Player name: Reece Conca
Current club: Richmond Tigers
Potential club: Conca is on the lookout for a new home after parting ways with Richmond earlier this month. Originally a West Australian, Conca could find a new home at either Fremantle or West Coast if the Tigers can broker an amenable trade deal. Things could get interesting at the trade table with Gold Coast, however, with Dion Prestia nominating Richmond as his preferred destination. There’s a chance Conca could form part of the compensation package for Prestia, and head to Queensland to continue his faltering AFL career. The Suns will need midfielders, so Conca may be of interest.
The original price: Reece Conca was a highly touted junior and was selected by the Tigers at pick 6 in the 2010 National Draft. Sandwiched between Jared Polec (Brisbane), and Josh Caddy (Gold Coast), Conca will be the 4th player drafted in the top 7 that year to move clubs.
The Good: Conca is a tough ball winner with sound decision-making skills. He’s a good honest player, which is to say he has shown that he belongs at AFL level but lacks any standout characteristics. Not overly fast, tall, or skilled by hand or foot, Conca could nonetheless provide midfield depth and an ability to impact both forward of, and behind the ball.
The Bad: The fact that Conca is 24 and yet to lock down a permanent position is perhaps part of the reason his career has stalled. And it has stalled – he’s far from the Pick 6 value that Richmond paid for him almost six years ago. His durability is also a significant concern. In his six AFL seasons he’s managed just 80 games – just over 13 per season – including just nine over the past two years. His upside is limited too, so any receiving club would be taking a serious punt on the midfielder.
What his club wants: Richmond are likely looking for as much trade currency as they can land. Dion Prestia will cost them a pretty price, but if they can leverage Conca into a deal where they can hold onto their first-round draft selection, they’ll probably be reasonably happy. They’ve stated that Conca is on the table, so that suggests they’ll simply take the best available offer and run with it.
What he’s worth: He’s a long way from the value that saw offers rolling in three years ago, due to the fact that he’s managed 19, 3 and 6 modest games since he re-signed with Richmond. The top-10 value from his draft year is also irrelevant now given he’s been in the system since 2010, so Conca is firmly in the mid-round or ‘steak knives’ conversation at this point. It’s not a knock on him as a player – he’d hope that he still has his best football ahead of him – but at 24 and the injury history he has, any more than a mid-round draft selection and a club would be better off putting their faith in the National Draft instead.
What we’d pay: A mid third-round selection, around Pick 45-50
Possible trade scenarios:
- Richmond trades Pick 6 and Reece Conca to Gold Coast for Dion Prestia and Pick 40
- Richmond trades Reece Conca to West Coast for Pick 48
The Verdict: Reece Conca won’t be at Punt Road next year, that much is certain. Given his market stock has drifted over the past three years, he’s also lost a considerable amount of capacity to dictate terms. Expect a deal to get done reasonably early, as few suitors will mean that Richmond will move him on for as much as they can get to focus on the bigger names.
Star rating: 2.5/5
While Conca’s best may be in front of him (questionable), his AFL career to date has had too few highlights and too many trips to the medical room.