IT IS the time of year where all eyes look towards the Telstra AFL Trade Period.

As soon as the dust settles on one year, it’s all about who will improve the team for the next.

For Carlton, a player who proved himself above and beyond his value at the trade table was Nic Newman.

Swapping the red and white of Sydney for the Navy Blue of Royal Parade, Newman was a case of finding some gold late in the piece.

With the Blues welcoming Mitch McGovern and Will Setterfield in the early going, Carlton welcomed its final acquisition in the final hour of the window.

For the cost of a future fourth-round draft pick (pick No.59 in the upcoming draft), Newman enjoyed a strong debut campaign at his new club.

Missing just two games for the season through injury, Newman was ranked in the top 10 in the competition for rebound 50s while averaging nearly 22 disposals per game.

Among Carlton supporters, his impact was praised from the get-go: similarly, the wider football world took notice the long-ranging left-footer.

“I’ll tell you who I need to give some credit to who I didn’t think was as good as what he has done this year: Nic Newman,” SEN’s Nick Dal Santo said.

“I think he was almost the surprise packet of the year for me.

“I watched him for multiple years at the Swans. I didn’t realise he was that hard and consistent and he was a lot better than I thought with ball in hand.”