AFL 2022 offseason moves and rumours: Four-club race for Connor McKenna

AFL

Although the trade period is done and dusted, clubs can still add players to their list via the free agency period.

The AFL has given teams three separate windows throughout November to acquire any retired or delisted players that they see fit for their lists in the midst of a busy offseason. 

Clubs are given 12 days to sign those looking for a new contract at rival clubs, according to AFL.com.au.

The first delisted free agency period runs between November 3-9; the second stretch is between 11-15 and the final day is on the 29th of November.

Stay tuned to Sporting News to ensure you don’t miss any of the latest news.

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Four-club race for Bomber speedster

Monday Nov 14

Conor McKenna’s return to the AFL looks all but set to go but a hold up on what colours he wears in 2023 is yet to be decided.

The former Bomber toured St Kilda’s facilities last week but it’s understood that Port Adelaide, Essendon and Brisbane are also in the mix.

McKenna spoke to 7News about his potential return to the competition.

“I’m talking to four, five clubs and it’s getting into the small details,” McKenna told 7NEWS.

“Myself and my girlfriend (Amy McAuley) is coming out, have to keep her in mind so it’s a tough decision.

“I went home and won the premiership which is sort of what I wanted to do, after I ticked that box, I was confident I was going to come back at some stage.

“Having two years out, I’ve probably learnt to appreciate it a bit more and what mistakes I made and what I did well and keen to get back in the swing of things.”

Ex-Pie, Hawk wanting AFL lifeline

Monday Nov 14

Delisted Hawthorn wingman Tom Phillips is wanting an AFL lifeline, as he looks for his third club during his career.

Speaking on SEN, Phillips believes he is in a “really good spot” despite being moved on by the Hawks, which hasn’t deterred him from his desire to continue his time in the league.

“I feel I’m in a really good spot and I’m super keen to get back to being what I think is one of the best runners in the game at my best,” Phillips said.

“That’s the main priority for me at the moment, to get back, I’m running really well.

“I think I can play a role for any club going forward in 2023 or beyond.”

Phillips is in talks with multiple clubs and could be picked up as a delisted free agent.

“Yeah, there is, there is enough confidence at the moment so I’m keeping at it,” Phillips said.

“As I said, as we know in the AFL environment, it can be unpredictable at the best of times.

“There’s always movement, there’s always a lot of different things going on.

“You’ve got to be able to keep working and moving in the right direction without any 150 per cent guarantee.

“That’s been my mindset since the start of September and it’s the same until now.

“I’m focused on staying on that path until genuine decisions are made and beyond that as well.

“I’m committed to getting back.” 

Hannebery not done with yet?

Monday Nov 14

Dan Hannebery appears not to be done with yet, despite retiring whilst at St Kilda.

The former Sydney premiership player has struggled with his body over a number of years but is contemplating a shock return to the system as Gold Coast circles.

Third times a charm for Anderson?

Monday Nov 14

Jed Anderson looks likely to join his third AFL club, Gold Coast, after a surprise delisting by North Melbourne.

Anderson previously spent time at Hawthorn before joining the Kangaroos for the 2016 season.

According to Fox Sports, the Suns are keen to add some mature-aged players to help with the young group led by Noah Anderson and Matt Rowell.

Stack confident on getting another go

Monday Nov 14

Sydney Stack is confident on getting another crack at AFL level after being delisted by Richmond.

Stack struggled to make an impact in 2022 despite bursting onto the scene as in 2019 as a pre-season supplemental selection.

Now the utility is keen to continue his career and reports have led to believe multiple clubs are interested, including Gold Coast.

Manager Paul Peos is also quietly confident that Stack will be running around in the AFL in 2023.

“He is preparing to be an AFL player in 2023. So hopefully someone steps forward and provides him with an opportunity. He’s pretty open to going anywhere for a chance,” Paul Peos said.

“He has had some pretty good discussions with teams so hopefully that progresses forward.

“On a list of 40 it’s a pretty low financial risk and clubs would be weighing up the pros and cons.

“Sydney has been through some tough periods but he’s certainly learned some lessons.”

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Quinton Narkle receiving interest from rivals

Monday Nov 14

After a shock delisting from Geelong, Narkle seems likely to be scooped up by rival clubs.

Originally from Western Australia and West Coast has been named a suitable destination for the midfielder.

However, Empire Sports Management director Anthony Van Der Wielen believes there’s more than one club after Narkle but the details are yet to be worked through yet.

“I’m relatively confident that he finds another home,” Van Der Wielen said, according to ZeroHanger.

“We’ve got interest from a number (of clubs) and we’re working through those details at the moment.

“We’re working through things with clubs at the moment and it will be an intricate thing between now and the draft.

“He’s keen to go wherever he can get an opportunity.

“He’s very keen to play and there’s a healthy level of interest in him.”

Stocker to Essendon?

Monday Nov 14

Liam Stocker’s disappointing delisting from Carlton has fans confused given he wasn’t given a proper go at AFL level.

However, this has opened up the ability for rival clubs to snatch the former first-round pick for close to nothing.

It was reported that Essendon met with Stocker not long ago about the potential to move across to an arch rival of the Blues.

With one delisted free agency period down, time is running out for the midfielder but there are other avenues like the draft or pre-season supplemental period on the eve of the 2023 season.

Collier-Dawkins not giving up on AFL dream

Monday Nov 14

Delisted Richmond midfielder Riley Collier-Dawkins says he is not done with the AFL just yet, after being squeezed out by Giants pair Tim Taranto and Jacob Hopper.

Collier-Dawkins revealed that there has been some initial discussions with rival clubs but nothing is set it stone.

“There’s preliminary discussions with a fair few clubs, which has given me a lot of hope but until something’s official you never know,” Collier-Dawkins told 7News.

“I’m just going to be ready.”

Collier-Dawkins has had an impressive offseason already and is keen to continue on his path of improvement.

“I certainly have felt and got some evidence to take out of (my time at Richmond) that I can (play at AFL level) and I know what it takes to get there,” Collier-Dawkins said.

“I’ve got a lot of speed and power and I think that’s something in the modern game that really separates the best teams from the good teams.”

Cats keen to add third Irish recruit

Monday Nov 14

Geelong have their sights on Oisin Mullin despite denying their offer and returning to Ireland for 2022.

“It is understood the two-time Young Footballer of the Year stayed in contact with the current AFL champions throughout the year and the Cats have re-tabled their offer,” the Irish Examiner reports, published by Fox Sports.

“The 22-year-old is set to commit as a category B rookie.”

Mullin would join fellow Irishmen Zach Tuohy and Mark O’Connor if he were to take a spot on the rookie list at the Cats.

Mitch Wallis keen to continue playing

Monday Nov 14

Wallis was delisted by the Bulldogs at the end of the season but is still keen on continuing his career elsewhere.

Filled with leadership and a good training dedication, the 29-year-old would suit most young clubs like a Gold Coast or Adelaide.

“It’s still pretty raw, I haven’t totally moved on from the Bulldogs yet… we’ll explore (the interest) over the coming weeks and see what’s out there,” the ex-Bulldog said on SEN.

“I’m keen to keep playing but at the end of the day, we’ll let the dust settle and acknowledge a club that’s been so kind to me and take the next step in due course.

“I love footy… I’m open to all offers and all ideas.”

AMT returns home to Bombers

Friday Nov 11

Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti has officially returned to Essendon, accepting a one-year contract.

Bomber GM Josh Mahoney is thrilled to have McDonald-Tipungwuti back at the club.

“We are thrilled that Anthony has decided to come back to the Bombers. Anthony took time away from the club in 2022 to focus on life outside of footy. We’re comfortable he has taken the time he needs to bring a renewed enthusiasm to return to the AFL and play for Essendon,” Mahoney said.

“He is a committed Essendon person who loves playing football and our conversations with Anthony recently led us to believe there was a realistic chance he would come back to Essendon.

“Once we knew he was keen to return we worked with the AFL on the right pathway back to the club including approval from a list management perspective.

“He is loved by players, coaches, staff and fans and we look forward to him returning to Essendon.”

Evans finds new home at the Power

Monday Nov 7

Geelong delisted Francis Evans as they believed he couldn’t warrant a spot on the list, with Port Adelaide swooping on the youngster.

Starved of opportunities at the Cats, the 21-year-old is hoping a fresh start at a new club is what he needs.

Power list manager Jason Cripps said Evans has been on their radar for some time, reported by the Herald Sun.

“Going into the off-season we recognised a need to bolster our small forward stocks and Francis is a player we identified as suiting that need,” Cripps said.

“We know he has an eye for goal but is also not immune to working hard to win the ball and keep it in the forward line.

“We look forward to getting him to the club in the coming weeks as our players return for pre-season training.”

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Greene gets second chance at AFL level

Monday Nov 7

Hawthorn has given Fergus Greene an AFL lifeline after his initial stint at the Western Bulldogs didn’t amount to much.

Featuring in Box Hill’s team in 2022, Greene proved his worth, slotting 53 goals for the season and leaving no choice but for the Hawks to pick him up.

The departure of Jack Gunston (Brisbane) as well as other veterans in Tom Mitchell (Collingwood) and Jaeger O’Meara (Fremantle) has breathed a new air of youth into Sam Mitchell’s side that the 24-year-old will suit.

Hawthorn list boss Mark McKenzie was convinced of Greene’s talent and felt it was the right move, says the Herald Sun.

“We’re really thrilled to have secured the services of Ferg; he’s an exciting player with a lot of potential,” McKenzie said.

“We identified we needed more forward line support, and Ferg’s attributes suit the way Sam and our coaching group want to play.

“With some exposure already at AFL level and a really impressive two seasons in the VFL; we believe Ferg will be a great fit for our young and developing group.”

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