DONE DEAL: Port Adelaide Welcome long term trade target after deadline day transfer drama

PORT ADELAIDE has acquired defender Brandon Zerk-Thatcher in exchange for winger Xavier Duursma and two future fourth-round choices tied to Essendon and Carlton.

The 195cm backman was recruited by the Bombers with the 66th choice in the 2017 National Draft and has played 51 AFL games, including 22 this season.

Zerk-Thatcher, 25, had his most consistent season in 2023, averaging 12 disposals per game and tallying a career-high 15 spoils in Round 20 against Sydney.

Essendon Bombers defender Brandon Zerk-Thatcher requests trade

Zerk-Thatcher will return to South Australia, where he grew up playing for Murray Bridge’s Imperial Football Club and Sturt in the SANFL’s underage programs.

“We identified a need for tall defenders in our backline and we are excited to bring Brandon to the club because he fills that need,” Jason Cripps, the list manager, stated.

He is athletic for his size and has improved his consistency over the last year.

“He now has a good body of work at AFL level to build on and we look forward to welcoming him to the club officially when pre-season starts next month.”

Zerk-Thatcher joins Esava Ratugolea, Jordan Sweet, and Ivan Soldo as Port Adelaide welcomed them on the final day of the AFL Continental Tyres Trade Period.

AFL trade: Port Adelaide and Essendon meet over Brandon Zerk-Thatcher and  Xavier Duursma deal | Herald Sun

Cripps expressed gratitude to outgoing Duursma for his contributions to Port Adelaide.

“Xavier has been a fine contributor to our club since being drafted in 2018,” Cripps said in a statement.

“His injury struggles have been well documented over the last couple of seasons, affecting his performance with us.”

“He’s a great person and we wish him well for the next phase of his career.”

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