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Lions secure Ayre and Exon in AFLW trade

Katie de Haer  May 25, 2017 1:16 PM

The Brisbane Lions have finalised a trade with Carlton Football Club on the final day of the sign and trade period for the AFL Women's competition. 

The Lions have secured Blues pair Isabella Ayre and Nat Exon in exchange for Tayla Harris who was traded to Carlton.

Brisbane Lions Women’s CEO Breeanna Brock said the deal ensured the Club covered the loss of Harris, as well as ensuring the Club’s position ahead of this year’s AFLW Draft.

“This is a strong result for our football club – Isabella and Nat will only add to our playing depth,” said Brock.

24-year-old Exon, who hails from a soccer and heptathlon background, returned to football in 2016 and made an immediate impact.

Recruited from the Darebin Falcons – the most successful women’s football team in Australia – Exon played a key role in Darebin’s fourth consecutive VFL Women’s Grand Final victory in 2016 before being taken by Carlton as a Rookie.

Exon played five matches for the Blues – she broke her ankle in their Round 5 loss to the Western Bulldogs, ending her 2017 season.

Brisbane Lions Women’s Coach Craig Starcevich said Exon’s elite outside run and kicking ability will strengthen the Lions’ midfield.

“Nat’s speed will really add to the depth of our midfield,” said Starcevich.

“Fully recovered from her ankle injury, we look forward to seeing what Nat can bring to our group.”

Ayre is a forward who can take solid contested marks, but it’s her versatility to rotate through the midfield that makes her so valuable.

Touted as one of the competition’s most promising youngsters, Ayre’s breakout performance against Melbourne in Round 4 put her on the radar. She kicked two final-quarter goals as the Blues fell short of the Demons by just six-points.

“Bella’s work rate and endurance is first class,” said Starcevich.

“Although she predominately plays as a forward, she has shown she can make an impact in the midfield. She’s an extremely flexible player.”