THE AFL is considering introducing a trade period in the middle of next year after being buoyed by the success of the recent Mid-Season Rookie Draft.
The League says initial cynicism of the mid-season draft being brought back for the first time since 1993 has been overridden by the fact four of the players picked in May have already played at AFL level.
Steve Hocking, the AFL's football operations manager, said the mid-season draft had made a mid-season trade period a greater possibility for 2020.
"A lot of the stuff we're looking at currently is mid-season trading and what that will look like. We've stepped towards that with the mid-season draft and the supplementary period," Hocking said on Wednesday.
"You have a look at the talent that's come out of that, and have recruiters and list managers potentially overlooked that talent in the past?"
AFL boss Gillon McLachlan has long been an advocate of the mid-season trade period, but has received backlash from clubs.
However, Hocking said the addition of the mid-season draft, which came on top of the League trying to open up player movement as much as possible through a range of new and tweaked rules, meant mid-season trading could come in next year.
"If you have a look at the fact there was a lot of people against the mid-season draft, and that was a step towards that and the world hasn't caved in and the game and players have benefited from it, I'd say that we're closer to [an extra trade period for 2020]," he said.
It would likely need to see a shift in the bye rounds that the AFL has initiated in recent years, where clubs have split their byes over three weekends.
Hocking said he had met with state club bosses to ease tensions over them losing their star players in the middle of their seasons to AFL clubs, with particular angst coming from South Australia and Western Australia.