GIANTS CALL FOR RORY RETURN
GREATER Western Sydney will look to use a future second-round pick in its bid to land a stunning return for Rory Lobb, who would also need to take a significant pay cut from his $700,000 salary to make the move from Fremantle.
However, the Dockers are set to stand firm that they would not agree to any trade in which they were required to pay a portion of Lobb's lucrative contract that still has two seasons to run.
The 28-year-old was waiting on an offer from the Giants on Thursday before pushing forward with a more formal trade request as he eyes a longer-term deal. The Dockers have made it clear that they would need to replace Lobb with a ruck-forward to agree to any trade.
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It emerged on Thursday that the Giants had met with Lobb and put him through a medical examination ahead of an unlikely comeback, three seasons after he requested a trade to the Dockers.
The talks arrive after AFL.com.au revealed in July that Lobb was assessing his options and was open-minded about continuing his career elsewhere, despite still having two seasons to run on a lucrative contract.
GWS would be unwilling to part with either of its prized 2021 first-round draft picks that currently sit at No.2 and No.13, while captain Stephen Coniglio is also not on the table.
Lobb played 74 games across five seasons for GWS, having been drafted in 2013, before he was part of a significant trade that saw Fremantle shift picks No.11 and 19 to secure the 207cm forward and picks No.14, 43 and 47.
He has since played 45 games for the Dockers, kicking 43 goals, but has struggled to assert himself as the side's No.1 key forward and was limited to just 13 appearances this season due to an ankle injury. – Riley Beveridge, Cal Twomey and Nathan Schmook
DOCKERS TAKE 19 OFF THE TABLE FOR CLARK
FREMANTLE has told Geelong it is not prepared to trade pick No.19 for Jordan Clark after putting No.22 on the table on Thursday afternoon.
The Dockers secured pick No.19 from Gold Coast on a dramatic fourth day of trading, also bringing in midfielder Will Brodie and picks No.61 and 69, while sending future second- and fourth-round selections to the Suns.
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Pick No.19 carries added value as the first selection of the second day of the NAB AFL Draft, giving the Dockers time to either negotiate a favourable trade or consider drafting a player they rate who has slid from the first round.
Given it will likely move to No.21 after father-son bids, it will also be the first 'clean' pick that can be used on a player tied to a Next Generation Academy that can't be matched by a rival.
It is understood the Dockers were prepared to trade in both No.19 and No.22 on Thursday knowing they would be comfortable using both at the NAB AFL Draft if Geelong didn't agree to their best offer.
The Dockers have so far suggested offers of pick No.27 and now pick No.22 after being told by the Cats they would require a pick between No.8 and No.27. They also floated a deal for No.25 if they were able to snare that pick from Carlton as part of the Adam Cerra trade.
It is considered unlikely the Dockers would sweeten their offer of pick No.22 to include something else, believing their current offer is fair compensation for Clark.
The Cats have made their request for No.19 clear, meaning talks could extend further into the exchange period, which runs until next Wednesday. – Nathan Schmook
VIC METRO COMBINE CANCELLED
DRAFT prospects based in metropolitan Victoria have suffered another blow with Sunday’s NAB AFL Draft Combine cancelled.
Nearly 40 players were set to show their wares with athletic testing at the Holden Centre after their Vic Country counterparts underwent testing last week.
But the AFL has decided to take a cautious approach under current COVID-19 restrictions given many of the players have exams coming up and cancelled the event.
CAL TWOMEY'S SEPTEMBER FORM GUIDE Best draft prospects ranked
It comes after a second season where Victorian draft hopefuls have barely hit the field due to interruptions during the pandemic.
Meanwhile, Western Bulldogs father-son Sam Darcy was due to miss the Combine testing with a foot injury that has required treatment.
The 18-year-old, who is expected to attract a top-five bid at November's NAB AFL Draft, has had a minor stress injury in his foot.
After training with the Dogs over summer, the son of former Bulldogs ruckman Luke burst onto the scene this season with the Oakleigh Chargers and Vic Metro as an athletic key forward who can also play in the ruck and in defence.
The 204cm marking prosect is the best tall forward in the pool, with the Dogs securing extra draft selections to have enough points to land him. – Callum Twomey
FREEMAN SEARCHES FOR AFL LIFELINE
FORMER top-10 pick Nathan Freeman hasn't given up on receiving another AFL lifeline.
Freeman, 26, nominated for the NAB AFL Mid-Season Rookie Draft this season but was overlooked despite significant interest from 2020 premiers Richmond among a host of other clubs.
It came after a blistering VFL campaign with Frankston, where the former Collingwood and St Kilda midfielder averaged 36.7 disposals per game and amassed more than 40 touches in five of his first seven matches.
Freeman is now working at Connors Sports Management alongside leading player agents Paul Connors, Robbie D'Orazio and Nick Gieschen, but hasn't given up on his AFL dream after it was prematurely cut short by persistent hamstring injuries in 2018.
"Prior to this year, in conversations with Paul and Robbie and Nick, I put all of my chips into the management space … and I still am, but after this year with my form and what I still think I can do in the future, I'd be silly not to try and have another crack," Freeman told AFL Exchange on Continental Tyres AFL Trade Radio.
"They're of the same opinion as well. I wouldn't have put myself into the mid-season draft or still harbour those ambitions if I didn't think that I could still have a really good crack for at least the next seven or eight years.
"I'm only 26, so I still harbour those ambitions. I'd go all-in on that, if it was to happen. I see what I can still do, even coming on in leaps and bounds from my 2019 year in the VFL. The main thing was my body and my durability, that's what tipped me out of the AFL system in the first place.
"I've put a body of work together in the last 12 or 24 months where I've been injury-free and I'm really confident in my body. I wouldn't be putting myself out there or putting myself in a situation to hopefully get taken again if I didn't think that I'd be a really valuable asset to any club." – Riley Beveridge
IN OTHER NEWS
- Fremantle secured midfielder Will Brodie in addition to picks No.19, 61 and 69 in a trade with Gold Coast. The Dockers parted with future second- and fourth-round selections to secure Brodie and their third top-20 pick.
- Carlton nabbed its priority signing, sealing a deal for Fremantle midfielder and former top-five pick Adam Cerra. The Blues gave up pick No.6 and a future third-round selection for the Victorian.
- Carlton turned Sam Petrevski-Seton into Lewis Young in a three-way deal featuring West Coast and the Western Bulldogs. The Blues received pick No.52 from the Eagles for Petrevski-Seton, which they on-traded to the Dogs for Young.
- The Blues capped a busy day by delisting Michael Gibbons and Sam Ramsay.
- The Western Bulldogs replaced Young by signing the versatile Tim O'Brien as an unrestricted free agent. The Dogs plan to use the former Hawk as an intercept defender in 2022.