Western Bulldogs AFL premiership player Joel Hamling has told the Dogs he wants to be traded to Fremantle.
The move would see Hamling return to his home state after he was drafted by Geelong in 2011.
The tall defender didn’t play a game for the Cats and was delisted at the end of the 2014 season, but he made 23 senior appearances for the Bulldogs in the past two seasons after he signed as a delisted free agent.
The 23-year-old’s stocks rose during the Dogs’ stirring finals run, which culminated in the grand final win over Sydney in which he largely curbed the influence of Swans superstar Lance Franklin.
“It’s great news … I think Joel’s been considering coming back throughout the year and then obviously with the way the Bulldogs went clouded the decision a bit more,” Dockers list manager Brad Lloyd told 6PR radio on Saturday.
“I presume he’s agonised over the decision over recent weeks, but with the grand final celebrations it’s been more difficult to come to a decision.
“But he’s indicated to us he’d like to get back to Western Australia and play for Fremantle, which is fantastic news.”
The Dockers have been a major player in this AFL trade period, landing Cam McCarthy from Greater Western Sydney and Bradley Hill from Hawthorn.
They also allowed 172-game veteran Chris Mayne to depart via free agency and the 27-year-old signed with Collingwood.
Geelong forward Shane Kersten, also a Western Australian native and a good friend of Hamling, is set to fill Mayne’s spot in Fremantle’s attack.
“They both want to get to Fremantle so I think we can work through and get something done, for sure,” Lloyd said.
“They are certainly best mates, they’re inseparable. Every time I’ve spoken to one of them, the other one’s been there.
“They came over to Perth during the week and had a bit of a look around.”