MELBOURNE has secured midfielder Olivia Purcell in a trade that will see the departure of Chantel Emonson to Geelong.
Agreeing to terms of a three-way deal involving the Cats and Adelaide on Tuesday, Purcell joins the red and blue along with picks No.37 and No.47.
In return the Cats will receive Emonson and picks No.15 and No.47.
Purcell, who arrives with 19 games to her name, has made a big impact in her first three seasons at the top level.
The 20-year-old is known for her competitiveness and work around the contest and is set to bring further depth to Melbourne’s impressive midfield.
After significant turnover last Trade Period, Demons AFLW list manager Todd Patterson said the acquisition of Purcell has been a long time coming, with excitement over what she can add to the red and blue.
“When we sat down and made the changes that we did after the 2020 season, we viewed that as step one – bringing in young talent through a strong draft,” he told Melbourne Media.
“Step two was setting ourselves up to bring in another A-grade player, under the age of 25.
“Liv (Purcell) is just that. She is as competitive as they come with a genuine will to win.
“We are really excited to have her in the red and blue and believe she will suit our style of play perfectly.”
A keen surfer, Purcell made her debut in the opening round of the 2019 AFLW season, going on to finish second in the Cats’ Best and Fairest.
She continued to rise in 2020, earning herself the top honour at club level, a maiden All-Australian selection and recognition as one of the competition’s most exciting players.
Her 2021 campaign was cut short due to an injury to her right ACL – she will be working through the remainder of her rehabilitation at Melbourne – which Patterson said has only made her more determined to reach her potential.
“Liv is really only scratching the surface as a player,” he said.
“The ACL was clearly unfortunate for her and we hope she will be available in the later stages of the season. Regardless, we view this as a great move to set our engine room up for years to come.”
Emonson departs having played 22 games for the Demons, making her debut in 2019.
The 28-year-old, who was initially recruited as a Category B rookie, played eight matches this past season.
“Chantel has been a fantastic contributor to our football club since coming in as a rookie via Casey Demons,” Patterson said.
“She has been the utmost professional and handled the post-season process as well as any player I’ve come across.
“Geelong presents a fantastic opportunity for her to extend her career and continue to develop her game.
“Chantel will always be welcome at our football club, and we wish her all the best at the Cats.”
The movement marks the first for Melbourne this AFLW Sign and Trade Period, with activity to conclude on Wednesday.