Gold Coast salary dump Will Brodie turns to gold for Fremantle Dockers
Gold Coast have made epic roster management mistakes in the past and sending Will Brodie to Fremantle looks set to be their last.
Brodie has started his time with the Dockers well, becoming a vital part of their engine room in the absence of skipper Nat Fyfe.
The 23-year-old produced his best AFL game on Saturday night when he racked up 37 eliminations and six clearances in a 34-point win over GWS.
Brodie was touted as a future star when he was selected by Gold Coast with the No. 9 pick in the 2016 national draft.
But opportunities at the struggling Suns were limited for Brodie, who managed just 25 games in five seasons before being traded to Fremantle in what was effectively a wage dump.
The Suns sent Brodie and picked the No. 19 West in exchange for a 2022 second-round selection and a 2022 fourth-round selection.
The trade is already paying huge dividends for Dockers.
With Fyfe, David Mundy and Caleb Serong missing games this season and Andrew Brayshaw being heavily tagged, Brodie has shined.
The inside midfielder had 22 eliminations and seven clearances in the first round win over Adelaide, 26 eliminations and four clearances in the loss to St Kilda and 23 eliminations and eight clearances in the West Derby win over the Coast west.
Brodie then produced a stellar performance against GWS, when he consistently fed the ball to Fremantle’s outside runners to help lead a win that improved Dockers’ record to 3-1.
“He’s a mature body,” Fremantle backup coach Jaymie Graham said of Brodie.
“We know his contested possession is one of his strengths. I think he had 20 contested possessions tonight, so he was really important for us on the inside.
Brodie’s signing isn’t the first time Fremantle have come away smiling from a swap deal with Gold Coast.
In 2017, the soccer world was stunned when the Suns sent their prized No. 2 draft pick to Fremantle in exchange for Lachie Weller and the No. 41 pick.
Fremantle used the pick to select midfielder Brayshaw, who has already become an AFL star and is being touted as a future captain.
Gold Coast dropped Jarryd Lyons from the list in 2018 and he has since become a star in Brisbane, finishing second in the Lions’ best and fairest in 2020 and third last year.
The Suns’ most embarrassing blunder, however, came last year when North Melbourne robbed Hugh Greenwood from under their noses.
Gold Coast removed Greenwood from the roster so they could meet the AFL’s requirement of having enough space on their roster to select a minimum of three players in the national draft.
But the Suns’ attempt to reform Greenwood was quashed when the Kangaroos rushed to sign him as a waived free agent.