate impact on the betting markets, with Sportsbet reeling the Cats price in from $11 to $9 to win next year’s Premiership.
Ablett wasn’t the only big name to find a new home on a frenetic final day of the trade period, with Premiership stars Luke Hodge going to Brisbane and Bulldog Jake Stringer heading across town to Essendon.
Stringer made his way to the Bombers in exchange for picks 25 and 30. The 23-year was one of three players to sign the dotted line at the trade table, with Sun Adam Saad and Giant Devon Smith also coming across.
Hodge, who announced his retirement in August, stunned the football world, when he back flipped on his decision to hang up the boots so he can coach Chris Fagan, who was the general manager of football at Hawthorn for Hodge’s three flags.
It was a busy day for the Lions, losing Josh Schache, who was the number two pick just two years ago, and got his trade home to the Western Bulldogs with just 30 seconds remaining before the 2pm deadline, while they gained Adelaide forward Charlie Cameron.
A player who missed out on going home last year – Bryce Gibbs – signed a four-year-deal with last season’s runners-up, the Adelaide Crows. Gibbs’ former club – Carlton – did very well out of the trade, securing picks 10 and 16, plus a 2018 second round pick.
The 2006 number one pick joints the Premiership favourite, the Crows are $5 to go one better than last season, ahead of the Sydney clubs, the Giants and the Swans, who are both at $5.50 to raise the cup.
All in all, there was 16 deals done on the final day of the trade period, the next step before the clubs finalise their lists is the national draft, which takes place on November 24 at the Sydney Showground Exhibition Centre.
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