ESSENDON forward Orazio Fantasia is staying put and Fremantle wingman Brad Hill remains in limbo as the AFL trade period deadlock continues.
Fantasia’s decision to abandon a return to his native South Australia came as a significant surprise despite the fact he has two years left on his contract.
The goalsneak had been strongly linked to Port Adelaide but informed the club on Thursday that he intended to remain with the Bombers.
His Adelaide-based manager Michael Doughty told The Age that talks between Fantasia and the Power had only been preliminary.
But Port are said to be disgruntled after believing they had Fantasia in the bag.
Fremantle star Hill’s desired trade to St Kilda also took a hit with the Saints sacrificing their top draft pick in a swap with GWS.
The Saints handed over picks No.6 and 59 in exchange for the Giants’ No.12 and 18, securing more ammunition as they look to juggle bids for Sydney’s Zak Jones and Port Adelaide duo Paddy Ryder and Dougal Howard.
Fremantle had reportedly rejected the Saints’ offer of pick No.6 for Hill and some commentators believed they had overplayed their hand.
Four-time premiership player Grant Birchall earlier agreed to join Brisbane as an unrestricted free agent after 248 games at Hawthorn.
The 31-year-old had been offered a rookie contract by the Hawks but will instead head north to reunite with Lions coach Chris Fagan on a one-year deal.
Birchall played in the Hawks’ 2008 and 2013-15 premierships but has been ravaged by injuries, managing just eight games in the past three seasons.
The Lions were confident he would bring additional experience to their backline following the retirement of former premiership teammate Luke Hodge.
Birchall was the last of the Hawks to have played in each of their four most recent flags following the retirement of Jarryd Roughead.
“We were always open with Birch and his management about the fact we would be unable to guarantee him a list spot until we got through the trade period and had a better idea of where our list sat,” Hawks football boss Graham Wright said.
“The last couple of seasons have been incredibly frustrating for Birch on the injury front and we are pleased for him that the Lions are able to provide him the opportunity to continue his playing career.”
Birchall’s signing at Brisbane was the only confirmed move on Thursday as the trade period continued its glacial start.
While Tim Kelly’s blockbuster trade from Geelong to West Coast was made official on Wednesday, a number of big names remained in limbo.
Essendon star Joe Daniher appeared no closer to securing a move to Sydney, who continue to resist goalsneak Tom Papley’s desire to be traded to Carlton.
© AAP 2019