In the second half of the salary shedding deals at the trade deadline (after the Jenkins move), Collingwood have addressed their need to fit everyone in by tapping someone on the shoulder.
Someone they paid two second rounders for in 2015.
James Aish had a super hot start to his career, but since then has proceeded in fits and spurts. Often out of favour or injured at Collingwood, Aish found a role down back as a defender/link man in their grand final season in 2018. In 2019, Aish got hurt again and missed a chunk of games again.
Given that Fremantle have lost Ed Langdon and Brad Hill, there was room at the club for another outside link type. Aish is somewhat of a known quantity – but still may have a little more upside if given a more expansive role that he was able to occupy at Collingwood.
Unlike the Jenkins salary dump, the Aish deal seems much fairer on paper if Aish performs near expectations.
Collingwood have managed to get close to fair value out of Fremantle, who will be hoping that Aish will finally manage to stay fit and in form.
If Fremantle are to rise up the ladder in 2020, a big part of it will be improvement from players like Aish. The Dockers win this trade from an immediate perspective, but the Pies could clean up long term if Aish doesn’t pan out.
Verdict: An extremely fair trade.