Bombers get busy to land star AFL trio

Oct 9, 2017 - 6:29 AM The Western Bulldogs have demanded pick No.11 from Essendon in return for exiled forward Jake Stringer as the AFL's exchange period swung into action.

The Bombers confirmed what had long been suspected on the opening day of the AFL trade period - Stringer, Devon Smith and Adam Saad all want to play for them from next season.

But Essendon - whose first three picks this year are 11, 28 and 46 - face a tricky task to land all three trade targets without giving up players in return.

The rub for the Bombers is that Greater Western Sydney and Gold Coast are also understood to be after first-round picks for their respective players.

Essendon football chief Rob Kerr concedes he will have to part with his first selection at this year's draft, but it won't necessarily be a straight swap to appease the Dogs.

"The reality is pick 11 will probably have to be involved somewhere along the line," Kerr said.

"We accept that's the case. It's a matter of trying to make it work so we can bring the three boys in who we would like to bring in.

"We've had a chat with the Dogs. I think there's a little bit of work to do there, but we're keen to try and get a deal done over the course of the next 10 days, so we'll keep at it.

"We've got a strategy that would allow us to (bring in those three players).

"We need a couple of things to go right for that to happen, but that's what we're working towards."

The Bombers also have the option of trading out picks at the 2018 draft but clubs are reluctant to do that as next year's talent pool is widely regarded as being very strong.

Kerr said he had tabled an offer to the Suns for Saad on Monday.

Stringer, a premiership player last year and an All-Australian in 2015, was put up for trade by the Bulldogs after a torrid campaign in which he battled form, fitness, and off-field issues.

Kerr said his club had done its due diligence on Stringer - the fifth overall pick at the 2012 draft - and backed their strong culture to get the best out of him.

Former No.6 draft pick Aaron Francis is keen on a move home to South Australia and while Essendon want to keep the contracted utility, his departure could help them land the talented trio.

Source: AAP

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