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Dogs land Schache in last-minute trade

Marc McGowan  October 19, 2017 3:11 PM

Get excited: Schache joins Dogs Exciting young key forward Josh Schache joins the Bulldogs

Keep up with all the deals with the Trade Tracker
All the latest trade and free agency news
Indicative draft order: Keep up to date with all the picks
Who's hanging up the boots? Keep track of 2017's retirements and delistings
 

THE WESTERN Bulldogs have granted homesick key forward Josh Schache his wish to return to Victoria, in a bargain deal compared to his lofty draft value just two years ago.

The No.2 pick in the 2015 NAB AFL Draft departs the Brisbane Lions – where his late father Laurence played 29 games – for picks 25 and 40 two years later.

The trade paves the way for the Bulldogs to sport one of the competition's best key forward combinations, with Schache joining 2013's No.1 draft pick Tom Boyd.

The Schache deal was rubber-stamped after the 2pm AEDT deadline, but the terms were already agreed upon before the cut-off.

Bulldogs director of football Chris Grant confirmed his club had been keen on Schache for some time, but ramped up its interest this week.

He also said they were taking a "glass half-full" approach to Schache rather than focusing on the question marks on his mentality and competitiveness.

"We became really keen during the start of this week and he was really keen to come to us, so we had to tick those boxes, that went well, and then obviously today was in earnest," Grant said.

"(Schache)'s really happy. I'm sure he'll thank the Brisbane Lions Football Club for the last two years of support he's had as an AFL player, but he was really keen to get home and we were really keen to facilitate that."

Grant was already excited about what Schache and Boyd, who has spent considerable time in the ruck, could achieve together as forwards. 

"It's all about talent, and both those boys are talented players," Grant said.

"It doesn't matter if you're five-foot-four or you're six-foot-seven, if you can play the game, you're a real asset to a team.

"We see a great combination between both those players, but also 'Roughy' (Jordan Roughead) in the ruck, so we're really well placed."

Schache's contract saga was one of the biggest stories this year, even once he shocked the AFL industry in re-signing for two years in June.

The speculation the 20-year-old from Seymour could go home went into overdrive when the Lions granted him leave – citing fatigue – for a second time this season ahead of the NEAFL Grand Final.

The club's general manager of football, David Noble, announced early in the NAB AFL Trade Period that it was willing to trade Schache if a suitable offer arose.

"We've had a mature conversation more than anything about Josh's desire to go home, and we had that conversation open and honestly when he re-signed that we thought there'd be a point in time when he would consider going home," Noble told NAB AFL Trade Radio.

"We've got on the front foot and had a conversation with Josh and his manager and if things work out for both parties he would be interested." 

Schache played 27 matches and kicked 25 goals in his two seasons at the Lions.

The 199cm forward won the Larke Medal at the NAB AFL Under-18 Championships in 2015 for his record 24-goal haul and remains a bright long-term prospect.

The Bulldogs traded Jake Stringer to Essendon earlier on Thursday, meaning the make-up of their forward line will be far different next year. 

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