Essendon, Collingwood, Port Adelaide, Jordan De Goey, Zach Merrett, Orazio Fantasia

It’s AFL Grand Final day, but that isn’t slowing down the trade market with three big name stars revealing their future plans.

Essendon endured a nightmare 2020 season and things have only gone further downhill since their season came to an end.

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Several stars submitted their requests to find a new home with others being linked as departing the Bombers.

Zach Merrett’s name was thrown into the trade rumour chaos, but the star was defiant when he declared his future intentions.


Midfield star Merrett’s name began to circulate once the trade rumours kicked off, in what was a shock addition to the list of stars on the table.

In the end however they were simply just that, rumours. The star shut down any notion he would be playing anywhere other than for the Bombers.

“I’ll be playing at Essendon next year. That’s as clear as it will be,” he told

“I’m very much committed to playing at Essendon next year and I’m confident that with the players we’ve got and the coaches we’ve got at the moment we can turn it around reasonably quickly and get back up the ladder.”

It’s a different story for Merrett’s teammate Orazio Fantasia who is reportedly set to confirm Port Adelaide as his club of choice in a trade demand.

The 25-year-old Fantasia has a year remaining on his Bombers deal, but is looking to return home to Adelaide.

Fantasia met with Adelaide earlier in the month, however his intentions are understood to be a move to join the Power and help them go a step further than their preliminary final loss in 2020.

RELATED: AFL Grand Final guide

Following the Dons a bone-jarring rollercoaster ride


Jordan de Goey has become a hot ticket on the trade table of late with the Collingwood star’s future up in the air.

The Pies have been negotiating with several of their own star players to re-sign and attempt another finals surge.

De Goey is the last big name player left to sign with the Pies facing bloated salary space to get the job done.

But despite the mercurial star reportedly chasing up to $1 million a year on a new deal, the star looks set to remain in the black and white.

His dad, who works as the manager for his 24-year-old son, reportedly told two rival clubs he won’t be going anywhere for at least another two years.

“It’s my understanding that Jordan De Goey’s management, in particular his dad, has told two clubs I know this week that he’ll stay at Collingwood for two years in the lead-up to his free agency,” Tom Browne said on Seven News.

“So unless someone swoops – Carlton certainly didn’t come knocking as De Goey perhaps would have liked – that means De Goey’s now highly likely to stay at Collingwood and recommit for two years leading up to his free agency.

“His dad, his manager, certainly indicating that this week.”

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The two Saints who could be off to Adelaide as part of Crouch negotiations

Garry Lyon read out the latest trade news from his ‘8:30am’ insider on SEN Breakfast this morning.

The report suggested St Kilda and Adelaide struck an agreement as part of Brad Crouch’s decision to join the Saints in free agency.

That deal will see the Crows take on a pair of Saints players to give salary cap relief and allow St Kilda to pay Crouch enough to grant Adelaide top-bracket compensation.

“St Kilda and the Crows got together for a deal RE: Brad Crouch to ensure Adelaide gets compensation pick number two,” Lyon read on SEN Breakfast.

“The thought is the money was not high enough to give him the compensation.

“Initially the Crouch money fell under the compensation to make it happen, so the Saints bumped up his wage to get the average over $700,000, originally $550,000, which wasn’t enough.

“In turn, the Crows will take both Jimmy Webster and Luke Dunstan in exchange for a set of steak knife, late draft choices.

“The Crows are taking them off St Kilda’s salary cap, hence the upgrade for Crouch and pick two.”

Webster, 27, did not play a game for the Saints in 2020, while Dunstan played one before a season-ending pectoral injury.


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Adelaide Oval hotel dog mauled to death weeks after venue opening

A popular puppy that welcomed guests at the new Adelaide Oval hotel has been mauled to death just weeks after the venue’s long-awaited opening.

Charli, a 20-week-old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, featured prominently during the hotel’s official opening celebrations last month.

The hotel said Charli was attacked by another dog while on a walk in a suburban area on Wednesday evening.

“It is with heavy hearts that we have to advise that we have said goodbye to Charli, our beautiful Oval Hotel puppy, who passed away,” a post on the hotel’s Facebook page said.

“To lose her in such a way is heartbreaking. We will miss her so much.”

Members of the public expressed sympathy and support in comments on social media.

The hotel said the incident had been reported to the local council but declined to say where the attack occurred or give other details.

The Adelaide Oval hotel officially opened on September 25, but the project has been beset by controversy and financial concerns.

Last month, an SA Auditor-General’s report found the Adelaide Oval Stadium Management Authority (SMA) had lost significant income due to the coronavirus pandemic.

A $42 million taxpayer-funded loan was provided to the authority to build the 138-room hotel at the oval.

SA Liberal MP Rachel Sanderson with Adelaide Oval hotel dog Charli.(Facebook)

Earlier this month, two cyclists were reportedly attacked by a pack of five dogs at Hallett Cove.

In May, another dog was captured on CCTV attacking a man outside a laundromat on Brighton Road in Adelaide.

Canine behaviour expert Celina Rebola said, despite those incidents, it was relatively rare for dogs to attack other dogs.

But she said some dogs could do more damage if they became violent, simply because of their physical size and strength.

Ms Rebola, a PhD student at Flinders University, said dogs that became violent tended to be poorly socialised or may be reacting to the agitation of their owner.

“I wouldn’t call it common relative to the number of interactions between dogs … very few would result in a mauling,” she said.

She added that owners are held responsible for their dog’s behaviour.

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AFL trade news, rumours, whispers 2020: Jordan De Goey, Collingwood, Shaun McKernan, Brad Crouch, St Kilda, Adelaide, Joe Daniher, Chris Fagan, Brisbane

Jordan De Goey has reportedly told rivals of his plans for the next two years.

Plus the ex-Bomber who the Saints could swoop for, and how they’ll get Brad Crouch.

Get the latest AFL exchange period news in Trade Whispers!

Catch Fox Footy’s Grand Final Week coverage on Kayo. Stream all the latest news and insight right up until first bounce plus half-time and full-time analysis from the Fox Footy commentary team. New to Kayo? Get your 14-day free trial & start streaming instantly >

Grand Final

Gillon defends free agency


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Adelaide Crows player Tyson Stengle pleads guilty to drink driving

Adelaide Crows AFL player Tyson Stengle has pleaded guilty to drink driving, just weeks after he was caught in possession of an illicit substance.

Stengle, 22, returned a blood-alcohol reading of 0.125 when he was pulled over by police at Morphettville in Adelaide’s south-west in April.

The footballer’s lawyer told the Adelaide Magistrates Court Stengle had been drinking at his cousin’s house before the incident and did not feel intoxicated.

Magistrate Ben Sale today ordered Stengle to pay fines totalling $1,671.

Stengle had already had his licence suspended for six months, but the magistrate extended the ban by a day, meaning Stengle will have to wait until after the weekend to apply to have it reinstated.

The Adelaide Football Club fined Stengle $2,500 and suspended him for four matches following the incident.

His guilty plea comes just weeks after he and fellow Crows player Brad Crouch were caught in possession of an illicit drug in Adelaide’s CBD.

“This has been a tough year for me and I deeply apologise to those hurt by my poor decisions,” Stengle said outside court.

“I [want] to learn from my mistakes … so I can make better decisions.”

The AFL said the Stengle and Crouch had been found guilty of “conduct unbecoming”, following an investigation into the September incident.

Stengle was suspended for another four matches by the club over the matter.

Crows players will also have a so-called first strike against them under the AFL’s drugs policy and will have to attend a drug and alcohol education course before next season.

Crouch and Stengle were not charged by police but were referred to counselling under a drug diversion program.

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AFL Trade Whispers 2020, news, rumours, out of contract players, latest, trade period, Brad Crouch interview, Orazio Fantasia Port Adelaide

A departing Adelaide free agent has explained why he opted for the Saints and needs a fresh start.

Plus Essendon will soon officially learn of another player’s trade desire.

Get all the latest player movement news in AFL Trade Whispers!

Catch Fox Footy’s Grand Final Week coverage on Kayo. Stream all the latest news and insight right up until first bounce plus half-time and full-time analysis from the Fox Footy commentary team. New to Kayo? Get your 14-day free trial & start streaming instantly >

Grand Final

AFL fans put on notice


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Doctor questions why babies at Adelaide children’s hospital were not transferred to Melbourne

A former head of Melbourne’s children’s hospital has questioned why four babies who died in Adelaide in the past month were not transferred to Victoria for potentially lifesaving heart surgery.

Yesterday, SA Health launched a review into a “cluster” of baby deaths at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital in Adelaide after a parliamentary committee heard a lack of infant heart surgery and life support services was to blame.

Obstetrician and gynaecologist Professor John Svigos told the committee the infants could have been saved if the right treatment were available in Adelaide.

Former chief executive of Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne — radiologist and consultant Dr John de Campo — this morning said the practice over the past two decades had been to send severely ill infants from Adelaide to Melbourne for specialist treatment.

“I don’t know the reason these babies weren’t sent, nor the diseases they had and whether they were operable diseases or not that’s all behind the curtain,” he told ABC Radio Adelaide.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews yesterday rejected suggestions COVID-19 restrictions in his state prevented the four infants from being transferred to Melbourne for care, saying that decision had been made in South Australia.

“I don’t think it was a matter of restrictions there was a choice, not at our end but at the other end, for them not to be sent,” Mr Andrews said.

“I make no judgements about that.

Doctors at the hospital said they had issued warnings about avoidable cardiac deaths.(Facebook: WCH Alliance)

SA Premier Steven Marshall said he was not aware of any travel restrictions affecting infant medical transfer, but said he would wait for the SA Health review.

“I’m not aware of any restrictions with regards to travel that have led to this situation, but we’ll wait for those reviews to come back,” he said.

“We’ve got access to the top paediatric cardiologists in other jurisdictions around the country.”

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt said he was making inquiries with the South Australian Government about the babies’ deaths.

“It’s an agonising situation for these parents that have lost their babies it’s just the worst imaginable of all things,” he said.

“I know it’s been treated with the utmost gravity by South Australia.”

Daily practice the ‘best outcome’

SA Health Minister Stephen Wade yesterday said there was not enough demand for paediatric heart surgery at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital to provide staff with the practice required to maintain competence in the procedures.

Health Minister Stephen Wade
Mr Wade said a review rejected cardiac services because there was not enough demand.(ABC News)

“Because of the low demand we wouldn’t have sufficient case load to maintain clinical capabilities,” he said.

Dr de Campo echoed that view this morning, saying babies and children receive the best care when they are treated by surgical teams who perform the same procedure very frequently.

“The outcomes are best if babies with complex, rare diseases are dealt with by a whole team that deals with them every day, not once a month. They have to be people that practise their craft every day.

“We don’t need to practise in South Australia. We need to take advantage of big volumes elsewhere.”

Doctors warned of ‘avoidable’ deaths last year

A business case, prepared by doctors last year, claimed the lack of paediatric cardiac services at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital contributed to at least one avoidable death and several near misses at the time.

The document acknowledges “skill maintenance” as a potential problem with such a service.

It argues the risk could be mitigated by having one surgeon perform all procedures and by having them collaborate with adult and interstate surgical services.

But Dr de Campo said it would need a team of about 40 staff to start a paediatric cardiac surgery unit at the Women’s and Children’s.

The July 2019 business case also argues for the establishment of an external oxygenation machines (ECMOs) life support service at the hospital.

An electronic billboard on Adelaide's Grange Road.
An electronic billboard on Adelaide’s Grange Road draws attention to the situation.(WCH Alliance)

Dr Michael Yung, medical head of the hospital’s paediatric intensive care unit, said incident reports concerning the lack of a cardiac service at the hospital had been sent to SA Health’s incident reporting platform, the Safety Learning System (SLS), but were “rejected”.

“The reason for the rejection is that we don’t have the [service] in place, therefore there’s nothing to report,” Dr Yung said.

“The SLS is not meant to blame individuals, it’s meant to address the system, so we thought it was appropriate [to submit the reports].”

He said health administrators had advised him to place the concerns on the hospital’s risk registry instead.

“To date, that still isn’t on the risk registry — I don’t understand why it’s not,” he said.

An SA Government spokesperson said the fact that several recent incidents were not recorded on the SLS “does not mean that they will not be looked in to”.

“The review could be undertaken by the teams involved in the case. Where necessary external clinicians are involved or the review is referred externally.”

Clive Palmer offers to pay for life support machines

Meanwhile, mining magnate Clive Palmer said he contacted senior staff at the hospital yesterday, offering to buy five ECMO machines, and was awaiting a response.

“This is a medical emergency, I think we need immediate action,” he told radio station FiveAA.

“I understand it’s been costing the SA Government $4-5 million every year to try to take young babies or dying babies over to Victoria hoping to get treatment there.

“If I donate the machines, surely the Government can carry the operating cost, which will be a lot less than the $5 million they spend now.

“We’re talking about young babies’ lives here.”

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified Dr John de Campo as a former CEO at Adelaide’s Women’s and Children’s Hospital.

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Woman charged after driver stabbed in ‘bizarre’ road rage incident near Adelaide intersection

A woman has been arrested after allegedly getting out of her car near an Adelaide intersection and stabbing another driver in the stomach with a knife, in an incident captured on CCTV.

Police said an altercation broke out between the woman and the 53-year-old Hendon man just after 6:00pm on Tuesday.

The vehicles did not collide, but stopped close to the intersection of Trimmer Parade and Findon Road, at Findon in Adelaide’s north-west, according to police.

At that point, it is alleged, the woman got out of her car and used a knife to stab the man in the stomach as he was sitting in his driver’s seat.

He was taken to Flinders Medical Centre with minor injuries.

“It was just after 6:00pm yesterday, so peak-hour traffic,” Senior Constable Kimberley Broad told ABC Radio Adelaide.

“There was no collision, but once stopped at the intersection, the woman’s actually exited her car and stabbed the man in the stomach with a knife while he was seated in the driver’s seat.”

Police charged the woman, who is aged in her 30s and is from Adelaide’s north-west, with aggravated assault causing harm and granted her bail.

She will face the Port Adelaide Magistrates Court on December 17.

Police spoke “to a number of people at the scene at the time” but are asking anyone who witnessed or captured footage of the incident to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

In another incident on Tuesday night, emergency services attended the scene of a car rollover at Prospect.

Police and fire crews were called to Devonport Terrace to find the sedan flipped onto its roof.

The overturned car on Devonport Terrace, Prospect.(ABC News: Steven Love)

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Alleged freight train stowaway caught in Adelaide in breach of coronavirus restrictions

A man accused of stowing away on a freight train has been arrested in Adelaide, after allegedly crossing into SA from Victoria in breach of travel restrictions.

A rail supervisor found the 41-year-old, and called police, after the train arrived in Adelaide early this morning.

Police said the man boarded the train in the Victorian town of Dimboola, before it departed for Adelaide last night.

They did not say if the man was from the Wimmera town or from elsewhere within Victoria.

Police said the man had earlier submitted a cross border travel registration form, but failed to wait for a judgement.

He has been charged with breaching COVID-19 directions and has been refused bail to face court later today.

Dimboola is on the main train line between Adelaide and Melbourne.

It is about 100 kilometres east of the South Australian border, leaving it outside of relaxed border restrictions announced yesterday.

The incident comes after four men admitted stowing away on a freight train to Adelaide in July, after border restrictions between South Australia and Victoria came in.

The men all pleaded guilty to failing to follow COVID-19 directions.

They escaped conviction after admitting the offences and spending a day in custody.

Police arrested three men last week over separate instances of entering South Australia from Victoria by car in contravention of border restrictions.

One new case in quarantine

Another traveller who has returned from overseas is South Australia’s latest positive COVID-19 case.

The man aged in his 30s has been in a medi-hotel since arriving back .

He tested positive on his first day in the state.

There are now eight active cases in South Australia and 477 recorded since the start of the pandemic.

Victoria reported three new cases today.

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St Kilda in the box seat to land Adelaide midfielder Brad Crouch

St Kilda are in the box seat to land Adelaide’s restricted free agent Brad Crouch.

Geelong had long been considered frontrunners for the midfielder’s services, while Port Adelaide had also shown interest, but the Power have officially dropped out of the race and the Saints are closing in on securing the 2019 Crows best and fairest.

Brad Crouch. Credit:Getty Images

Crouch, 26, had been chasing a long-term contract, however interest in him had only been lukewarm following another injury-interrupted season which finished in ignominious fashion when he was suspended for two matches after being caught in possession of illegal drugs.

Adelaide will have the option to match an offer for Crouch given his restricted free agent status.

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