AFL trade rumours: Dockers eyeing off star Eagle

Josh Elliott Editor

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    The Fremantle Dockers may well be West Coast’s greatest threat in the race for the services of All Australian defender and restricted free agent Jeremy McGovern this year.

    We heard some new AFL trade rumours last night that the Dockers are making a serious play to lure McGovern to the club in what would be a major coup and another chapter in a storied rivalry between the two sides.

    The Dockers aren’t the only club interested in signing McGovern – Victorian sides are also keen, one reportedly already making him an offer of $7 million over six years.

    However Fremantle might be in the best position to win McGovern’s services simply because signing with them would not require the native Western Australian to leave his home state.

    They unsuccessfully attempted to lure home his younger brother Mitch from the Adelaide Crows last year.

    West Coast reportedly offered McGovern a deal worth $4 million over five years before the start of the season but it appears likely they’ll have to bump up their offer to keep the star backman.

    The reaction to McGovern’s defection if he did switch from blue and gold to purple would be something to behold.

    There hasn’t been a player to move between the two clubs since they swapped Greg Harding and Daniel Metropolis in 2000 – who combined played just 15 AFL games for their new clubs.

    For West Coast fans to see a 25-year-old two-time All Australian defect to their most despised rivals would be something else altogether.

    Is it a good fit for Fremantle though? They have put a lot of energy into targetting mature key defenders over the years, including Alex Rance, Harry Taylor and Cale Hooker.

    As things stand now though they seem to have a really promising group in that area of the ground with Alex Pearce and Joel Hamling in the senior side, and Griffin Logue a talented young prospect to come in.

    McGovern would easily be an upgrade on any one of those three if they brought him in to play defence, and they could also consider sending him into the forward line where he started his career.

    Jeremy McGovern

    (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

    Of course, that might not be necessary if the Dockers were to land their other big target, as it was reported alongside the McGovern news that they are closely monitoring Jesse Hogan.

    Hogan comes out of contract at the end of 2019 and has since before he even played an AFL game been the subject of rumours that he may look for a trade back to his home state, with Fremantle always seeming the most likely suitor.

    Hogan has shown a really impressive ability to play a more mobile centre-half-forward role this year, roaming up the ground and averaging 22 disposals as well as 2.5 goals per game.

    If the Dockers landed him they could ask him to play that role, have Matt Taberner as the target close to goal in a Josh Jenkins style role, allowing Cam McCarthy to play as a dangerous third tall.

    Who knows if anything will ever come of the endless ‘Hogan to Fremantle’ rumours – certainly not until 2019 at the earliest – but the Dockers may look to recruit a different Demon at the end of 2018.

    Fremantle are reportedly one of a number of clubs closely monitoring Angus Brayshaw after he was left out of Melbourne’s side for the first three rounds of the 2018 season.

    Brayshaw, a former No.3 draft pick, had an excellent debut season but has struggled with concussion in the time since.

    The Dockers drafted his brother, Andrew, with the No.2 pick last year. A third Brayshaw brother, Hamish, is listed with West Coast.

    Angus comes out of contract at the end of 2018 and would have to weigh up his options if still only on the fringe of Melbourne’s best 22.

    Angus Brayshaw

    (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

    In other trade news, it was reported last week that an AFL ambassador payment to Tom Lynch, if he decides to remain on the Gold Coast, would likely be worth as little as $50,000 or less per year.

    It’s a stark contrast to the enormous ambassador payments that the AFL put in front of the likes of Karmichael Hunt and Israel Folau as they looked to make a splash in the northern states.

    There has long been speculation that the Suns would be able to blow any other team out of the water in terms of dollars thanks to the likelihood that the AFL would kick in a sizeable bonus amount on top.

    Instead it seems that the race for Lynch’s services will now be a lot more competitive in terms of what contract value his Victorian suitors can offer.

    While Gold Coast have reportedly already put in front of Lynch a seven-year deal totalling more than $10 million, it has been said that Richmond could have as much as $1.2 million per year to offer him.

    So the Suns will most likely still have the superior financial offer, but it probably won’t be by so extremely large a margin as to make it near-impossible to refuse.

    Hawthorn, his other main suitor, would be less likely to break the bank, but have successfully used the lure of playing under Alastair Clarkson to recruit many players before, and it could be a deciding factor once again.

    Josh Elliott
    Josh Elliott

    Josh Elliott may be The Roar's Weekend Editor, but at heart he's just a rusted-on North Melbourne tragic with a penchant for pun headlines - and also abnormal alliteration, assuredly; assuming achievability. He once finished third in a hot chilli pie eating contest. You can follow him on Twitter @JoshElliott_29 and listen to him on The Roar's AFL Podcast.

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    The Crowd Says (90)

    • April 17th 2018 @ 8:52am
      Don Freo said | April 17th 2018 @ 8:52am | ! Report

      Freo has so much young talent they’ll need to keep in the next few years that big money is best used to spread around this group.

      Pearce, Cox, Taberner, Hamling, Dixon and Logue are enough. If The Gov comes at $800k to his dad’s club, OK, but not more.

      • April 17th 2018 @ 11:50am
        jonboy said | April 17th 2018 @ 11:50am | ! Report

        All those blokes are already being paid .. They all have contracts all they have to do is play well and they will not be going anywhere.

      • Editor

        April 17th 2018 @ 6:25pm
        Josh Elliott said | April 17th 2018 @ 6:25pm | ! Report

        I think the Dockers could probably fit one of Gov/Hogan in, but not both without risking losing someone else later on. Though perhaps deals could be heavily frontloaded to make it work.

    • April 17th 2018 @ 9:33am
      Harsh Truth Harry said | April 17th 2018 @ 9:33am | ! Report

      Why on earth would he join the lowly Dockers???? This is a club who have not paid their way in our great Vic comp with any flags in 22 years! They had one chance and Ross Lyon coached a shocker of a GF! Port, the Crows, the Swans, even the Lions won flags and yet Freo have nothing. They are the Melbourne Football Club of the West, a side who simply don’t win flags. Stay with the Eagles bloke at least they win some!

      • April 17th 2018 @ 11:34am
        truetigerfan said | April 17th 2018 @ 11:34am | ! Report

        Unlike Essendon Freo have a decent midfield! KPPs make sense. McGovern and Hogan would just about complete the puzzle and give them a shot while Fyfe’s still healthy! Must be a slow day at uni, Harry?

      • April 17th 2018 @ 11:46am
        johno said | April 17th 2018 @ 11:46am | ! Report

        You know who else has not one any flags in 22 years?


        So why would Jesse and Angus stay with a club that is likely to miss finals again this season and probably back a truck load of cash up to another mid range defender.

        • April 17th 2018 @ 7:30pm
          The Ghost said | April 17th 2018 @ 7:30pm | ! Report

          If Melbourne fail once again, Brayshaw and Hogan will leave.

          Melbourne is an irrelevant club with a handful of upper class twits supporting them. As soon as June comes these Sherry sippers depart to the snowfields in their Range Rovers.

          Most players can’t wait to get out of the joint. I can see some big Melbourne players wanting to come to Punt Road come the end of the season, as they will want to be part of a winning culture.

          Melbourne are a tragic club who are stuck in 1964. They still think in terms of pounds, shillings, and Pence, and Ming the merciless is still the prime minister.

          Eat ’em alive Tigers!

    • April 17th 2018 @ 9:34am
      johno said | April 17th 2018 @ 9:34am | ! Report

      McGovern, yes please…. Hogan – where do e sign. Brayshaw …. umm ok, it’ll help Andrew stay

      Freo has a truck load of salary cap coming back in with the imminent departure of Johnson, D Pearce, Ballantyne, Mundy, Sandilands and Spurr – maybe Sandi and Mundy go around another season (or two)

      Backline of

      Ryan Pearce Hamling
      Wilson McGovern Logue

      Fwd line of

      Matera Hogan McCarthy
      Grey Taberner Walters

      Yep – take that everyday of the week

      Blakely to the midfield, Walters to the wing ….. plus draft Ian Hill and Dillon O’Reilly this year … tick tick tick

      That said, none of the above will happen.

      • Editor

        April 17th 2018 @ 6:27pm
        Josh Elliott said | April 17th 2018 @ 6:27pm | ! Report

        No reason not to dream.

      • April 18th 2018 @ 12:26am
        Johnny Dalmas said | April 18th 2018 @ 12:26am | ! Report

        It’s going to be hard to get both O’Reilly and Hill given the picks we have this year.

        • April 18th 2018 @ 8:57am
          johno said | April 18th 2018 @ 8:57am | ! Report

          True – plus we have Jason Carter as an academy pick that we should take

          We should have a top 10 pick, but unfortunately O’Reilly falls 2 games short of father / son rules, unless they can count Stephens 42 games for Swan Districts pre 1995 towards hiw total tally (which really should count)

    • Roar Guru

      April 17th 2018 @ 9:38am
      AdelaideDocker said | April 17th 2018 @ 9:38am | ! Report

      I feel like the most likely one of these is Brayshaw jumping ship, because Hogan + McGovern seem to be fantasies at this point.

      • April 17th 2018 @ 10:08am
        Scorching said | April 17th 2018 @ 10:08am | ! Report


        The question in my mind is would he really get much more opportunity at Freo? There isn’t much space in that midfield either

      • April 17th 2018 @ 12:53pm
        Guttsy said | April 17th 2018 @ 12:53pm | ! Report

        Hogan would be silly to go to Freo. Freo is a graveyard for forward talent because of their unwavering steady predictable delivery into their forward line. As for McGovern, I would think that he sees Freo had their chance to get him to arlier but he needs to get a decent offer from the Eagles of at least $1million per year, as one of competitions premier defenders, that is now what he is worth.

      • Editor

        April 17th 2018 @ 6:28pm
        Josh Elliott said | April 17th 2018 @ 6:28pm | ! Report

        Brayshaw seems like the loyal type to me. That said, love to have him at North.

    • April 17th 2018 @ 10:40am
      Lroy said | April 17th 2018 @ 10:40am | ! Report

      Lots of clubs will be making him offers, no doubt the Eagles will up the ante when they have a better idea of what they’re up against.

      All the stars at WCE are about to hit their prime over the next 3 years, and the Eagles will be as much a chance as anyone to win a flag in that time..can’t see him leaving just for money.

      So Im thinking he stays 😉

    • Roar Rookie

      April 17th 2018 @ 10:51am
      Mattician6x6 said | April 17th 2018 @ 10:51am | ! Report

      Won’t happen, the other side of the story is gov feelings of loyalty to the club that took the risk.

      • April 17th 2018 @ 11:32am
        jonboy said | April 17th 2018 @ 11:32am | ! Report

        i think your right Matti, But i would offer a huge contract anyway just look at the blokes Freo will not be paying next year. Sandilands-Ballantyne-Johnson-Bennell-Apeness- D.Pearce- Spurr- Sheridan-Sutcliffe- Fair bit of cash there? Super draft next year on all accounts. I think the Guv stays anyway, but love to have him anyway. If he has leadership qualities probably take Hurn’s job.

        • April 17th 2018 @ 4:20pm
          Don Freo said | April 17th 2018 @ 4:20pm | ! Report

          Sandi is almost certain to play another year, probably 2. Bennell has another 7 or 8.

          If you add the pays of Ballas, Johnno, Spurr, Apeness, Sutcliffe, Sheridan and D Pearce, you are barely matching what Hogan or McGovern would earn per season. You don’t seem to get how it works. Freeing salary cap space does not involve swapping 10 players for one. Footy teams need 22 players.

          • Roar Pro

            April 17th 2018 @ 4:44pm
            anon said | April 17th 2018 @ 4:44pm | ! Report

            How many games has Bennell played in the last three, Don?

            When Sandilands is on the field, Fremantle are a man down in general play.

            • April 17th 2018 @ 6:26pm
              jonboy said | April 17th 2018 @ 6:26pm | ! Report

              He will not answer any hard questions anon but quick to insult.

            • April 17th 2018 @ 9:53pm
              Don Freo said | April 17th 2018 @ 9:53pm | ! Report

              I’m sure you can count. Why do you want to know that anyway?

              Sandi? You just don’t know much. People who follow footy do.

          • April 17th 2018 @ 4:58pm
            jonboy said | April 17th 2018 @ 4:58pm | ! Report

            Those ten players would average $300.000 probably more that gives you 3 million for 1 year . $1.200 million for McGovern or Hogan leaves you $1.800 there probably got some in the bank as well. Next years draft is being hailed as the best ever lots of young talent at a cheap rate. Out of ,all of those ten players, name one that any other club would want.?

            • April 17th 2018 @ 5:07pm
              Don Freo said | April 17th 2018 @ 5:07pm | ! Report

              You are planning on a squad of 25 only? You constantly confuse the draft and the trading period.

              You are so many snaggers short of a barbie…

              • April 17th 2018 @ 5:24pm
                jonboy said | April 17th 2018 @ 5:24pm | ! Report

                Don -You did not answer the question ? Your question ‘you are planning on a a squad of 25 ‘ No ! I just listed ten players to be delisted and be replaced in the draft and trading period the same as last year not hard . No idea about your 25 ?

              • April 17th 2018 @ 9:54pm
                Don Freo said | April 17th 2018 @ 9:54pm | ! Report

                I suppose you are not planning to pay any draftees.

              • April 18th 2018 @ 1:16am
                dontknowmuchaboutfootball said | April 18th 2018 @ 1:16am | ! Report

                Gonna be hard to replace them with young talent given Freo gave up their second, third and fourth round picks in last year’s trading. So they’ll have a first, fifth, sixth and seventh rounds. Not sure if if goes higher than that, but it would have to be a super strong draft indeed to be getting quality even with those.

                Then there’s the rookie draft, where Freo have traditionally done well, but I wouldn’t be betting my house (or the future contract of, say, Ed Langdon on it).

              • April 18th 2018 @ 10:00am
                Jonboy said | April 18th 2018 @ 10:00am | ! Report

                dontknowmuchaboutfootball, Don will not answer the question . Who out of the ten would be of interest to any other club.?Your thoughts.?

              • April 18th 2018 @ 12:38pm
                johno said | April 18th 2018 @ 12:38pm | ! Report

                I’ll answer – maybe Sutcliffe

                The rest are retiring players, although if Sandi wanted to go on he could probably get a 1 or 2 year deal from a Vic club that doesn’t have a dominant ruck but thinks they can compete (like the Dogs or Cats)

                But the reality is Freo will turn over those 10 players (or isit 9) in the coming 1-2 years. I dare say they will see 3-4 this year and the bulk the next,.

                This year Freo have an academy player who is worth a second to third rounder and a first round draft pick (so far). Who knows what can be done to get into the second or third round of drafting with future picks or packaging up picks to clubs that have lots of academy of f/s selections this year. The blues have quite a few coming through

              • April 18th 2018 @ 12:51pm
                jonboy said | April 18th 2018 @ 12:51pm | ! Report

                Good onya johno, there is a lot of talented players in the draft even late picks. Walter and Neale in the Fifties Luke Ryan 66 Banfield also and that is just Freo.

      • Editor

        April 17th 2018 @ 6:29pm
        Josh Elliott said | April 17th 2018 @ 6:29pm | ! Report

        I do feel like he’s the kind of guy who probably won’t want to leave, so as long as the Eagles can make a comparative salary offer he’ll probably stay. Just my best guess though.

      • April 18th 2018 @ 12:21pm
        13th Man said | April 18th 2018 @ 12:21pm | ! Report

        Yeah even as a Freo fan I can’t see that one happening. It is very very rare for a player to move across town like that, especially a marquee player like McGovern. I honestly can see him either staying at West Coast or moving to Melbourne. WC to Freo and vice versa just doesn’t happen.
        As for Hogan, hes the one i still have hope for, sure he committed to the Dees for now but I feel like eventually the lure home plus big money may be enough. Brayshaw would quite possibly be a bonus to play with little bro.

        • Roar Rookie

          April 18th 2018 @ 12:28pm
          Mattician6x6 said | April 18th 2018 @ 12:28pm | ! Report

          With gov its always based in Andrew played for the dockers, with that logic seeing as Murray rance was a WC captain can we expect Alex to head west.

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