MATTHEW RICHARDSON’S TOP 10: Time for AFL mid-season trades & Gather Round should STAY in South Australia

MATTHEW RICHARDSON
The Nightly
A mid-season trade period would benefit struggling teams like North Melbourne and Richmond.
A mid-season trade period would benefit struggling teams like North Melbourne and Richmond. Credit: Getty Images

1. What a great idea the Gather Round has turned out to be. The second year was even better than the first. About 100,000 visitors flocked to South Australia. The original idea was for this to be spread to other states in future years, but it’s pretty clear now it should be SA’s for good. Particularly now the SA Premier has announced an oval development to play a game in the Barossa Valley next year. Why would you risk moving it?

2. While in Adelaide I had the pleasure of bumping into South Aussie Premier Peter Malinauskas. I’ve never met him before, but he went out of his way to say G’day. It felt like I was talking to a mate at the pub and had known him for years. What a go-getting leader he is for South Australia.

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3. Anyone in Tasmania who opposes a new stadium for the new AFL team in Hobart should get to Gather Round next year and see what a modern sports stadium can do for a city. The waterfront from Macquarie Point around Battery Point will absolutely heave whenever an event is held there. It’s not just about football. It’s about endless possibilities.

4. The Cats are back. After missing finals in 2023, many thought they were ageing and gone. But, throw in a bit of youth like Bruhn, Clarke, Holmes, Conway, Dempsey, Oli and Henry with the veterans and they’re playing as well as ever. Lock in finals in 2024.

GEELONG, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 16: Jack Henry of the Cats marks the ball during the 2024 AFL Round 01 match between the Geelong Cats and the St Kilda Saints at GMHBA Stadium on March 16, 2024 in Geelong, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)
Jack Henry is one of the young stars behind Geelong’s undefeated start to the season. Credit: Michael Willson/AFL Photos/AFL Photos via Getty Images

5. Harley Reid is the real deal with the most broken tackles in the comp in his first year already. Looking forward to him going up against the “don’t argue” master in Dustin Martin at Optus Stadium on Sunday. It will be master versus apprentice.

6. The Libertines’ new album is great. Was worth the wait. Give it a listen.

7. I think if I had to start a new team tomorrow then Tom Liberatore would be my first person picked. Gives his all every single week. Bont would be second. Best captain in the league for mine. Love this dogs duo.

8. It’s time for a mid-year trade period. Injuries mean Richmond needs a key forward and North Melbourne are crying out for a key back. Surely a player sitting on a list somewhere else who plays in those positions and is not playing seniors would love that opportunity to play AFL footy – even if they had to move interstate.

9. Why would Dustin Martin retire eight games short of 300 games? Nonsense. Clickbait.

10. On the home front, we have a cat called Kevin (named after Kevin Bartlett). It won’t stay inside at night. Wakes up the whole house meowing at all hours. Any advice would be appreciated!

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 14: Dustin Martin of the Tigers in action during the 2024 AFL Round 01 match between the Carlton Blues and the Richmond Tigers at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on March 14, 2024 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)
Talk of Dustin Martin wanting out of the Tigers is nonsense. Credit: Michael Willson/AFL Photos/AFL Photos via Getty Images

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