With Fremantle’s finals charge now over, coach Justin Longmuir is expecting answers from a host of players this week about where they want to play in 2023.
Plus Geelong looms as a big trade player once again as they continue to “top-up” their list.
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DOCKERS COULD LOSE FIVE AS SEASON ENDS
Fremantle are now out of the finals race and have just a week left with the players before they head off for end-of-season.
Coach Justin Longmuir said given the short-turnaround, he’s expecting 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 through that,” Longmuir said in his post-match press conference.
“The timeframe’s going to come pretty soon – we’ve got the players for at most another week and they’re off on holidays. I imagine we’ll get some answers soon.
“Those conversations will happen in the next week or so.”
Fox Footy’s Jon Ralph says Henry could possibly join the looming exodus at the Dockers.
“We know five Fremantle Dockers will request trades in the days after the season – I expect Liam Henry is someone who will at least consider his options,” he said.
“He’s been pushed down the order – only seven games this year.
“Watch this space on Liam Henry.”
Henry has managed just 27 games at the club since his debut in 2020.
He was snapped up with pick nine in the 2019 AFL Draft in hasty 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 live trade to stay in the remainder of the draft after matching the Blues’ bid.
Logue and Lobb would be big losses for the Dockers in particular, with both playing key roles this season.
Lobb had tried to depart at the end of 2021, but was unsuccessful in a last-minute bid to get to GWS.
Logue meantime was left out of Fremantle’s best 22 early in the season before an injury to defender Alex Pearce opened the door.
His form was outstanding as a backman, keeping Joel Hamling in the WAFL, before being shifted forward to cover the loss of injured Matt Taberner.
Logue finished 2022 with a career-high 19 games for the season, but only managed six goals for the season – despite playing as a forward late.
CATS KEEN TO ‘TOP-UP’ AND GO
Geelong may have missed out on Giant Jacob Hopper, who declared Richmond as his club of choice this trade period.
But it’s not all doom and gloom for the Cats.
They are expected to make a play for Brodie Grundy, given Collingwood’s looming trade haul, but there’s two other players that have caught their eye.
“The Cats will be busy come trade time – Jacob Hopper choosing Richmond will allow them to go even harder at two locals – Collingwood’s Ollie Henry and Giant Tanner Bruhn,” 7NEWS’ Mitch Cleary reported.
“Both still out of contract.
“The Cats trying to lure them home.”
Geelong already have Henry’s brother Jack locked away until the end of 2024 and could be set to reunite the siblings.
SEN’s Sam Edmund said he expected the Cats to try and rejuvenate their list for 2023.
“It’s going to be really interested what Geelong do from here – if players like (Shaun) Higgins are moving on, (Luke) Dahlhaus moving on,” he said.
“I wonder if Geelong are tempted (by Henry).”
While a Grundy departure is not yet locked in, Edmund believed he had to go to make way for the Magpies’ expected trades.
“Billy Frampton’s going to Collingwood, we keep hearing (Giant) Bobby Hill, (Hawk) Tom Mitchell wants to get to Collingwood as well. If all this works, Brodie Grundy would have to move to make this work,” he said.
THREE-CLUB RACE FOR DUNKLEY?
Josh Dunkley infamously missed out on a trade deal at the end of 2020 when his hopes of landing at Essendon were dashed.
Now out of contract, the Dogs premiership player is facing a tough decision.
SEN’s Sam Edmund says it’s a “torturous” wait for where Dunkley wants to play in 2023.
“We still wait – it’s a torturous one. We know that Port Adelaide’s offer is very, very good,” he said.
“We know Brisbane have got an indicative offer in front of him as well and we know the Western Bulldogs have been in negotiations with him for a couple of months and desperately want him to stay.
“Is there anything to look into the fact Brisbane are playing deep into this finals series and we still don’t know Josh Dunkley’s future?
“Would it surprise if Josh Dunkley nominated Brisbane? I don’t think it would be to be honest. He’s got a link there.
“It’s a watch at the moment.”
Kane Cornes believes Port Adelaide are “confident” on Dunkley wanting to move to the Power, given the link to his South Australia-based girlfriend, Adelaide Thunderbirds netballer Tippah Dwan.