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'Freo sure know how to lose them': Docker shocker as goalsneak requests trade to reigning premiers

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9th October, 2023
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Fremantle maintain goalsneak Lachie Schultz is a ‘required player’ after the 25-year old requested a shock trade to Collingwood.

Schultz dropped the first bombshell of the 2023 AFL Trade Period on Monday afternoon, with the small forward, who is contracted for 2024, reportedly keen to return to Victoria for family reasons.

According to reports, the request has blindsided the Dockers, who were in the process of working with his management on a two-year contract extension.

Hailing from country NSW, Schultz was taken with pick 57 in the 2018 national draft as a 20-year old after dominating for Williamstown in the VFL.

Delisted at the end of 2020 before being re-drafted as a rookie, he has since become an integral part of the Dockers’ forward line, kicking a career-best 33 goals in 2023 and in 2021 knocking back an offer from Hawthorn to re-sign with the club.

>> Head here for The Roar‘s comprehensive list of AFL Trade Rumours for every club

That two-year contract included triggers for a third, which Schultz, a dual Glendinning-Allan Medallist for best afield in the Western Derby, hit earlier this season to tie him to Fremantle until the end of 2024.

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The Dockers stated their desire to keep Schultz, posting to social media that he is ‘a required player who still has a year to run on his contract’.

Complicating matters, though, is that Schultz becomes an unrestricted free agent at the end of next season, due to his previous delisting by the Dockers, meaning he could walk to the Magpies freely in 12 more months.

Schultz’s looming departure is the latest major blow for Fremantle after a poor season that saw them slump to 14th after a return to finals in 2022 for the first time in seven years.

The Dockers are also set to lose wingman Liam Henry, who is seeking a trade to St Kilda, while key defender Joel Hamling has departed to join Sydney as an unrestricted free agent.

At the end of 2022, the club also saw Blake Acres, Griffin Logue, Darcy Tucker, Rory Lobb and Lloyd Meek head elsewhere.

The player exodus quickly attracted the attention of Kane Cornes, with the controversial media pundit and former Port Adelaide great posting to X that ‘Freo sure know how to lose them’.

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“Schultz ranked 1 at Fremantle for scoreboard impact. It’s a giant loss for a team not blessed with scoring options.”

The 25-year old’s arrival would further bolster the Pies’ arsenal of small forwards, which includes veteran Jamie Elliott, Norm Smith Medallist Bobby Hill, pressure player Beau McCreery and a host of others.

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It would, however, once again threaten the spot of Jack Ginnivan, who was the subject of trade interest mid-season from rival clubs including Richmond and the Western Bulldogs before breaking back into the Magpies’ senior team late in the year, including for the grand final.

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