Suns salary dump turns to gold for Dockers

Justin Chadwick |

Gold Coast have made some epic list management blunders in the past and sending Will Brodie to Fremantle is shaping up to be their latest.

Brodie has made a hot start to his time at the Dockers, becoming a critical 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 disposals and six clearances in a 34-point win over GWS.

Brodie was touted as a future star when he was taken by Gold Coast with pick No.9 in the 2016 national draft.

But opportunities at the struggling Suns were limited for Brodie, who managed just 25 games over five seasons before being traded to Fremantle in what was effectively a salary dump.

The Suns sent Brodie and pick 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 the Dockers.

With Fyfe, David Mundy and Caleb Serong missing games this season and Andrew Brayshaw being heavily tagged, Brodie has shone.

The inside midfielder tallied 22 disposals and seven clearances in the round-one win over Adelaide, 26 disposals and four clearances in the loss to St Kilda and 23 disposals and eight clearances in the western derby win over West Coast.

Brodie then produced an exceptional performance against GWS, when he constantly fed the ball to Fremantle’s outside runners to help spearhead a victory that improved the Dockers’ record to 3-1.

“He’s a mature body,” Fremantle stand-in 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 inside.”

The recruitment of Brodie isn’t the first time Fremantle have come away smiling from a trade with Gold Coast.

In 2017, the footy world was stunned when the Suns sent their prized No.2 draft pick to Fremantle in exchange for Lachie Weller and pick No.41.

Fremantle used that pick to select midfielder Brayshaw, who has already become an AFL star and is being touted as a future captain.

Gold Coast delisted Jarryd Lyons in 2018 and he has since gone on to become a star at 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 stole Hugh Greenwood from under their noses.

Gold Coast delisted Greenwood so they could meet the AFL’s requirement to have enough space on their list to select a minimum of three players at the national draft.

But the Suns’ bid to redraft Greenwood came undone when the Kangaroos swooped to sign him as a delisted free agent.