MELBOURNE has traded its way into the top three of the Victorian pool of the NAB AFLW Draft.
After an exodus of six players this AFLW Sign and Trade Period, headlined by former co-captain Elise O'Dea, the Demons needed to solidify their position in the upper end of the draft and found a willing trade partner in Geelong.
The Cats handed over picks five, 35 and a fourth-rounder in exchange for picks 10, 20, 27 and 39 from the Demons.
West Coast and Adelaide currently hold picks three and four overall, so the first three selections for Victorian teams in the state-based draft are currently Richmond, Western Bulldogs and now Melbourne.
The elite NAB Girls' competition was cancelled after three rounds this year due to COVID-19 restrictions, as well as the under-18 national championships, meaning previously proven top-end talent will be at a premium.
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The Victorian draft nomination rule (players could choose Geelong, Melbourne metro or Victoria) will no longer be in effect this year. The rule - which gave players a degree of choice if they were unwilling or unable to travel for the part-time competition - was only in place for Geelong's first two seasons.
The final draft order will be confirmed on Friday, August 21, with the draft itself looking to be held in October.
The trade period closes on Wednesday, August 12 at 2pm AEST, but clubs can continue to sign players until August 21.