Daniher joins Lions as AFL free agent

Joe Daniher has joined the Brisbane Lions after 108 games across eight seasons in Essendon colours.
Joe Daniher has joined the Brisbane Lions after 108 games across eight seasons in Essendon colours.

Joe Daniher has officially joined the Brisbane Lions after Essendon accepted a first-round draft pick as compensation for the gun AFL free agent.

Brisbane submitted their offer for restricted free agent Daniher late on Friday afternoon and the Bombers elected not to match it.

Essendon received a first-round compensation pick - currently pick No.7 - for Daniher, who booted 191 goals in 108 games wearing red and black but managed just 15 games across his final three years.

Daniher unsuccessfully sought a trade to Sydney last year and the Bombers were optimistic of winning him over beyond this season.

But Daniher instead chose to head to Brisbane - with the Lions sealing the move on the first day of the free agency window.

The opening day of free agency proved a busy one.

GWS elected not to match Carlton's lucrative six-year deal for restricted free agent Zac Williams and received a first-round pick (currently No.10) as compensation.

"Adding speed and versatility to our side, as well as depth across our midfield, is a priority of ours as we look to implement the next stage of our list management strategy," Carlton's head of list management Nick Austin said.

"We believe Zac - with his athleticism, ball-wining ability and capacity to break lines - fits that mould perfectly."

Hawthorn winger Isaac Smith moved to Geelong, while the Cats lodged their offer for GWS star Jeremy Cameron. The Giants have until 5pm AEDT Monday to decide whether to match the offer.

Smith went with his head over his heart in deciding to leave Hawthorn for their fierce AFL rivals.

The triple-premiership winger joined the Cats as an unrestricted free agent on a two-year deal with the Hawks receiving a third-round compensation pick (currently No.42) in return.

Hawthorn were keen to keep Smith while Melbourne were also in the race for his services, but the 31-year-old was keen to finish his career at Geelong for lifestyle reasons.

"It's been a very difficult decision, incredibly hard and (I) probably had a few sleepless nights over the last three or four nights to be honest," Smith told reporters on Friday.

"The heart was certainly pulling me towards Hawthorn but in the end the head won and I'm up for a new challenge, a new journey and I'm very excited to be part of the Geelong Football Club."

GWS defender Aidan Corr joined North Melbourne as a restricted free agent late on Friday on a five-year deal, with the Giants opting not to match the Kangaroos' offer and receiving a second round pick (currently No.30) as compensation.

"He's a reliable and flexible player capable of playing on small and tall forwards, which will add great depth to our back line," Kangaroos football operations manager Brady Rawlings said.

Earlier on Friday, Gold Coast secured Adelaide's Rory Atkins as an unrestricted free agent.

The Crows received an end-of-second-round draft pick as compensation.

Australian Associated Press