Andrew Demetriou is a cunning man. Any person who bulldozed a path from junk player at North Melbourne to CEO of the most powerful sporting organisation in Australia should enjoy that label. Demetriou is aware that AFL is carried out under the gaze of the winter sun, leaving an abyss in the heart of the AFL fan during the summer months. Thus, this wise and powerful man has taken it upon himself to encroach into the domain of the cricket season. The AFL intruded meekly at first, a day here and a day there. Then they became bold, ripping great chunks off the cricket season until an entire month had been whittled away. Which brings us to the Gilette Trade Period, a headline-grabbing AFL marathon of double-crossing and team re-building that travels up until the 11th of December, deep into the heart of the cricket season. The unnecessarily long trade period keeps AFL in the news the whole year round, a bonus for one and all.
This trade period has been more exciting then most with the introduction of free agency, an American-styled system where players with a certain amount of service at a club can jump ship, as it were, and join another club. The biggest fish to be landed was Brendan Goddard by the usually placid football club of Essendon. Unfortunately for Essendon fans, Goddard is not the saviour. Deficiencies in defence and in the forward line have found Essendon wanting the last two often sons, but good luck to everyone involved.
Next to go was Quienten Lynch, the big lad from West Coast, Collingwood made a wellexecuted decision to obtain this 30 year old, and in doing so upset their incumbent full-forward Chris Dawes, he of a much younger persuasion. Dawes is rumoured to be heading to the Melbourne Demons, an out of the fire and into a much smaller and poorer fire situation.
Trade week arrived on Monday, with the news that Kurt Tippett, a hulking full-forward from Adelaide, declaring that he wanted to join recently crowned premiers Sydney. If successful, this move could see the Swans at the top of the table for the foreseeable future, a situation that is ideal for everyone.
The Swans copped severe backlash for their coup in scoping out Tippett, mainly because they are allowed an extra $800,000 in their salary cap for living expenses. For those naysayers out there, it may appear that the Swans are hoarding their money to snatch someone like Tippett. Yet most of the accusations are falsified and it is most likely rumours to undermine the Sydney Swans impeccable reputation as iconic heroes.
Moving on, the cricket season has actually begun, the Sheffield Shield is being fought out by Australia’s states and a World Cup was won and lost. Little of this has been discussed in Australia, with thanks going to Andrew Demetriou, who has triumphantly manoeuvred AFL into the limelight deep into the summer. However, everyone deserves an AFL break and an endless supply of KFC cricketing commercials to kick-start the summer.