Lions, Dockers brace for expansion club raids on talent

BRISBANE and Fremantle will be bracing themselves ahead of the NAB AFL Women's sign and trade period, with expansion sides able to sign up to eight players from each of those clubs. 

Gold Coast, Richmond, St Kilda and West Coast are joining the competition in 2020 and can each sign up to 12 players from other teams. 

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Expansion clubs can sign up to four players from Victorian clubs (Carlton, Collingwood, Geelong, Melbourne, North Melbourne and the Western Bulldogs) and Adelaide and Greater Western Sydney. 

The sign and trade period will begin on Monday, April 8 and finishes on Thursday, April 18.

The 10 established teams must trim their lists to 22 players by the end of the period. They can also retain up to two 2019 rookie-listed players as rookies for the 2020 season. 

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AFLW players are on one-year contracts, meaning between the sign and trade period and the draft (date yet to be determined but generally in October), more than 400 players will need to be contracted.

Up until now, Brisbane and Fremantle have been the only AFLW sides in their respective states and with state-based drafts in place, have effectively had exclusive access to talent nominating for those particular regions. 

Rules relating to the introduction of North Melbourne and Geelong for this season allowed those two sides to sign up to four players from other teams.

Brisbane, Collingwood and Melbourne were hardest hit in that process, losing four players each. 

Teams will have lists of 30, with three being rookies (players not listed with any Australian football team for the past three years).