SMALL forward Lachie Schultz has expressed a desire to join premier Collingwood in an unexpected blow to Fremantle at the start of the Continental Tyres AFL Trade Period.
Schultz, who hit a contract trigger for 2024 earlier this season, is an unrestricted free agent at the end of next year given he has previously been cut and re-listed as a rookie by the Dockers.
Despite his request, Fremantle has the ability to hold the 25-year-old to the final year of his deal in 2024. The club posted on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, that Schultz was a required player.
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Schultz turned down interest from Hawthorn to re-sign with Fremantle at the end of 2021 after drawn out negotiations and is a valued player after a terrific season in attack and back-to-back top 10 finishes in the club champion award.
His late request, which came on the eve of the Trade Period opening, is a blindside for the Dockers, who also stand to lose uncontracted Liam Henry to St Kilda after a purple patch on the wing in the second half of the season.
It is understood the pull of home is a factor in Schultz exploring a move and making his request known to Fremantle, despite having a year to run on his contract.
Schultz kicked 33 goals from 23 games this season, ranked No.2 at Fremantle to leading goalkicker Jye Amiss, and was a dynamic and consistent presence inside 50.
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The Victorian won his second Glendinning-Allan Medal in the round 22 Western Derby after an outstanding performance that saw him kick five goals to go along with 24 disposals and seven inside 50s.
The Dockers have previously denied trade requests from contracted players, holding key forward Rory Lobb to his deal in 2022 before later releasing him to the Western Bulldogs.