Collingwood the “clear frontrunner” to sign Bulldogs’ Bailey Smith

Julian Miller
By: Julian Miller
18/04/2024
News
BettingTop10 News
Collingwood set to sign Bailey Smith in 2024 trade period

Bailey Smith will miss the entire 2024 AFL season with an ACL injury he suffered in the off-season. 

News Insights

  • Collingwood is the “clear frontrunner” to sign Smith, says the Herald Sun’s Sam Landsberger.
  • Geelong and Hawthorn have also been linked to Smith.
  • Collingwood have issued a “photo ban” on Smith for their players.
  • Smith will miss the entire 2024 AFL season with an ACL injury.

Collingwood have emerged as the most likely team to sign Western Bulldogs midfielder Bailey Smith in the 2024 AFL trade period. According to the Herald Sun’s Sam Landsberger, the Magpies are the “clear frontrunner” to secure the 23-year-old’s signature. Geelong and Hawthorn have also been linked to Smith.  

Collingwood to sign Bulldogs’ Bailey Smith 

On Wednesday’s Fox Footy’s Midweek Tackle, Herald Sun AFL reporter Sam Landsberger revealed that Collingwood have emerged as the top landing spot for Bulldogs’ Bailey Smith.  
 
We’ve all been thinking Geelong for probably 12 months, they share that sponsorship with Cotton On, we know Hawthorn would love him in their midfield as well, but I think it’s the Magpies who lead the race for Bailey” the veteran AFL reporter said.  
 
“The thought has been that the lifestyle down at Geelong is big for him - he’s a marquee man, he loves the big smoke. You know he spent the off-season in New York with all the Collingwood boys? Lots of happy snaps, he’s business partners with Nick and Josh Daicos,” Landsberger explained.  

Collingwood planning for “aggressive” off-season 

Smith is almost certain to leave Bulldogs in the 2024 trade period. The club is expected to go under a full rebuild this off-season, especially after their poor start to the 2024 season. According to Landsberger, Collingwood is going to work hard to make sure the Melbourne Cricket Ground is his next home.  
 
The club are reportedly “going to be very aggressive in the marketplace.” The Magpies want to avoid losing their place near the top of the table in the coming years.  
 
“(Collingwood President Jeffrey) Browne told me, successful clubs, they don’t drop down to the bottom of the ladder, the draft doesn’t work for them. We have to trade to improve our side,” Landsberger revealed. Signing Smith is a part of that strategy.  

Magpies issue a “photo ban” to players 

Given how important Collingwood higher-ups believe signing Smith is for their near future, the club have issued a so-called “photo-ban” for their players to follow this season.  
 
Per Landsberger, “Collingwood has told their players, no more photos with Bailey. This is getting out of hand. They sent the message out to players, no more publicity with Bailey Smith.” 
 
This is relatively unheard of in the AFL. It’s also unclear how likely the “photo ban” will be followed, considering the close relationships Smith already has with multiple Magpies players.  

Smith was one of the best young midfielders in the AFL in 2023. If they do sign him, Collingwood are hopeful he will be able to return to his best in 2025. Smith has been ruled out for the entire 2024 AFL season after suffering an ACL tear during the off-season.  

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