GREATER Western Sydney forward Bobby Hill has officially requested a trade to Essendon with one year remaining on his contract.
Hill, who was drafted out of Western Australia, is eager to play in Victoria for family reasons and the Giants were told this morning of his preference to join the Bombers. AFL.com.au revealed Essendon’s interest in Hill on Saturday.
The 21-year-old's cousin, Courtney Ugle, plays with the Bombers' VFLW side, while he would like to live with his cousin, St Kilda's Bradley Hill, as he prepares to start a family with his pregnant partner.
Sources close to Hill said the talented small forward was seeking a fresh start and excited about the prospect of playing in marquee games such as the annual Dreamtime game and Anzac Day.
It is not clear if the Giants are open to trading Hill, with their position likely to be formed after meetings on Sunday.
The Bombers had been looking at former Crow and Tiger Tyson Stengle as a delisted free agent, with Geelong and North Melbourne also on the lookout for small forwards in the off-season.
Geelong is believed to be in the box seat to sign Stengle with the recent appointment of his mentor Eddie Betts as a development coach at the Cats.
Stengle starred at SANFL level this year and is viewed as the best small forward out of the AFL system.
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Hill has played 30 games for the Giants and kicked 25 goals for the club since joining them in 2018.
The Giants opened negotiations to extend his deal beyond 2022 earlier this year.
Any trade is likely to be treated in isolation to the Giants' attempts to lure Fremantle to the negotiating table over tall forward Rory Lobb.
The move could, however, open salary cap space and deliver trade assets that can be used to appease the Dockers, who still see significant hurdles in the way of Lobb's desire to return to the Giants.
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GWS is believed to have improved its contract offer to the Fremantle forward after amicable discussions on Friday about his potential return.
While Lobb is prepared to take a significant pay cut to return to his original AFL club after three years, the Giants' first offer had proved a stumbling block to talks then starting between the clubs.
The Dockers are also adamant they would not pay a portion of the 28-year-old's salary for him to play elsewhere, regardless of his eagerness to return to the Giants.
The parties did not expect talks to gain much traction over the weekend.