AFL: Off-season moves - who got it right and who didn't? Adelaide to GWS

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A lot of faces have found themselves in new colours in season 2022. From trades, to delistings and free agency moves, fan favourites have now become enemies on another team. 

Who’s killing it for their new club?

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Is there a case of buyer’s regret?

We take a look at which AFL players have gone where and how they’re doing.

Adelaide

Jordan Dawson

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Coming across from Sydney as a talented halfback, Dawson hasn’t missed a beat since joining the Crows, playing all five games in new colours. Averaging 24 disposals and five rebound 50s, the 25-year-old has slotted nicely into Matthew Nicks’ line-up. His best game for his new team came in the Showdown, where his 24 touches and goal after-the-siren saw Adelaide with their first victory in 2022.

Brisbane

Darcy Fort

After crossing from the Cattery, ruckman Darcy Fort has since enjoyed his time in the sunshine state. Joining Brisbane over the summer, Fort has played in every game in 2022, being involved in four wins, with the only loss against his old side. Playing as second-ruck to Oscar McInerney, the mature-age recruit has given coach Chris Fagan faith that he belongs at the level.

Carlton

Adam Cerra

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Being part of a dramatic trade that saw Fremantle score a first round pick (no.6) and future third-round selection, the Cerra deal was one of the biggest in the offseason. Playing in all but one match so far (due to Health and Safety Protocol), the young midfielder adds another dynamic to the already-stacked Carlton midfield. Consisting of Cripps and Walsh, the addition of Cerra was widely criticised because of his salary demans, but has since silenced the haters, averaging 25 touches, five tackles and 4 clearances. The 22-year-old is just another headache for opposition and could help the Blues return to finals.

Lewis Young

Starved of opportunities at the Bulldogs, Young chose to take his talents elsewhere and landed at Ikon Park. So far, he’s played the last three games in the Navy Blue and looks relatively comfortable in Michael Voss’ side down back, adding to the young talent filtered throughout the ground. 

George Hewett

Using free agency to its highest capacity, Hewett felt a fresh start at a new club was best, after leaving Sydney with 120 games under his belt. Since swapping over, the inside midfielder has played every game in 2022 and averages 30 disposals and eight clearances. The 26-year-old’s toughness around the ball allows the Blues to use Cripps in different ways whilst his spread from the contest just adds another string to the already improving Carlton bow.

Collingwood

Nathan Kreuger

After managing only two games in three years at Geelong, Kreuger made the switch to the Pies in a bid for more chances at the highest level. Donning the black and white in round 2 for the first time, the swingman kicked two goals before injuring his shoulder. The youngster then returned against Brisbane to kick another two goals and has proved to be a viable option alongside Mihocek.  

Patrick Lipinski

Starved of opportunities in a stacked Bulldogs midfield, Lipinski sought greener pastures and found himself at Collingwood. The midfielder has played every game thus far and averages 24 touches under Craig Macrae. The silky rover continues to impress at his new club that values him highly internally as a key cog in the Magpie machine.

Essendon

Jake Kelly

Kelly decided to explore free agency after a major rebuild at Adelaide was just getting underway. In a bid to return home, the Victorian opted to join the Bombers as a young team on their way up the ladder. So far, Kelly hasn’t missed a beat, playing in all five games and contributing on the defensive end. It hasn’t been all sunshine and rainbows at Tullamarine, with Essendon only notching one win, ironically against Kelly’s old side.

Fremantle

Will Brodie

Managing only 25 games in five years with the Suns, Brodie made the switch to the Dockers after falling out of favour. The pick 9 in the 2016 draft has been nothing short of impressive, not missing a game and becoming the player all thought he would be. The midfielder has averaged 27 touches and seven clearances. The unsung Docker continues to take strides forward as Fremantle sit 4-1 after round 5.

Jordan Clark

A homesick Clark wanted to return to WA and landed at Fremantle over the off-season, coming from Geelong. Since the change to the purple haze, the speedster has fallen seamlessly into John Longmuir’s line-up as they start to climb up the AFL ladder. The winger averages 18 touches and helps break lines with his intensity and quickness with ball in hand. The 21-year-old is yet another youthful talent that occupies an impressive Fremantle list.

Geelong

Jonathon Ceglar

Yet to play.

Tyson Stengle

Journeyman Stengle signed with Geelong as a delisted free agent and has proven why he should be at the level in every way. Exciting his third club in the pre-season, Stengle continued this trend with four goals and 20 touches in his first game for the Cats and has since kept his spot. The lively small forward has kicked eight goals this season and looks dangerous every time he goes near the ball. The 23-year-old could be the answer to Geelong’s lack of crumbing forwards.

Gold Coast

Mabior Chol

After playing 31 games for Richmond, the athletic big man and former Brisbane local was lured back to Queensland and joined Gold Coast as an unrestricted free agent during the off-season. The dynamic ruck/forward has showcased glimpses of his immense talent and athleticism and will look to build his AFL career in the sunshine state. Chol has kicked goals in every game this season and looks right at home playing under Stuart Dew.

GWS

Jarrod Brander

The former Eagle returned to the state he played junior footy in as a delisted free agent. The Giants opted to pick up Brander for his versatility, showcasing his strengths in both the forward and backline. Having only managed to play the first two games of the year, Brander could be set for a recall after impressive VFL performances recently. 

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