Geelong could well supercharge its bid for back-to-back premierships with a lucrative trade period.
In an ideal world for the Cats, they could finish the trade period with three players taken in the top 20 of recent drafts, as well as pick No. 7.
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It’s a scary proposition for any side, but the Cats are well-placed to make it happen.
Most likely at this stage is the arrival of Tanner Bruhn, with the Giants youngster set on Geelong as his club of choice after two years in New South Wales.
Bruhn was taken with pick No. 12 in the 2020 draft, but the midfielder wants to head back to Victoria, with the Cats looming as his destination.
The Giants and Cats had a stern back-and-forth two years ago when striking a deal for Jeremy Cameron, but Bruhn’s exit should prove more straightforward given the club is undergoing a mini-reset as new coach Adam Kingsley comes on board.
Then there’s Ollie Henry, the extremely talented youngster who has fallen out of favor at Collingwood as Ash Johnson has come into the line-up and made the forward role his own.
Pick No. 17 in the 2020 draft, Henry has shown tantalizing glimpses of his potential in his 25 senior games so far.
The Pies have bigger fish to fry at the trade table regarding Jordan De Goey and Brodie Grundy, while Henry would be tempted by the prospect of joining brother Jack at the Cats.
Most recently – and perhaps most surprisingly – is the final name of the tradable trio: Jack Bowes.
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At just 24 years of age, Bowes has enormously upside as a former pick No. 10 who showed plenty in a half-back role in 2021 before injuries curtailed his 2022 campaign.
His deal with the Suns expires at the end of 2024, but other deals have meant his is one heavily back-ended, with Bowes set to earn more than $800,000 next season as a result.
Given the significant salary space Bowes would command next season under his current deal, the Suns are willing to trade their pick No. 7 as part of an exchange.
At just 24 years of age, the Cats could easily extend their contract out and smooth over the salary so it fits within their rigid and effective structure.
The last time Geelong had a pick as high as No. 7 was all the way back in 2006.
Joel Selwood – Full Retirement Presser | 26:41
Their selection? Joel Selwood.
As it stands, the Cats’ pick No. 18 is one likely to be involved in a deal for one of the above trio.
From there, things get slightly more complicated, with picks from 36 onwards unlikely to get things done.
Future picks may well need to be considered, but they’d be more than worth it if the Cats end up snaring three genuine long-term prospects and insert them into the side while the likes of Tom Hawkins and Patrick Dangerfield are in the line- up.
It is an extraordinary prospect for a side that simply should not still be contending for premierships let alone winning them under the AFL’s equalization measures.
Should they orchestrate those deals, they’ll add to a 24-and-under brigade that already includes the likes of Sam De Koning, Tyson Stengle, Max Holmes, Brad Close, Zach Guthrie and Brandan Parfitt.
Some would suggest Geelong’s 2022 premiership was the climax of a 10-year journey, but instead it could well be the opening act for the next 10.
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