The Western Bulldogs sit in prime position to snare Brisbane marquee forward Tayla Harris thanks to the oddities of the AFL Women’s trade period.
The 20-year-old has reportedly told the Lions she wishes to be traded to a Victorian team, but she could also nominate for the draft if a trade agreement can’t be reached.
Like the inaugural women’s draft, players can select the states they wish to be drafted in and Harris would simply have to put her name up for Victorian clubs only.
The reason this gives the Bulldogs an advantage is because they were the lowest finishing Victorian side, giving them what is essentially pick one of the state’s talent.
If Carlton, Collingwood or Melbourne wish to get Harris first, they’ll need to satisfy the Lions with a trade.
This creates problems as they firstly need to convince potentially multiple Victorian-based players to move to Queensland and play for the Lions, as well as create a deal Brisbane would agree to.
This is compounded by the fact draft picks don’t carry the same value in the AFL Women’s competition at this stage, as most of the talent pool was picked up last year.
By comparison, the Bulldogs simply need to hope no deal is reached and pluck Harris in the draft with their first pick.
The Bulldogs already boast key forward Katie Brennan, but struggled to kick winning scores when she went down injured early in the season.
Adding Harris would give them two mobile key position forwards to go with the talents of Emma Kearney and Ellie Blackburn in the midfield.
If the Dogs can’t land Harris in the draft, 18-year-old Calder Cannons key forward Chloe Molloy is currently expected to be the number one Victorian selection.
Clubs can re-sign a maximum of 22 players from their inaugural playing lists, but the total squad sizes will not be increasing from 27 plus three rookies next season.
The trade period begins on Monday and will run for 12 days, while the draft will take place on October 18th.