Bulldogs recruit Rory Lobb says it would have been “really hard” to return to Fremantle a second time, revealing he felt “on the outer” at times after his first trade request failed in 2021.
Lobb finally landed at the Western Bulldogs in the dying stages of last week’s trade period, after the Dockers had initially denied his request to leave – given he still had a year to run on his deal.
But after Fremantle snapped up Luke Jackson from Melbourne, suddenly the door opened for Lobb to land in Victoria, where he wanted to be reunited with his partner.
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“Obviously I wouldn’t have liked it to go down to the wire … I was on the phone on the golf course, just trying to figure out if it was going to go through,” he said.
“Ever since the first meeting I had with (Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge) Bevo, I felt like I had a really good connection with him.
“I feel like I’ve changed as a person the last four years (in Perth) – I feel what’s best for me is to move to Melbourne with my partner.
“I need to do what’s best for me and my mental state.”
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Lobb’s trade came one year after he unsuccessfully requested to leave – and had to return to the club for the 2022 season.
Speaking to media this week, Lobb said he didn’t know if he could have gone back to the Dockers a second time.
“Obviously I asked for a trade last year – it got denied … (it was) really tough, but just kept my head down,” he said.
“I was always going to ask for another trade – it’s been a year and a half now that I’ve wanted out.
“I think it’s a bit on the commitment to the group – you sort of do feel like you are on the outer at times. The boys had full faith that I’d go out every week and play my hardest and do what’s best for the club.
“(But) I didn’t really want to think about (having to return to Fremantle for 2023) to be honest.
“I didn’t know if I’d be able to handle it again. I don’t know if I would have been able to play as well as I did this year.
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“Considering I had one last year on my contract and the fact I had asked previously, I think it would be really hard on the group having me around again feeling I’m not as committed as I should be.
“I feel like they’ve got what they could out of me – I think it’s worked for both parties well.”
Lobb shared his disappointment at Fremantle’s decision to initially knock back his trade request, given they were already losing out-of-contract swingman Griffin Logue.
“It was obviously very frustrating considering I’d asked the previous year,” he said.
“I just think I went to the club and got my work done (in season 2022). Obviously that’s going to happen, you’re going to feel a bit on the outer after asking for a trade and people knowing that you want a trade again. I was just getting in there and getting my work done.
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“I was obviously really surprised when it came to the trade period this year and asked (to be traded) and it was denied. I felt like I did everything I could to go as far as we could in the finals.”
The 29-year-old said he was now focused on forming a partnership with the Dogs talls including Aaron Naughton and Tim English in a bid to lead the club back into premiership contention.
Lobb was traded to the Bulldogs for pick 30 and a future second round selection.