PORT ADELAIDE has secured defender Brandon Zerk-Thatcher in a trade that sees winger Xavier Duursma go to Essendon in return for pick 73 and two future fourth round picks, tied to Essendon and Carlton.
After being drafted by the Bombers with the 66th pick in the 2017 National Draft, the 195cm backman 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 recording a career-high 15 spoils against Sydney in Round 20.
The trade sees Zerk-Thatcher return to South Australia where he grew up playing for the Imperial Football Club in Murray Bridge and for 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,” said List Manager Jason Cripps.
“He is athletic for his size and has developed a consistency to his game over the last 12 months.
“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 who were all welcomed by Port Adelaide on the final day of the AFL Continental Tyres Trade Period.
Cripps thanked departing Duursma for his contribution to Port Adelaide.
“Xavier has been a fine contributor to our club since being drafted in 2018,” Cripps said.
“His battles with injury have been well documented across the last couple of seasons which have impacted his performance with us.
“He’s a great person and we wish him well for the next phase of his career.”
Debut: Round 22 2019
Drafted: With pick 66 in the 2017 rookie draft from Sturt (SANFL) / Imperial Murray Bridge
AFL games: 51 (22 in 2023)
AFL goals: 0 (0 in 2023)