Luke Jackson in action in Melbourne's clash with Collingwood in round 13, 2022. Picture: AFL Photos

FREMANTLE has finally secured young star Luke Jackson from Melbourne, but it required a side deal with GWS that sent Demon Toby Bedford to the Giants.

Jackson had long been favoured to get to Fremantle, with a swap of later picks also involving the Giants getting the deal over the line on Monday.

'IT FELT RIGHT' Jackson excited to join Fremantle

The Demons gained pick 13, Fremantle's future first-round pick and future second-round pick (tied to the Dockers) in exchange for Jackson, picks 44 and 67.

Pick 44 went the way of the Demons after they agreed to trade small forward Bedford to the Giants, and they passed it on to Fremantle in the Jackson deal. 

The deal sees the Dockers get their man, having targeted Jackson from a long way out to help spearhead their chase for an elusive flag after his 2021 premiership campaign with Melbourne.

It also sees the Demons turn the departure into a strong draft hand, giving them three first-round picks between this year and next as well as two second-rounders next season, with it being rare in blockbuster deals to not give back a second-rounder.

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It means the Demons could now be used for rival trades to help get deals done with their suite of selections, with Melbourne having in previous years climbed the draft board using pick swaps. The club was unlikely to use pick 67 at the draft.

"Luke has been our number one priority all year and obviously throughout the trade period," Fremantle's head of player personnel David Walls said.

"He's got so much versatility and so much scope to improve as a player. We’re really only scratching the surface with what he can do.

"He's only just turned 21, when you look at what he’s doing with his relative age rating for a player in his position, he's off the charts.


"In his draft year, we had him rated at number one in the draft.

"Even though we also picked up Hayden Young and Caleb Serong, with Luke being local, we’ve followed him for a long time going back to his juniors.

"To be able to bring someone as rare as him with so much talent and character, we're just thrilled."

Bedford requested a trade to GWS earlier this month, with his arrival at the Giants offsetting the departure of Bobby Hill to Collingwood.

"We identified Toby as a player who could come in and add to our small-forward stocks, so we were thrilled he saw an opportunity at our club and pleased we could come to an agreement with Melbourne," GWS footy boss Jason McCartney said of Bedford.

"He's a young and exciting player with a lot of potential, and we look forward to watching him continue to grow and develop over the coming years."


Jackson will join the Dockers after an excellent start to his career, which included winning the NAB AFL Rising Star Award and a premiership in his second season.

He played 22 games this year for a career total of 52 in the red and blue before requesting a move home to WA to be closer to family and friends.

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Fremantle was always the 21-year-old's preferred destination, with West Coast an interested onlooker but never seriously in the race to land the talented tall.

Jackson's arrival will mean ruckman Sean Darcy gets the additional support he is after, with the Dockers also planning to use the former Demon as a hybrid midfielder who can drift forward.

Melbourne list manager Tim Lamb said although the club was disappointed, it respected Jackson's and Bedford's decision to continue their careers elsewhere.

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"There is no doubt that we wanted Luke to remain at the Demons, but we respect his decision to return home to Western Australia to be closer to his family and friends," Lamb said.

"Toby has been a much loved member of our program and while we are disappointed that we will be losing him, we also understand and respect his decision to pursue further opportunities.

"We thank both Luke and Toby for their contribution and commitment to the club over a number of years.

"After completing this trade, we now hold a significant suite of draft picks over the next two years.

"Pick 13 this year as well as two 2023 first-round selections and two 2023 second-round selections present us with a terrific opportunity, and we will now look at all options that present themselves."

- with Nathan Schmook