Sydney is the model club when it comes to recruiting players from other clubs to fill particular roles. All you have to do is look at their premiership side and it’s littered with players who have come from other clubs.

Ted Richards, Shane Mumford, Rhyce Shaw, Marty Mattner and Josh Kennedy are all players from other clubs that can now call themselves premiership players.

While the Swans have managed to create success through this method, other clubs have been slower off the mark with very few been able to have the same success. However, that seems to have changed this year with the introduction of free agency and a draft which has a lack of depth.

More clubs are looking at older more experienced players, who can fill particular positions. Geelong, Collingwood and Hawthorn have all taken the biggest gambles in regards to trying to keep their premiership hopes alive.

The Cats have picked up Josh Caddy, Jared Rivers and Hamish McIntosh, the Pies went and got Quinten Lynch and the Hawks have taken a risk on Brian Lake. At their best, all would be in every club’s best side and will have an impact.

The success of these players relies on two things: whether the club wins a premiership and how it affects the players who are already at the club. While only time will tell on whether they become part of a premiership side, the cracks are already showing at all three clubs.

If they don’t do it right, it will not only mean a fall down the ladder. Just ask the Brisbane Lions about that. After finishing sixth, they recruited a host of footballers from other clubs including Brendan Fevola.

History shows the recruiting frenzy failed, leaving the Lions to rebuild from scratch, but the biggest impact was on the players already at the club. Daniel Bradshaw and Michael Rischeltti were both offered up as trade bait and ultimately left the club due to being offered up for trade. Only now is the club recovering.

As for the Cats, Pies and Hawks, they have already seen players leave due to the recruiting of big names.

The Cats have long built their name on grooming their own players. In recent history, only Tom Harley, who played one season with Port Adelaide, and Brad Ottens have come from other clubs.

To change that now and go down a different path is something that the players might struggle with. Youngsters like Tom Gillies, who has long been seen as the replacement for Matthew Scarlett, and Mitch Brown are looking elsewhere.

The biggest thing will be the future of premiership ruckman Trent West. West has been the number one ruckman this year, with injuries to Nathan Vardy, and he now looks set to be the third ruckman and possibly out of the team. He still has a contract, but would be looking at his future.

Chris Dawes understands the position West is in. Despite signing a contract earlier this season, he felt his position was being taken by someone else and made the decision to move. To him, Quinten Lynch is the same sort of player and would force him out of the side. For him, the opportunity to play senior football every week with Melbourne was greater than the possibly of having to play VFL football for a finals contender.

At the Hawks, Tom Murphy must have thought his world couldn’t get any worse. After being dropped for the grand final, he then had to find out Brian Lake had been recruited to shore up the defence. For someone who had been through the toughest of times, he would have already been thinking about his future. Lake’s arrival only made it easier and he left to join Gold Coast.

Premiership defender Stephen Gilham is another considering his future, sensing there is no position for him.

In the scale of things, the loss of these players may not have massive impact on field, but if not handled off the field, it could become a bigger issue. History shows that if a player’s position is taken by another player coming into the club, they will not stay around.

With free agency to only increase in the coming years, we will see more players changing clubs. It’s how the clubs handle the players off the park that will decide whether they can be as successful as Sydney.