The 2019 NAB AFL Draft is expected to be a busy one for clubs and potentially busier than usual.
With the live trading of draft picks now into its second year, there has been plenty of talk about clubs being just as busy swapping selections as they will be selecting players.
Clubs may be looking to move up the order, or in some instances get back into the draft if they see a player the want sliding further down the draft order.
Live trading allows clubs to snare players they otherwise wouldn’t have been able to get or pick up draft bargains later in the draft.
While the live trading helps clubs, the impact it has on players is often overlooked.
For Connor Idun, the introduction of live trading in the 2018 NAB AFL Draft was life changing.
Idun could have very well ended up at another club or been not drafted at all.
“I was so nervous. I got one hour’s sleep the night before, if I was lucky,” Idun told GIANTS Recruiter and award-winning journalist Emma Quayle earlier this year.
“I remember sitting there wondering what was going to happen. I didn’t know.
“But I sort of had a hope that it would be the GIANTS. Then it was, ‘it’s probably going to be the GIANTS or no-one.’ That’s the way I was thinking.
“I had my fingers crossed, but once Briggsy (Kieren Briggs) got bid on, I thought that was that.”
With the selection of Briggs the GIANTS were left with a pick in the late 80s so the GIANTS’ recruiting team began working feverishly in the draft room to facilitate a trade so they could select the hulking defender from the Geelong Falcons.
After being knocked back by multiple clubs, St Kilda came to the table and gave the GIANTS pick 61 in exchange for two future fourth-round selections.
They could now take Idun at that pick
“I thought the GIANTS were done, but then thankfully I saw that trade come through and my heart rate lifted,” Idun recalled.
“I was praying to the TV, I was thinking ‘please let it be me.’ And then to hear my name called out, it was awesome, my family went off.
“I’m pretty lucky that the trading came in.”
Nearly 12 months on, the GIANTS’ first foray into live trading can already be deemed a success.
Idun made his debut in the GIANTS’ round 20 Sydney Derby win over the Swans and last month won the GIANTS’ NEAFL Development Award.
Now with the 2020 NAB AFL Draft just week away, it will be intriguing to see how many players like Conor Idun will have their lives changed thanks to live trading.
The GIANTS hold picks 6, 40, 59, 60, 80 and 94 in the 2019 NAB AFL Draft to be held in Melbourne on November 27 and 28.