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Six players who need a fresh start to achieve their potential

There are a lot of things fresh draftees need to have in their kitbag: skill, determination, professionalism, maturity and more.

The one thing that no draftee has control over is the team that drafts them, and not every player is a Michael Tuck and a Brent Harvey.

Sometimes we all need a fresh start in life. Just as sometimes we all need to end a friendship, break off a relationship, move house or whatever it is, there are some players who need a fresh start at another club to fully flourish.

Fischer McAsey

Top-ten draft picks have done all right moving from different clubs, like Will Brodie at the Dockers, but this former Pick 6 has been injured a bit and is struggling for his best position at Adelaide.

The Sandringham Dragons boy could have some suitors in his home state, and although he’s still in contract, it shouldn’t cost a side too much to get him.

He’s played ten games and, under a new system, can definitely be a stopper. He’s 197 centimetres but only 92 kilograms, so there’s potentially some more size to put on providing he stays healthy, which he has been for the second half of 2022.

Best suitor: Essendon.

The Bombers have got this condition of making defenders out of failed forwards – James Stewart and Jayden Laverde, for example – but in the near future they need a key back.

Zach Reid has shown promise, while Brandon Zerk-Thatcher hasn’t exactly proven himself as a mainstay key back yet.

Other clubs: Geelong, North Melbourne and St Kilda.

Paddy Dow

The second top-ten pick on this list, Dow has been a whipping boy for Carlton fans over the years. The 22-year-old has already played 61 games and can’t break into a Carlton midfield that has been really good this season.

Teammate Lochie O’Brien has enjoyed a breakout season, but Dow has toiled away in the twos. He’s averaging 29.6 disposals a game there and 96 fantasy points this year, and he could join a midfield where he doesn’t need to be the No. 1 star but a really nice complementary piece.

Best suitor: North Melbourne.

Interim coach Leigh Adams noted that experienced midfielders are a big need for the Roos, and Dow ticks that box. With Luke Davies-Uniacke and Jy Simpkin already established, Dow can make an impact straight away and revitalise his career.

Other clubs: Adelaide, Geelong and Port Adelaide.

Daniel Howe

The utility Hawk has shown a capability of playing on all three outer points of a centre square and doesn’t seem to have a set role for Sam Mitchell at Waverley. He can make the difficult look easy but has a tendency to make the easy look difficult. A fresh start could be the answer to unlock his potential.

Coming with a long kick and good tank, Howe’s applied his trade for 91 games in the seniors, where he’s had 20 disposals in each of his last two games. Just nine games ago he had 34 touches and nine marks against the Western Bulldogs.

Best suitor: Sydney.

Where better than the club that tried to get him last year? The Swans reportedly offered Howe a two-year deal at the end of last season and Howe stayed put.

Averaging 22 disposals at VFL level – it would be 23.5 if it wasn’t for a one-and-a-half-quarter performance in the early part of the season – in 2022 and 97.25 fantasy points – he can be a bridge player between the experience and the kids at the Bloods.

Other clubs: GWS, North Melbourne and West Coast.

Sam Weideman

It looks pretty obvious that Weideman needs a new home, as even in a Tom McDonald-less forward line he isn’t getting the consistent game time.

His 58 goals in 57 games don’t scream ‘superstar’, but every young key forward needs continuity, the very thing he has lacked.

At 25 at the start of next year, he will be hitting his prime and can be a weapon at a new club.

Best suitor: Collingwood.

This one is a no-brainer. The Pies won’t have to give up a pick for Dan McStay as he’s a free agent, but Weideman is younger and cheaper, even if he did ask for $700,000 at the end of 2018.

Collingwood are missing tall forwards, which is why they’re chasing Dan McStay, but Weideman fits the bill better.

Other clubs: Fremantle (if Rory Lobb goes and Luke Jackson doesn’t arrive), GWS and West Coast.

Sam Weideman

(Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Riley Collier-Dawkins

At just 22 years old, the 191-centimetre midfielder should be a target, as the frame and potential are outstanding.

RCD has played some VFL footy this season with some inconsistency, but that inconsistency is what another club can break.

The Tigers debuted Tyler Sonsie during the week and alongside Thomson Dow, Liam Baker and Jack Graham with Shai Bolton pinch-hitting the next generation of Richmond’s midfield. Along with two top-20 selections in this draft with their picks and North’s second-round pick, alongside a key forward, another midfielder could be on the cards.

Best suitor: Hawthorn.

The Hawks are stuck in a precarious position with their midfield and need a change.

Josh Ward is being played as an outside midfielder, Connor MacDonald is on a half-forward flank and there’s still the untradable pair in Tom Mitchell and Jaeger O’Meara.

If Mitchell especially were at a new club and Karl Amon walked in the door, RCD would join Ward, Jai Newcombe, Amon, Conor Nash, Dylan Moore and O’Meara in the depth charts.

Other suitors: Adelaide, North Melbourne, Port Adelaide, St Kilda and West Coast.

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