With the Fremantle final now over, coach Justin Longmuir is awaiting answers from a host of players this week on where they want to play in 2023.
Additionally, Geelong is once again emerging as a big player in the trade as it continues to ‘top up’ its roster.
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DOCKERS COULD LOSE FIVE AT THE END OF THE SEASON
Fremantle are now out of finals contention and have just one week left with the players before leaving for the end of the season.
Coach Justin Longmuir said given the short deadline he expects answers shortly from a host of players including Rory Lobb, Griffin Logue, Lloyd Meek, Blake Acres and potentially Liam Henry.
“There’s always movement – we’ll work on that,” Longmuir said in his post-match press conference.
“The deadline will come very soon – we have the players for at most a week and they are going on vacation. I imagine we will have answers soon.
“These conversations will take place in the next week.”
Fox Footy’s Jon Ralph says Henry could eventually join the Dockers’ impending exodus.
“We know five Fremantle Dockers will be asking for trades in the days following the season – I think Liam Henry is someone who will at least consider his options,” he said.
“He’s been pushed back in order – just seven games this year.
“Watch this space on Liam Henry.”
Henry has managed just 27 games for the club since his debut in 2020.
He was snapped up with pick nine in the 2019 AFL Draft in rushed scenes as Carlton launched a surprise bid on the Dockers’ Academy product.
After taking Hayden Young with pick seven and Caleb Serong with pick eight, Freo then had to trade live to stay in the remainder of the draft after matching the Blues’ offer.
Logue and Lobb would be big losses for the Dockers in particular, with both playing key roles this season.
Lobb had tried to leave at the end of 2021, but was unsuccessful in a last-minute attempt to get to GWS.
Meanwhile, Logue was left out of Fremantle’s top 22 at the start of the season before an injury to defender Alex Pearce opened the door.
His form was exceptional as a backman, keeping Joel Hamling in the WAFL, before being moved forward to cover the loss of Matt Taberner to injury.
Logue finished 2022 with a career-high 19 games for the season, but only managed six goals for the season – despite playing as a late striker.
CATS WISH TO “FILL UP” AND GO
Geelong may have missed out on Giant Jacob Hopper, who have declared Richmond as their club of choice this trade period.
But all is not bleak for the Cats.
They’re expected to make a play for Brodie Grundy, given Collingwood’s impending trade haul, but there are two other players who caught their eye.
“The Cats will be busy when it comes to trades – Jacob Hopper picking Richmond will allow them to go even stronger at two locals – Collingwood’s Ollie Henry and Giant Tanner Bruhn,” reported 7NEWS’ Mitch Cleary.
“Both still out of contract.
“The cats try to entice them into the house.”
Geelong has already locked up Henry’s brother Jack until the end of 2024 and may be ready to reunite the siblings.
SEN’s Sam Edmund said he expected the Cats to try to rejuvenate their roster for 2023.
“It’s going to be really interesting what Geelong does from here – if players like (Shaun) Higgins move on, (Luke) Dahlhaus moves on,” he said.
“I wonder if Geelong is tempted (by Henry).”
Although a departure from Grundy was not yet locked in, Edmund believed he had to leave to make way for the Magpies’ expected trades.
“Billy Frampton is going to Collingwood, we keep hearing (Giant) Bobby Hill, (Hawk) Tom Mitchell also wants to go to Collingwood. If this all works Brodie Grundy would have to move to make it work,” he said.
THREE CLUB RACE FOR DUNKLEY?
Josh Dunkley sadly missed out on a trade deal at the end of 2020 when his hopes of landing Essendon were dashed.
Now at the end of the contract, the Dogs player is faced with a difficult decision.
SEN’s Sam Edmund says it’s a “tortuous” expectation for where Dunkley wants to play in 2023.
“We’re still waiting – it’s torture. We know the Port Adelaide offer is very, very good,” he said.
“We know Brisbane also have an indicative offer in front of him and we know the Western Bulldogs have been in negotiations with him for a few months and are desperate for him to stay.
“Is there something to examine about Brisbane playing deep in this series of finals and we still don’t know Josh Dunkley’s future?
“Would it be surprising if Josh Dunkley nominated Brisbane? I don’t think it would be to be honest. He has a link there.
“It’s a watch at the moment.”
Kane Cornes believes Port Adelaide is “confident” Dunkley wants to move to Power, given the connection to his South Australia-based girlfriend, Adelaide Thunderbirds netballer Tippah Dwan.