Trade Week 2017

Well… that was fun. Wasn’t it?


Trade week 2017 – but it could be any year, really. As a proud Brisbane Lions member of many years, I approached this year’s trade window with the same mix of emotions as I have for many years now. The positives – will we pick up an established champ to help lift us off the bottom? Maybe a highly rated junior who has struggled for opportunities elsewhere might see more senior chances with us? The negatives – will we lose another young player for peanuts? Will we have to mortgage the ‘Gabba to try and entice talent into the club?


For the best part of two weeks, I kept an ear out for the radio, an eye on the AFL website and a hand on my phone waiting for the urgent buzz of a push notification of the latest trade. Each announcement was met with a rapid flow of internal dialogue – “Geez, they got a bargain there!”, “Sheesh! Seems so easy for <insert club> to get their trades sorted; what’s wrong with my mob?” and, of course, “Please, PLEASE don’t accept that offer!” The wash-up for the Lions read like most clubs – a couple of players in, a couple of players out and some shuffling of picks. As I said at the start, it really could be any year’s trade period! But to summarise the trade period so simply is to deny the passion that exists within the die-hard supporter. For many, the ‘ins’ are worth far less than the ‘outs’. The calls for the immediate departures of key club figures begin, offset by the one-eyed fans who staunchly believe (have to believe?) that those in charge “know best” and we all should smile politely and accept our medicine.


The truth is probably somewhere in between. The club will officially spin how the trade period was challenging but we achieved a lot and compromised just enough. Internally, I imagine they’ll debate long into the night, next week and next season about the wisdom of those deals made in that last hour. Did we bend too much? Did we approach things wrong? Hindsight is 20/20 and it is only with the passing of time that the final decision regarding whether we ‘won’ or ‘lost’ this trade period can truly be given.


In the days following the trade period, my initial feel is one of cautious optimism. Websites write of how well we performed while others talk of clubs securing “bargains” from the Lions. I now have some new heroes and players I once cheered for have suddenly become brand new villains in the great pantomime that is AFL football.


  1. What’s the problem with Schache Mark? I saw him play some half decent footy through the year.

    I thought you did pretty well from it. You’ve got some good draft picks, and Rockliff’s seems to have been a disruptive influence for years now — as good as he can be when he puts his mind to it.

  2. Let me start by saying that I don’t know Josh – never met him and, now he’s not a Lion, I doubt I ever will. From the outside, it seems that he simply reached a point that many of us have reached in a job or a relationship at some point in our lives – it wasn’t what he thought it was going to be. We (the Lions, that is!) tried and Josh tried. His family, team mates and friends tried. I don’t think anyone is feeling that “more” could have been done. Josh is a young man who just happens to work as a footballer. The sports world can’t expect him to not feel, think and act like a young man just because 1,000s of fans want him to. I really wanted him to stay; I was optimistic of a gun forward from country Vic roaming the ‘Gabba again – J. Brown 2.0 – but it hasn’t turned out that way. I hope he finds his way; after all footy is just a part of who he is, and it sounds like he needs to spend some time working on the other parts of who he is right now.

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