It is trade week in the Australian Football League (AFL), the post-season opportunity for player's to move to another club of their choice.
As with many professional sports, the AFL has certain rules in place to ensure the players are distributed evenly among the competing clubs. Player salary caps, the draft, and trades are just some of the mechanisms used to keep the competition as even as possible. These rules ensure that no club can dominate the competition year after year.
The trade period occurs at the end of the season. For players who are currently in a club, it is an opportunity for them to nominate another club that they want to play for. The two clubs then have to haggle over a trade of players or draft picks until they reach a mutual agreement.
For players who have been in the system for over eight years, they can move to another club as a free agent. Free agency was introduced to give older players a chance to get to a club of their choice before the end of their career. For many, they may be seeking that club that is good enough to give them the premiership that eluded them at their old club.
When trading, the clubs play a bit of cat and mouse game, wanting to give away as little as they can, whilst trying to gain the most with their new player. This dance goes on for a few days until the deadline for trading approaches, and then there is a flurry of activity among the clubs to get all the trades done. Some trades don't get completed, and the player will be designed to staying at their old club. It can be a little
Trade week is another one of the offseason activities that keep us supporters interested. With no football over the summer months, we keep an eager eye on the players coming to our club. Hopefully, we are going to trade in that star player who is going to lift us to success in the next season.