Lance Franklin moved to Sydney despite being strongly linked with crosstown rival GWS. Picture: Phil Hillyard
Lance Franklin moved to Sydney despite being strongly linked with crosstown rival GWS. Picture: Phil Hillyard

Footy’s biggest trade bombshells

THE trend of players choosing their club of choice has become commonplace in recent years. 

Paddy Ryder, Zak Jones, Brad Hill and Dougal Howard have nominated St Kilda this year, while Tom Papley has reportedly asked for a trade to Carlton. 

Joe Daniher wants to get to Sydney, Hugh Greenwood has asked to join Gold Coast and Jack Martin wants out of the Suns. 

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But it was only a few years ago when some of the bigger deals were kept secret, including Buddy Franklin's shock switch to Sydney. 

 

LANCE FRANKLIN
Buddy leaving Hawthorn at the end of the 2013 season was no great shock, but everyone assumed he would be joining GWS - including the Giants themselves. Secret talks had been underway for months but the AFL was also blindsided when the Giants pulled out on October 1 and the Swans confirmed Buddy's monster deal the next day. Then league chairman Mike Fitzpatrick admitted three years later he was still "quite disappointed" by Buddy's swiftie.

HOW FRANKLIN BECAME A SWAN: 

RYAN GRIFFEN

The 2014 trade period was rocked by the shock decision of the Bulldogs captain to quit, requesting a move to GWS. Griffen, who was contracted, then when pig shooting with his brothers while the Dogs figured out how to handle the crisis, in the process parting ways with coach Brendan McCartney. The club declared it wouldn't trade Griffen, but backflipped when it was able to deliver a bombshell of its own ...

TOM BOYD

That week took another monster U-turn after the Dogs declared the 19-year-old former No. 1 draft pick wanted to head to the kennel. GWS was defiant, saying Boyd wasn't going anywhere. Eventually both clubs backed down, the deal was done - and Boyd is now a premiership hero.

BEN McEVOY

St Kilda ruckman Ben McEvoy decided to check his emails before going to bed during a post-season holiday in Thailand in 2013, and one grabbed his attention. It was from his management and read: "Turn your phone on. We need to speak to you urgently." "And an hour or two later the clubs had done a deal," McEvoy said about his shock trade to Hawthorn. "Leaving (St Kilda) wasn't something I'd even considered thinking about, let alone thought about doing. So it was sprung on me as much as it was everyone else when it happened. It came out of the blue." McEvoy's name came up during discussions over running defender Shane Savage and, as they say in the classics, things escalated quickly.

RON BARASSI

Still the most famous trade in VFL-AFL history, Barassi accepted an offer to become Carlton captain-coach just three months after he led Melbourne to the 1964 premiership. To many, Barassi was Melbourne and his decision broke the footy Richter scale. Kids openly cried, wondering what they would do with their Melbourne No. 31 jumpers; grown men held back tears in an effort to console their sons, and a poor Melbourne supporter from Lilydale was at a loss to know what to do with the parrot she had spent months teaching to say: 'C'mon Ron, C'mon Ron.' The move took almost two months to be finalised as Melbourne initially refused to release Barassi before eventually relenting. "It was probably the hardest decision I've ever had to make in my life," Barassi said recently. "It was unusual at the time to have an established player leave to join another club ... I changed my mind a few times about the move. It was tough, but it turned out to be the best football decision I ever made."

Superstar Melbourne recruit Peter Moore.
Superstar Melbourne recruit Peter Moore.

PETER MOORE/KELVIN TEMPLETON

Footy doyen Mike Sheahan rates the moves of Moore (from Collingwood) and Templeton (Footscray) to Melbourne at the end of the 1982 season as the scoop of his career. He worked on the story for a month and when it was published the idea was widely ridiculed. Even Sheahan had his doubts it would happen, but it did. "The impact of that was just unbelievable. We are talking about two captains, both of whom had won Brownlow Medals in the previous three years, moving as a package to one club for $1 million bucks. This is 30 years ago. It was massive," he said recently.

Sam Mitchell finished his decorated career with West Coast.
Sam Mitchell finished his decorated career with West Coast.

SAM MITCHELL

Mitchell had only told five people about his likely move to West Coast, and none of them were at Hawthorn. Alastair Clarkson knew - it was his idea, and initially even Mitchell was blindsided - and he wasn't telling anyone. Veteran WA journo Kim Hagdorn dropped the bombshell on Perth radio in 2016 , and was met widely with disbelief until the man himself confirmed the rumour.

McAlister led a push to make Tony Lockett a Magpie before he went to Sydney.
McAlister led a push to make Tony Lockett a Magpie before he went to Sydney.

TONY LOCKETT

Goal-kicking legend Lockett was reportedly bound for either Richmond or Collingwood when he prepared to leave St Kilda. Instead, he headed north to the battling Sydney Swans in a complex trade which netted the Saints three players and two first-round draft picks. There was a suggestion to anonymity of playing in Sydney played a factor in Plugger's decision. Sound familiar? Lockett bagged 462 goals from 98 games with the Swans. 

Trent Croad and Luke Hodge soak up Hawthorn's 2008 premiership win.
Trent Croad and Luke Hodge soak up Hawthorn's 2008 premiership win.

TRENT CROAD, LUKE MCPHARLIN 

Recruiting guru Gary Buckenara revealed recently Hawthorn has to sell Croad on the idea of joining Fremantle after the 2001 season. There was a revolt among Hawks supporters when it became clear the club was prepared to trade Croad, who had featured in the club's preliminary final loss to Essendon. Hawthorn gained picks 1, 20 and 36 in a deal for Croad and Luke McPharlin which famously allowed the club to draft Sam Mitchell and Luke Hodge. There was clearly no bad blood as Croad was a Hawk again three years later. 

 

 

GWS Giants recruit Ryan Griffen at his first press conference. Picture: Phil Hillyard
GWS Giants recruit Ryan Griffen at his first press conference. Picture: Phil Hillyard
Kelvin Templeton’s defection was a huge shock.
Kelvin Templeton’s defection was a huge shock.
News Corp Australia


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