Trade merry-go-round ends with wins for all
It was like a revolving door in and out of Queensland.
The final day of the AFL's trade period was feverish, the storm after the calm, with the Brisbane Lions and Gold Coast Suns in the thick of the action.
Headlining was the case of 'In: Hodge. Out: Ablett' for Queensland footy, with one great, four-time Hawk premiership player Luke Hodge, officially joining the Lions, and another future legend, two-time Brownlow Medallist Gary Ablett, heading back to Geelong.
Two young stars, however, also got their wishes, with Charlie Cameron to join Hodge at Brisbane, and Lachie Weller moving back to the Gold Coast.
Both had to wait until the final hour for their futures to be determined.
Cameron, born in Mt Isa, was desperate to return from Adelaide for family reasons.
While initially steadfast against the move - the speedy midfielder having one year to run on his contract - the Crows buckled when pick 12 in next month's national draft was put on the table.
"This is what is best for Charlie, on and off the field," Crows list manager Justin Reid conceded. "The Adelaide Football Club did the right thing by Charlie and pick 12 is a great result.
"We had good dialogue with Brisbane the whole way through. Brisbane wanted to get Charlie back up there from a family point of view and it's a great result for both clubs."
Lions football boss David Noble said pick 12 was a fair deal for the 23-year-old.
"It was probably where we expected," a relieved Noble said. "We're rapt to have Charlie here ... he fits a real need for us."
Cameron played 73 games for the Crows after being selected as a rookie from Perth, where he had spent two years, in 2012.
"As we said all along, he's got a lot of family up there (in Queensland) and it's going to be really good for him to get back home and be a part of the club," said Cameron's manager Andrew McDougall.
"He was getting a little bit nervous ... his heart was always with Brisbane and (we) just thank Adelaide for getting the deal through."
Weller, born in Tasmania, spent much of his teenage years on the Gold Coast.
As part of the deal, the Suns gave up pick two and wantaway West Australian Brandon Matera, an original Sun, to get the promising onballer over.
"We certainly would have preferred to keep pick No.2, but when you spread it over three years we've had four top-10 picks last year, none this year, but we've banked two for next year," Suns list manager Scott Clayton said.
Geelong gave up pick 19 and a second-round selection in next year's national draft in exchange for Ablett, pick 24 and Gold Coast's fourth- round selection next season.
Cats list manager Stephen Wells said: "We've given up a bit to do that in next year's draft and also this year's draft, but it's a great story, Gary coming back to Geelong, particularly having won a best and fairest this year and still having plenty of good footy ahead of him."
The Lions sent a third round pick (43) and a fifth round selection (75) to the Hawks for Hodge and their round-three choice (44).
The 305-gamer will play for two years before he is expected to move into coaching at the club.
"It's a great story for footy that Hodgey gets to play for another two years," said Robbie D'Orazio, part of Hodge's management group.
The Bulldogs granted homesick Lions key forward Josh Schache his wish to return to Victoria.
The 2015 No.2 national draft pick was let go to for picks 25 and 40.
Gold Coast acquired out-of-favour Port Adelaide forward Aaron Young in exchange for a future fourth-round draft pick.