The future of Gold Coast star Gary Ablett has finally been decided, with his move back to Geelong sealed with just half an hour to go in the AFL trade period.
Deadline day's big trades:
- Gary Ablett leaves Suns, joins Geelong
- Jake Stringer leaves Western Bulldogs, joins Essendon
- Bryce Gibbs leaves Carlton, joins Adelaide
- Charlie Cameron leaves Adelaide, joins Brisbane
Gary Ablett had signalled to the Suns in late 2016 that he wanted to go home to Geelong.
The Suns rejected his request last year, but after a year of speculation, Ablett announced in early October that he was set on securing a trade to the Cats.
Bargaining continued through the trade period, with talk of Geelong's Darcy Lang going to Gold Coast to help facilitate the move.
But in the end, the Cats gave up pick 19 and a second-round selection from 2018 in exchange for Ablett, pick 24 and a fourth-round pick in 2018.
The Suns farewell their inaugural captain, who won the Brownlow at Gold Coast in 2013 to go with his medal at the Cats in 2010.
The decision brought to an end a tumultuous time for Ablett, whose sister Natasha died a week ago.
Stringer a Bomber as Gibbs moves to Adelaide
Jake Stringer has left the Western Bulldogs on the final day of the AFL trade period, with the forward being traded to Essendon.
The want-away forward was one of the big stories of the trading period, with the relationship between him and the Bulldogs breaking down.
It took a three-way trade to get the deal done, with Essendon sending picks 25 and 30 to the Bulldogs to secure Stringer's services, with the forward signing on for a four-year deal until the end of the 2021 season.
The Bulldogs also engaged in an exchange of picks with Carlton, swapping picks 28 and 30 and a future second-round selection, for picks 16 and 40.
"The move to Essendon is a great opportunity and new beginning for me both on and off the field," Stringer said.
"I'm focused on being the best footballer, parent and person I can be, and I'm looking forward to the opportunity in front of me.
"I want to thank the Bulldogs, and their amazing fans, for the support they provided me over the past five years. They will always hold a special place in my heart.
"I'm excited about the opportunity at Essendon, they play a great brand of football, and I can't wait to get in and start earning the respect of my new teammates who are determined to achieve success."
Stringer played 89 games for the Western Bulldogs, kicking 160 goals. Earlier in the trade period the Bombers had traded in Devon Smith from GWS and Adam Saad from Gold Coast.
The day had kicked off with Adelaide and Carlton finally reaching agreement to send Blues midfielder Bryce Gibbs to West Lakes.
West Coast and Gold Coast exchanged picks, with the Eagles giving up their first-round pick in 2018 and pick 50 for this year, and the Suns releasing picks 21, 26 and 37.
The Dockers added GWS defender Nathan Wilson, who was traded to Fremantle with pick 71 in exchange for pick 57 and the team's second-round selection for 2018.
The Sydney Swans and Collingwood agreed to send Sam Murray, pick 70 and a third-round selection in 2018 to the Pies in exchange for a second-round pick for next year.