NO PLACE LIKE HOME: Victorian Billy Longer has departed Brisbane for St Kilda.
NO PLACE LIKE HOME: Victorian Billy Longer has departed Brisbane for St Kilda.

Lions looking to pick up the pieces following exodus

AS COLLINGWOOD, St Kilda and Carlton all rejoiced, the Brisbane Lions were left to lick their wounds after a hectic final two days of the AFL's Trade Period.

The Magpies, Saints and Blues were the big winners during the three-week exchange, with all three benefiting from the Lions' exodus.

Patrick Karnezis and Billy Longer found new homes at Melbourne's Etihad Stadium before yesterday's 2pm deadline, joining fellow

homesick youngsters Sam Docherty, Jared Polec and Elliot Yeo in walking out on Brisbane.

Collingwood - which had already secured key forward Jesse White from Sydney and boom youngster Taylor Adams from GWS, and improved its standing in next month's national draft by gaining a second top-10 pick - won the services of tall wingman Karnezis.

St Kilda, meanwhile, nabbed big man Longer after he had looked headed for Hawthorn a couple of weeks earlier, until the reigning premier opted for the Saints' Ben McEvoy to fill its ruck stocks.

The previous day, Docherty joined Carlton, Polec was welcomed to Port Adelaide and Yeo headed to West Coast.

After every one of the club's first and second round draftees from 2010 and 2011 chose to leave, Lions national talent manager Rob Kerr said yesterday that the club's goal was "not to get ripped off" during the trade period .

Only time will tell, with the Lions left holding a host of second-round picks in this year's draft - gaining 22, 25, 28, 33, and 34 as a result of the trades - to go with their first-round selection of seven.

No doubt the Lions will choose carefully when the national draft takes place on November 21, having seen the departure of the five players back to their home states.

"We'll spend a fair bit of time revisiting all aspects of how we bring them in, look after them and do our best to retain them," Kerr explained.

The Lions also receive promising key position Magpie Jackson Paine, 21, in a straight swap for Karnezis, and Geelong ruckman Trent West is headed to the Gabba after another deal.

As well as Longer, the Saints added key GWS defender Josh Bruce yesterday to link up with fellow recruit Luke Delaney, from North Melbourne.

Joining rebounding defender Docherty and free agent Dale Thomas at the Blues will be former Sydney Swan Andrejs Everitt, in the last move of the trade period.

- TERRY MALLINDER


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