DELISTED free agent Zac Clarke has had interest from up to five AFL clubs, including one that is considering him as a No.1 ruck option.
The 27-year-old ruck-forward did not add to his 101 games and 46 goals at Fremantle this year as he recovered from two surgeries and related complications with the patella in his left knee.
Clarke's most recent operation was in February and he chose to sit out the entire season rather than make a late return for Peel Thunder's finals campaign.
But the athletic 203cm Victorian is back running and finally pain free, with interested clubs declaring him medically ready to go from the start of pre-season in November.
Among the clubs potentially on the hunt for an experienced ruckman are Greater Western Sydney, the Brisbane Lions, Carlton, Melbourne, Richmond and the Western Bulldogs.
Clarke's manager, Jason Dover, of Stride Sports, said they were taking heart from West Coast ruckman Nathan Vardy's ability to have a career-best season after a string of injuries at Geelong.
"I feel like a club that takes him is going to get something really good," Dover told AFL.com.au.
"We saw Vardy have a lot of issues over previous years, then he gets a fresh start at a new club and he had his most successful year by a mile, so we're looking at that and hoping Zac can do something similar.
"It's been tough on him, because he's played injured for the last couple of years, hence the surgery, and then the complications around the surgery pretty much wrote off his year.
"So, he's had to pony up and tough it out and now focus on the rehab and build into the season, and he is telling me he feels as good as he's ever felt."
Clarke has proven he can be an effective marking target up forward, on top of his ruck duties – a combination Dover said made him an appealing commodity.
He kicked double-digit goals in 2012 and 2014, as well as averaging almost 21 hit-outs in 2013 and more than 19 last year as a back-up to Sandilands.
"With the change of the game now, with not playing two dominant ruckmen, he can play forward, so a couple of clubs I've spoken to really like that," Dover said.
"He's going to give them flexibility, because they saw him as a marking forward when he played his best footy a few years back.
"Then, if he's the one who goes in and pinch-hits in the ruck against other guys who are not real ruckmen, they feel like they're getting a real ruckman in there as well.
"But another club I've spoken to are looking at him as potentially a No.1 ruck option. They think he's good enough to do that, with some of the real big ruckmen coming out of the game."
Clarke posted on Instagram last week that he was keen to continue his AFL career elsewhere.
"Thanks to friends and family for the support over the journey and especially all my teammates who I'll miss the most!" Clarke wrote.
"One door closes, another one opens and I'm excited for what's next #plentyleft"
The Dockers re-signed four-time All Australian Aaron Sandilands for another year and first-year big man Sean Darcy impressively led the club's ruck division down the stretch in Sandilands' injury absence.
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