Gold Coast has landed the biggest steal of the trade period, organising a trade with Fremantle to secure Greg Broughton and pick 60 in the National Draft in exchange for pick 37.
26-year-old Broughton was originally drafted by Fremantle with its sixth pick in the 2008 Rookie Draft, effectively converting a rookie pick into a third-round pick. However, despite Fremantle claiming excellent interest on a rookie selection, Gold Coast has certainly got the better end of this trade.
Playing predominantly as a rebound defender with the ability to win plenty of contested footy, Broughton performed below his regular output in 2012. Having averaged over 20 disposals per game in each of his first three seasons, the modest average of 18 disposals per game was well below what Broughton is capable of, especially when it came to using the football effectively.
A finger injury that required surgery forced Broughton to end his season on 15 games, having played every game up until that point.
Gold Coast has scored an absolute gem. When you consider that the Suns are desperately crying out for experience, pick 37 in exchange for a ready-made rebound defender and a later draft pick is a fantastic get.
Barring injury, Broughton is a walk-up selection for the Suns come Round 1, as he would be for the majority of teams. Although he has not been in the AFL system for as long as most 26-year-old footballers, the developing Gold Coast youngsters, as well as those ready to enter the club come draft time, can learn a lot from his defensive work.
It must be noted that although Fremantle does lose a great asset, rumoured to be due to a falling out between Broughton and Dockers coach Ross Lyon, it has turned a selection in the Rookie Draft into a second-round National Draft pick.
In saying that, it is clear that Gold Coast’s goal is to secure some more experience rather than draft the best young players possible, all too happy to pass on its second-round draft selection for a very skilled and established footballer.
The Suns must be grinning after pulling off this trade. With the only other player on Gold Coast’s list similar enough to be compared to Greg Broughton being Jared Brennan, who has fallen off the face of the earth since departing Brisbane to join the Suns, the acquisition is accentuated by the importance of filling a void in defence.
With Campbell Brown out until Round 7, Broughton combining with Gold Coast’s defensive rock in Nathan Bock will ensure that the defence isn’t completely overwhelmed.
With another senior player added to its playing list, Gold Coast is looking like it will certainly be more competitive in 2013.