AFL blocks GWS ‘super-trade’
The AFL has rejected a proposed multi-club trade that would have seen highly rated Western Australian 17 year-old Jaeger O’Meara land at Greater Western Sydney.
Under the League’s list building rules for GWS, teams can trade with the new franchise for one of four picks in next Monday’s mini-draft of players born between January 1 and April 30, 1994.
O’Meara is the most sought after member of that group, with several clubs showing strong interest.
He and other eligible players cannot be signed directly by the Giants.
But in an unexpected twist, it is believed that GWS had hoped to acquire the first pick in the mini-draft – and use it to secure O’Meara – by trading it and then receiving it back from a third or fourth club.
However, the AFL’s head of football operations Adrian Anderson rejected the proposal on the basis that it was against the spirit of the list-building rules.
“There was a potential trade put to us today that we weren’t satisfied was a genuine on-trade,” Anderson told afl.com.au on Tuesday night.
“It involved a 17 year-old pick leaving GWS and going back to GWS.
“We didn’t think [the proposed trade] was within the spirit or the terms of the rule that requires GWS to on-trade their access to the 17 year-olds.”
Anderson would not detail the specifics of the trade or which other clubs were involved, although Hawthorn, Adelaide and Fremantle have been mentioned.
The Giants haven’t been altogether ruled out of trading into the mini-draft, with Anderson stressing that it was only Tuesday’s proposed trade that had been knocked back.
“It really in our view was a scheme that involved the 17 year-old picks returning to GWS,” he said.
Although saying the mini-draft concept was designed to help the Giants “be competitive in their early years”, Anderson wasn’t surprised to find them trying to open a loophole.
“It never surprises me that clubs are looking at ways to maximise their own lists, and obviously these 17 year-old kids are very talented,” he said.
“I can see why they want access to them.
“But the spirit and intent was always that they’re required to on-trade them.
“We just weren’t satisfied that what was put to us today was a genuine on-trade of those picks.”