New Fremantle recruit Luke Jackson has revealed he met with both West Australian clubs during the mid-season bye and his bid to get back to Perth from Melbourne was set in stone long before the AFL season ended.
Jackson, a premiership player at the Demons in 2021, said it was a “weight off my shoulders” when the deal with the Dockers was confirmed on Monday.
Despite also taking a pitch from the West Coast Eagles when he returned to Perth to visit family during the bye weekend in June, the 21-year-old said moving to the Dockers instead “felt right”.
“During that bye break I met with (West Coast) and they did a really good pitch,” Jackson said.
“It was nice to get to know them. But when I met with Freo, I kind of knew that was the place I wanted to be playing at, it felt right.
“All the boys here are really driven. It’s such a young group that can push the club forward. Being young, and being able to fit in there, I’m just looking forward to meeting them all.”
Melbourne officials were resigned a long time ago to losing Jackson and finally traded him for pick 13, a future first and a future second-round pick, with picks 44 and 67 also heading to Freo.
Jackson said he “just wanted it done” after haggling stretched in to the second week of the AFL trade period.
“Super excited. It’s a big weight off my shoulders,” Jackson said.
“As the season started to go on, I had a bit of a feeling it would land at Freo.
“I just wanted to get it done in the end. I’m happy it’s done.”
Jackson said he’s already spoken to Fremantle ruckman Sean Darcy about what they could achieve together, and has one ambition for his new team.
“I met with Sean a couple of times, and we were both talking about how good it could potentially be,” he said.
“So I’m looking forward to getting to work with him and seeing how that looks.
“Hopefully I can fit right in there and the main goal of bringing a flag to Freo would be awesome,” Jackson said.
“I think every team plays to win, and if it was next year that would be unreal. There’s a lot of hard work to go, but it’s good to be aiming high.”