We're nearing the middle of the season and you'd be surprised that some list managers have already made up their mind on who they'll be moving on at the end of the year.
In this article, I'll be looking at the players that are quite cutting it, that used to be in their side as regulars and maybe just aren't quite cutting it this season so far.
We'll leave players out that are yet to play a senior game and may not be up to the standard of the AFL.
ADELAIDE - BRAD CROUCH
There's been some chatter already around the traps that Brad Crouch could move away from the Crows at the end of the season. Crouch struggled with injury last season and since coming into the team this year, has struggled for form, with the midfielder recently dropped to the SANFL this weekend. Crouch is a magnificent footballer with plenty of potential, however we've yet to see that full potential for a sustained period of time. With big Victorian clubs circling, he could seek a trade away from the ground.
BRISBANE LIONS - SAM MAYES
Has recently put contract talks on hold and there was chatter earlier in the season about him being the next young talent to request a trade away from the Brisbane Lions. Mayes has played 60 games for the Lions and while at times as shown the football world what he can do, we haven't seen it quite as often as we would have liked. Can the Brisbane Lions deal without him? I think so, but they would obviously be interested in keeping him.
CARLTON - NICK GRAHAM
The first of a few controversial calls in this article, but for a young guy so talented, especially from the outside, that can't get a game does have me questioning whether he is in their future plans or not. The former Morrish Medal winner (TAC Cup "Brownlow") has managed five of eight games this season, being dropped twice by coach Brendon Bolton and the selection committee. Didn't get much of a chance under Mick Malthouse and is seemingly looking that way under Brendon Bolton. Maybe it's something I'm missing.
COLLINGWOOD - TRAVIS CLOKE
Now for a not so obvious one. Travis Cloke has not featured in Collingwood's starting line-up for the last month and has only kicked the four goals in three games at VFL level. The problem that the Magpies face is this. Do they get rid of Travis Cloke and allow Darcy Moore to completely take over the number one forward position at Collingwood, or do you hold onto Cloke and hope that he comes through the other side and be able to assist Moore in the near future? Moore is doing okay for now, but you have to remember, this is only his second season. You need that seniority around you.
ESSENDON - SHAUN MCKERNAN
Another interesting one for the Bombers because having played just the nine games last season for the red and black, McKernan finished inside the club's top ten in the best and fairest. McKernan had a stinker of a round one and was sent back to the VFL where he was told that he had to improve his game under John Worsfold. However, he has played just the one game since in the AFL and the rest in the VFL (missed last week through injury). Crunch time for Shaun McKernan if he wants to continue his career as an AFL footballer.
FREMANTLE - MICHAEL BARLOW
Seems rare to be putting someone who has performed for a long time at the elite level, and still averaging 22 disposals this season into this article, but the selection process reads for itself. Barlow was dropped for the game against Hawthorn last week, despite a three week spell where he averaged 27 disposals. Barlow will again spend another week at Peel Thunder this weekend, and definitely looks on the outer as Ross Lyon looks to be preparing for the future of the Fremantle Football Club.
GEELONG - JORDAN MURDOCH
Once a regular of this side, Murdoch has found himself on the outer down at the Cattery with a number of inclusions over the off-season and the further development of younger players such as Lincoln McCarthy and Cory Gregson, and not to mention the fit Daniel Menzel. Murdoch played 18 games last season for the blue and white hoops, but has managed just the three so far this season where he averaged 12 disposals. There's always somewhat of a downside to success and that's your depth wanting an opportunity, and at the midway point of the season, who's position does he take at the Cats?
GOLD COAST SUNS - JAEGER O'MEARA
It's becoming more and more likely that the Suns star young player Jaeger O'Meara will be walking out the door come the end of the season. Despite earlier in the year suggesting that his contract talks were put on hold were "ridiculous," we're now into round nine and there's been no further development on his contract discussions and only further speculation that he is on the way out. If he can get his knees right, then he'd be a welcome acquisition to any side in the competition, but he seems destined to be heading to Victoria.
GWS GIANTS - ADAM TOMLINSON
The former top ten draft pick cannot break into this GWS Giants forward line, and with reason too given the emergence of Rory Lobb and the powerhouses of Jeremy Cameron and Jonathon Patton. Tomlinson is a running, marking, athletic footballer that would appeal to a number of clubs on the look out for a key position forward. Carlton and Essendon are the first two that come to mind. Tomlinson was very close to making a move to Carlton during last season's trade period, so look out for this one again come October.
HAWTHORN - BRENDAN WHITECROSS
It seems like this guy has been around for a very long time, but he is just 26 years of age, which surprised me a little bit. 26 years of age tells me that you still have a good four, five, six, at best seven years ahead of you. No one would begrudge anyone from Hawthorn who isn't getting a regular game to look for opportunity elsewhere given the success of the Hawthorn side. Whitecross seems to have been passed by a number of young talents in the side, such as Langford, Hartung, Lovell and Howe. A free agent at the end of the season, you can almost bank that he'll be on the move.
MELBOURNE - LYNDEN DUNN
Would it be unfair to label Lynden Dunn as the "one year wonder"? Dunn was in All-Australian conversations a couple of years ago, but has since fallen out of the side and been surpassed by younger prospects. The 29 year old has played just the four of eight games this season and has fallen out of favour with majority of Demons fans as the year has progressed. He's come into the side this week, replacing Cameron Pedersen, but surely he knows that time is quickly running out.
NORTH MELBOURNE - AARON BLACK
For the better part of three years now, Aaron Black has sat in the reserves and not done much else. Given the emergence of Ben Brown and the recruitment of Jarrad Waite, the talented Black has had to bide his time and wait in the VFL. However, come the end of the season, Black may have had enough after signing a four year deal at the end of the 2013 season where he kicked 33 goals for the season, and had a big break-out season. Unfortunately, he hasn't done much since in the AFL, but has he really had the opportunity? Three games in 18 months says not after kicking 59 goals in two years.
PORT ADELAIDE - MATTHEW LOBBE
Since the arrival of Patrick Ryder from the Bombers, Matthew Lobbe has not been the same player he was in 2014. Even after the decision by the CAS to suspended Ryder and his 33 team-mates for their involvement in the Essendon supplements scandal, we still haven't seen the best of Lobbe. Subsequently dropped a few weeks ago, and now on the sidelines for a further eight to ten weeks, where does Lobbe go from here? Jackson Trengove has shown he's more than capable in the ruck division over the last two weeks, and with Ryder to return in 2017, and the emergence of Dougal Howard, hmm... Leaves a big question marks over Lobbe.
RICHMOND - REECE CONCA
The former number six draft pick has been hit by that dreaded curse of being a number six draft pick. The curse that strikes you down with injury and doesn't really allow you to play to the best of your ability. Anyhow, that's just a myth, because Conca has shown in the past that he is capable of playing at the elite level, but injuries have got in his way over time. Where does he fit in Richmond's side now? I'm sure they could find a spot for him, but if things do go as planned from here on out, he may be one to be on the move.
ST. KILDA - ELI TEMPLETON
Templeton has managed just the 14 games in his career, and got off to a blistering start in his career before breaking his arm in a game against Carlton in Wellington. He hasn't reached the same peak since and has struggled for a senior spot in the side. His VFL stats this season show that he is far too good for that level, averaging 28 disposals from his four games, but he just can't crack into the side that has managed to win just two games this season.
SYDNEY SWANS - TOM MITCHELL
I was reluctant to put Tom Mitchell in this article because I'm well aware that he wants to fight to keep his spot in the Sydney line-up and make a name for himself, but I do have this feeling that someone within the competition will offer him a contract that he just cannot refuse. Mitchell is a terrific contested ball winner and fits in well with the likes of Jack, Kennedy and Parker, but I don't know what it is, but just this feeling that he'll get offered a big deal elsewhere.
WEST COAST EAGLES - MITCH BROWN
His last two seasons have been plagued by injury, the most recent with a fractured finger suffered at the beginning of the season. Given Eric Mackenzie is fit again, the emergence of Jeremy McGovern and Will Schofield ever reliable, Brown may seek a move back home to Victoria, potentially with his brother at Collingwood. I'm sure the Eagles will want to keep him, but given that he's more than likely fourth in line, he'll seek an opportunity elsewhere.
WESTERN BULLDOGS - NATHAN HROVAT
Small forwards don't come along all that often, let alone talented ones and Nathan Hrovat is certainly that. The 21 year old has had his fair share of injury concerns, hence why he hasn't been picked for the Bulldogs this season as he continues to battle an ankle injury suffered in the pre-season. He would hold a little bit of value in the market to other teams, especially those keen on small forwards and has the talent to play at the elite level.