In a 24-hour period where they should be celebrating the crowning of Ellie Blackburn and Emma Kearney as joint club best and fairest winners, the Western Bulldogs will be fearing for their hopes of securing a key forward in the draft.
Freelance journalist Callum O’Connor, who was the first to break the news regarding the Nicola Stevens trade, tweeted on social media that Carlton and Brisbane are edging closer to a deal on Tayla Harris, and GWS is seeking a deal with Collingwood involving the Pies’ Alicia Eva and Giants’ pick 1 in the AFLW Draft.
It was reported that the latter of the talks saw attempts from the Western Bulldogs to enter into the trade deal, knowing full well that should the Giants directly hand the first pick in the national draft to the Pies, the Bulldogs will be bumped to second in the Victorian draft pool and potentially miss out on both Harris and TAC Cup Girls best and fairest winner, Chloe Molloy.
Although the Magpies might not desire to take the 18-year-old forward with pick one, the pick itself could be worth an exchange for a quality, experienced midfielder; perhaps bringing Melbourne in off the sidelines to the trade table, or forcing the Dogs to give up something so they can secure a forward.
If Collingwood can facilitate the Eva trade and secure the first pick, it would mean the Magpies hold the first, third and fourth selections in the Victorian AFLW Draft.
Meanwhile, Harris’ move to Victoria is all but certain now, after Brisbane Lions Women’s CEO Breanna Brock confirmed to the Courier Mail the star forward’s desire to relocate to Melbourne.
“It’s certainly disappointing but Tayla has always wanted to try her hand in Melbourne so it’s not surprising to us,’” Brock said.
“We were hoping that the success the team had this year and the friendships that she formed might be enough to keep her here.
“But Tayla requested a trade and we are now exploring our options … we are hoping to get it done in the next few days.
“It [the trade with the Blues] will have to be worth our while and hopefully they can meet us halfway.”
Many saw a Carlton-Brisbane trade as impossible due to the lengths the Blues had to go to secure Nicola Stevens, and the Lions’ request of at least two Carlton footballers to head north.
However, it’s believed at least one of their forwards is willing to relocate to Brisbane, and there’s reports of the Blues having found a second player.
But Carlton is now pushing back on the Lions to make the deal a straight two players for two players swap, opposed to the earlier Harris for two Blues proposal.
The Lions did have one carrot possibly up for grabs to convince a Victorian to move.
Harris was not only a marquee player, but also an employee with Brisbane in a marketing and communications role.
It’s conceivable that full-time employment may have been offered to a suitable footballer that wanted to relocate to Queensland.
In other list news, the signings continue at the Magpies, with Brittany Bonnici, Jasmine Garner, Stacey Livingstone, Emma Grant and Jess Duffin (nee Cameron) all committing for the 2018 AFLW season.
And finally there is some news for Crows fans, with marquee Chelsea Randall and cult hero Sarah Perkins re-signing for 2018.