Main content

Eagles join chase for Demon Jesse Hogan

Happy Swans, Bont bullish, Hogan hunt Nat Edwards with the latest news
PERTH, AUSTRALIA - JULY 23: Jesse Hogan of the Demons in action during the 2016 AFL Round 18 match between the West Coast Eagles and the Melbourne Demons at Domain Stadium on July 23, 2016 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Carson/AFL Media)
Jesse Hogan is being pursued by both WA clubs ahead of the final year of his contract with Melbourne
If that was an opportunity, it's one that our football club would strongly consider and explore
Eagles list manager Craig Vozzo

WEST Coast wants Melbourne forward Jesse Hogan and says it has been pursuing him for a "long period of time".

Hogan is originally from Western Australia and is contracted until the end of 2017 but Fremantle wants to lure the 21-year-old to Domain Stadium.

However, West Coast football manager Craig Vozzo told 6PR on Saturday that the Eagles will go hard for Hogan

"We've been in constant dialogue with his management over a long period of time. We've rated Jesse very highly from the time he was 16, 17," Vozzo said.

"If that was an opportunity, it's one that our football club would strongly consider and explore."

Hogan, the 2015 NAB AFL Rising Star winner, went to Melbourne in the mini-draft that allowed Greater Western Sydney to trade out the rights to four 17-year-old players in 2012.

He will not be a free agent when he comes out of contract, meaning another club would have to trade for him, unless he chooses to take his chances in the pre-season draft.

Melbourne had attempted to extend Hogan's deal before both parties agreed to put talks on hold earlier in the year.

• Jesse 'loves his teammates': Goodwin

Key defender Eric Mackenzie is signed up for next year and Vozzo indicated he would stay at the Eagles. The 2014 best and fairest struggled for a consistent spot in the senior team and only played 13 matches this season after missing all of 2015 following a knee reconstruction.

"We want him at the football club next year. It would have to be something exceptional for us to even consider moving him," Vozzo said.

"At this stage, he hasn't indicated that he wants to leave."

However, fellow backman Mitch Brown could be on the move. 

"Mitch is an unrestricted free agent who is going to have a look at his options, given our strength with the tall backs," Vozzo said.

• Who's on the move? Nick Bowen tracks 2016's free agents

The knee reconstruction to ruckman Nic Naitanui means the Eagles are in the market for a big man, with North Melbourne forward Drew Petrie on the agenda.

"The good news on Scott [Lycett's knee injury] changes our requirements somewhat, but we need some big-man cover," Vozzo said.

"We've set a pretty broad net at this stage and are going to look at a whole lot of options, whether they're in the forward/ruck role, which is the Petrie type, or the outright ruck.

"We're going to speak to a number of people."

Lycett will have surgery on Tuesday for his posterior cruciate ligament injury but he is expected back for round one next season.

Meanwhile, Vozzo dismissed the notion of Jack Darling being traded out.

"We want Jack at our football club for a long time. Power forwards like him are very hard to get," he said.

Small forward Josh Hill has triggered a clause in his contract that sees him signed up for 2017 but Vozzo said that would have no impact on whether the Eagles would pursue Fremantle's Hayden Ballantyne.

Vozzo stated a desire for quality midfielders and a small forward. 

With the final salary cap figure yet to be decided for 2017, Vozzo said it had proved an impediment to making decisions on players.

"It's ridiculous. It's very difficult to run a business in a prudent way when you don't know what your budget is," he said.

"We've got a couple of guys who are waiting on those decisions, and as soon as we know that, we'll make our final list changes."

In coaching news, Peter Sumich won't return to the club after he declined a vacant line-coaching role. Former midfield coach Brady Rawlings was announced as the Eagles' new list manager earlier this week.

"It probably wasn't the role that (Sumich) was looking for," Vozzo said.

Sumich and Fremantle parted ways in August after he told the club he did not want to stay at the Dockers. He joined Fremantle in 2011, after having spent 11 years at the Eagles.