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Tuesday, October 16, 2018

AFL trades 2018: Why Freo should pay ‘overs’ to land Jesse Hogan

Former St Kilda champion Nick Dal Santo has urged Fremantle to pay “overs” to snare Jesse Hogan from Melbourne, with the star forward’s immediate future still unclear as tomorrow’s trade deadline draws near.
And legend Matthew Lloyd says Hogan is a valuable enough commodity to enter the elite group of about 10 players in the competition being paid more than $1 million a season.
It remains to be seen whether the Dockers will re-engage in serious trade negotiations with Melbourne, having made a shock decision last Friday to put talks on hold.
While Fremantle are unable to match Melbourne’s asking price without trading Lachie Neale, reports on Monday suggested the Dockers were also put off by Hogan’s demands of an eight-year, $8 million contract.
Hogan would satisfy Fremantle’s need for a key forward to anchor an attack that has ranked in the bottom three in each of the past three seasons.
The 23-year-old kicked a career-high 47 goals in 20 games this year before a serious foot injury ended his season early.
Dal Santo, who spent five seasons under Fremantle coach Ross Lyon at the Saints, dismissed concerns over Hogan’s navicular bone stress fracture.
“He’s got four years until he hits his best football or his most consistent football, so he can grow with this group,” Dal Santo told Trade Radio.
“He makes perfect sense. If it costs you that (high-end draft) pick, then that still makes sense to me. You speak about going back to the members and the people that pay their money to go watch the Dockers, well, if you don’t have Jesse Hogan then you can expect the same as what you got this year.
“You will get some natural development out of some of the younger players … but it’s also nice when you’ve got a key target to kick the football to.
“Even if you have to pay a little bit overs, you’ve got him for 10 years. You’ll get your money back. It’s value.”
Nine players earned more than $1 million last year — this year’s figures are yet to be released — and Lloyd said Hogan deserved to sit alongside West Coast’s Jeremy McGovern, Sydney’s Lance Franklin and Fremantle skipper Nat Fyfe in that category.
“Just on his pure football ability, yeah, he’s worth a million dollars (a year),” Lloyd said.
Melbourne had initially set the asking price for Hogan at two first-round draft picks.
However, they privately claimed they would have accepted pick six (which Fremantle on-traded to Port Adelaide to get selections 11, 23, 30 and 49) and a second-round pick.
The Dockers’ offer of pick 11 and a future second-round choice failed to meet Melbourne’s expectations and Freo backed out of the negotiation.
It is understood a deal could still be struck before tomorrow’s trade deadline (5.30pm WA time).
Former Port Adelaide great Kane Cornes urged Fremantle to instead attack the top-end of this year’s draft and recruit either one of the highly-rated Victorian twins Max and Ben King with the early pick they are expected to receive from Brisbane as part of an exchange for wantaway midfield gun Lachie Neale.
“I’ve been big on this for Fremantle for a long time, the mixed messages coming out of that footy club have surprised me, probably for 24 months, with the rebuild,” Cornes said.
“Some of the players they re-signed that we spoke about during the year – Hayden Ballantyne’s going again … Aaron Sandilands at 36, 37 is going again.
“If they’re genuinely going about a rebuild, as we’ve heard Ross Lyon say, then you go to the draft.
“You absolutely go to the draft – probably to the point where I wouldn’t have even traded their pick six to Port Adelaide – to get that top-end talent in.
“I’d much rather see them go to the draft and get one of these exciting King twins in and try and develop and rebuild like we’ve heard them say.”


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