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Key off-season dates

The draft combines will sort out the best of the best for the 2018 National Draft. - Fremantle,Fremantle Dockers
The draft combines will sort out the best of the best for the 2018 National Draft.

The Trade Period deadline will be in prime time in the eastern states this year, with the NAB AFL Draft set to become a two-day event under major changes designed to turn player movement in an extravaganza.  

The trade deadline has been scheduled for 5.30pm (AWST) on Wednesday, October 17, making the Trade Period itself slightly shorter.

And in a huge change to the draft format, live trading of picks will be available to clubs for the very first time.

The draft returns to Victoria for the first time since 2009, with the televised event being held on November 22 and 23.

The League has written to clubs confirming the live trading "will be introduced to provide clubs with more flexibility when making player selections and managing their lists."  

Live trading will also mean there will be an additional window after the conclusion of the NAB AFL Trade Period for trading of selections only in the lead up to draft night.

* All times are AWST

When does the 2018 NAB AFL free agency and trade period start and finish?
Friday, 5 October: Restricted free agency offer and unrestricted free agency period starts.
Monday, 8 October 7am: NAB AFL Trade Period starts.
Friday, 12 October 2pm: Close of restricted free agency offer and unrestricted free agency period.
Monday, 15 October 11am: AFL restricted free agency matching offer three-day period ends. 
Wednesday, 17 October 5.30pm: NAB AFL Trade Period closes (for exchange of players).
Friday, 16 November 11am: NAB AFL Trade Period closes (for exchange of selections only).

When is the 2018 NAB AFL Draft Combine?
Tuesday, 2 October – Friday 5 October: AFL Draft Combine.
Friday, 5 October: Victoria / NEAFL / Tasmania State Draft Combine.
Saturday, 13 October: South Australian Draft Combine.
Sunday, 14 October: West Australian Draft Combine.

When are the 2018 NAB AFL Draft and Rookie Drafts?
Thursday, 22 November 4pm – 6.30pm: NAB AFL Draft (Round One).
Friday, 23 November 7am – 10.30am: NAB AFL Draft (Round Two onwards to conclusion).
Friday, 23 November 2pm: NAB AFL Pre-Season Draft and NAB AFL Rookie Draft.

How else can players switch clubs?
Delisted players become free agents and can join new clubs during any of the three NAB AFL delisted player free agency windows. Once clubs have delisted a player, they will receive no compensation should that player be signed by a new club.

The key dates for delisted free agents are as follows:

Wednesday, 31 October 2pm: List Lodgement (1)
Thursday, 1 November: AFL delisted player free agency period (1) starts
Thursday, 8 November: AFL delisted player free agency period (1) closes
Saturday, 10 November: AFL delisted player free agency period (2) starts
Friday, 16 November 5pm: AFL delisted player free agency period (2) closes 
Friday, 23 November 1.30pm – 2.30pm: AFL delisted player free agency period (3)
Tuesday, 27 November 2pm: Final AFL club list lodgement

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs