Outside The Box lives in a fantasy world where we explore as many ‘‘what ifs’’ as is humanly possible.
Today’s study — a multiple-part extravaganza that could blow the Goulburn Valley League right open — does require a temporary suspension of reality, but open your mind and allow it to consider the hypothetical at hand.
What if the GVL used the interleague bye as a trade period, where clubs could negotiate deals among one another?
This would open up a string of potential; clubs who believe they are in the premiership window can target top-up talent, while others that are underperforming could sell off assets in their prime for younger players that will help build a brighter future.
This experiment is presuming an NBA trading model, where players do not need to give their permission, and can be traded on a whim wherever suits the club.
In next week’s mock trade period column, News ‘‘experts’’ will act as team general managers; Ash Williamson will handle Benalla, Rochester and Shepparton United, Aydin Payne will deal for Kyabram, Mansfield and the Shepparton Swans, Tyler Maher will handle Mooroopna, Shepparton and Tatura, while I will operate Echuca, Euroa and Seymour.
In preparing you for the trade period, today we will run through what each team is hoping to get out of it by addressing team needs.
Disclaimer; before you get offended ‘‘trade bait’’ does not mean a player isn’t a good footballer, but that they have value they could offer to another team.
Further disclaimer; every club must be involved in at least one trade.
Benalla (3-2, seventh)
Team needs: Help in the midfield for Will Martiniello will be a priority, while another defender to shore up a backline hurt by Echuca last weekend wouldn’t go astray. A ruckman to ease Nick Warnock’s workload will also be sought.
Potential trade bait: Brody Webster is the ultimate utility, able to fly high at either end of the ground and if a team brings a big offer perhaps a deal could get done.
Echuca (4-1, second)
Team needs: Firmly in the premiership window, Echuca will look for any available class to help bridge the gap to Kyabram. Extra midfield pace plus a defensive forward to do a job on Lachie Smith too.
Potential trade bait: They are highly-talented, but does a team really need both Peter Faulks and Cam Valentine? A blockbuster deal here could go down, while Ben Costello has been lighting up the reserves with 14 goals this season and might attract offers.
Euroa (1-4, 10th)
Team needs: A key forward to straighten the side up, plus another classy ball-user, potentially to play off half-back to hit targets.
Potential trade bait: At 1-4, the Magpies will listen to offers on any player not named JD Hayes, Lewin Davis or Jett Trotter. Reserves names like Craig Bamford, James Chittick and Klay Giovannini have all contributed at the senior level, while Tom Panuccio has been in great form after returning to the under-18s.
Kyabram (5-0, first)
Team needs: Nothing really. The Bombers are holding steady through the trade period, but will be subject to plenty of offers.
Potential trade bait: Two genuinely good ruckmen means Zac Norris could be on the table, while players like Brad Whitford, Cade Mueller and Locky Dillon would bring plenty to essentially any other GV club.
Mansfield (3-2, fourth)
Team needs: Perhaps another key defender would help deal with teams possessing twin towers. A zippy mid to play with your Brett Mahoneys, Tom Germans and Patty Marks could help, with some X-factor to assist the side greatly.
Potential trade bait: Jacob Howes is on fire in the reserves with 13 goals in four games. While they are stars, Jimmy Herridge and Jamie Sheahan could be expendable for the right price.
Mooroopna (1-4, 10th)
Team needs: Anything? At 1-4, the Cats just need some life in any area. But with an eye toward the future, young players are a must here.
Potential trade bait: Lachie Devine and Max Daunt are both big and could bring plenty. Off-season recruits like Will Hetherington, Kai Love-Linay and Hudson Thomas will be available for multiple young assets.
Rochester (1-4, ninth)
Team needs:Full-forward is an absolute must for the Tigers. With Steve Stroobants playing VFL and Rhys Free not firing (27 in 20 for Rochester), a forward with a bit of presence and spunk about him must be acquired.
Potential trade bait: It would be an Isaiah Thomas-style cold-hearted deal, but Nathan Marrone still has enormous potential and might fancy a change of scenery. If it meant netting a power forward, it could be worth it.
Seymour (3-2, sixth)
Team needs: An aerial presence in defence would be ideal, as Nick Warnock put on a contested marking clinic against the Lions on Good Friday. An offer will be made for Cam Valentine.
Potential trade bait: Harley Taylor-Lloyd led the Lions’ goal-kicking last year, but has started the season back in the reserves. With Zac Keogh joining and bringing plenty, fringe midfielders are on the table.
Shepparton (3-2, fifth)
Team needs:With premiership pillars Luke Smith, Nik Rokahr and Ash Holland all not there, the Bears are still on the hunt to replace each of them. A midfield bull like Rokahr seems the most pressing need.
Potential trade bait:Rhiley Lau is back in the ones, but had to earn his way there, and if he isn’t in the Bears’ long-term plans would surely be worth trading.
Shepparton Swans (1-4, 11th)
Team needs: X-factor and a big forward spring to mind. Rob Staff leads the goal-kicking with seven goals in four games, and needs help.
Potential trade bait: It is almost a ‘‘hold steady’’ situation for the Swans; they might not be winning too many games but they are certainly headed in the right direction. Any deal that adds more talent than they lose works, but no particular needs.
Shepparton United (2-3, eighth)
Team needs: A young emerging forward to take a spot from Tim Looby or Duane Hueston would be good, while a key defender to help a talented backline is also a priority.
Potential trade bait: The aforementioned Looby would be the perfect top-up talent for a top-six contender. Many of the side’s veterans also fall into that class.
Tatura (3-2, third)
Team needs: Another mid-sized forward to help Brandyn Grenfell and Matt Ryan would be solid. Midfield depth isn’t a problem, but are they missing the heart of Mitch Elliott?
Potential trade bait: A deep midfield means a Jaydan Thewma could be available. Luke McGill is in hot reserves form, while Che Walls has also been asked to play the 12pm game this season.