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Victorian clubs interested in Jacob Hopper, Geelong, Richmond, Dyson Heppell’s future, Josh Dunkley’s contract, Karl Amon’s Carlton withdrawals

By on July 14, 2022 0

Victorian clubs surround a ‘pre-agent’ Giants star.

More movement on Josh Dunkley’s contract talks with the Dogs, and growing rival interest in Dyson Heppell amid his uncertain future for the Bombers.

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JACOB LEAVING GWS?

AFL Media reports that a group of Victorian clubs are interested in signing GWS star midfielder Jacob Hopper.

Hopper can become a free agent late next year — known as “pre-agents” — but the Giants have been known to trade players early to maximize compensation.

For example, in 2018, GWS traded Dylan Shiel to Essendon for a pair of first-round picks, rather than waiting another year for Shiel to leave as a free agent and only receive one selection from the AFL.

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Geelong and Richmond are believed to be favorites for Hopper’s services should the Giants academy product decide to start over elsewhere.

Essendon have shown interest in Hopper in the past and would likely do so again, especially given their need for tall midfielders to bolster their brigade on the ball.

A knee injury has limited Hopper to just one game this year since the first round, but he is preparing for a senior recall in the coming weeks.

THE FUTURE OF HEPPELL IN LIMB

Essendon captain Dyson Heppell has yet to receive a contract offer from the Bombers for the 2023 season amid growing rival interest, according to AFL Media.

In the first half of the season, Heppell seemed like a player destined for retirement, producing a host of performances that suggested the game had passed him by.

However, in the last month or so he has seen a stunning improvement in form to be one of Essendon’s most consistent players in their best patch of the season which saw them win three out of four games.

It is believed that rival clubs would be interested in signing the 30-year-old for next year if he cannot agree a new deal with the Bombers.

DUNKLEY CLOSER TO NEW DEAL

According to SEN’s Sam Edmund, contract talks between Western Bulldogs star Josh Dunkley and the club have intensified.

Dunkley is having one of his best seasons, ranking first on the Bulldogs in tackles, third in possessions contested, tied third in assists, fourth in eliminations, fourth in clearances and fourth in goals. He is also No. 8 in the AFL for tackles.

“(Dunkley) now looks very likely to stay and was perhaps always going to take the longest to negotiate among the glut of out-of-contract Dogs players,” Edmund said.

Dunkley nearly left the Bulldogs at the end of 2020 when he requested a trade from Essendon. But the Bulldogs refused to honor the request and Dunkley then saw out the final two years of his contract at Whitten Oval.

CARLTON WITHDRAWN FROM THE RACE FOR AMON

The Blues have pulled out of the race for Port Adelaide free agent Karl Amon, reports age.

Amon, 26, has attracted interest from several other Victorian clubs including St Kilda, Melbourne and Hawthorn, with the latter seen as favorites for his services, amid reports the winger may be presenting offers for a worth approximately $650,000 per season over five years.

Carlton is believed to still have some salary cap margin, but is unwilling to pay full price for Amon.

The Blues would instead prioritize retaining their big names and returning to the draft after aggressively recruiting players from rival clubs in recent years.

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Carlton had just three selections during the 2021 (Jesse Motlop, Pick 27) and 2020 (Corey Durdin, Pick 37 and Jack Carroll, Pick 41) national drafts.

The club also has the trio of star big men Charlie Curnow, Harry McKay and Tom De Koning who will all be out of contract next year.

It comes after the Blues handed lucrative contracts to Jacob Weitering, Patrick Cripps and Sam Walsh as well as rookies Mitch McGovern, Zac Williams and Jack Martin.

LONGMUIR WISHES TO RETAIN LOBB

Fremantle manager Justin Longmuir has said he wants Rory Lobb to stay at the club amid speculation over the big man’s future.

Jon Ralph of the Herald Sun reports that Lobb, who tried to return to the Giants last year, is set to ask for a trade again, with his rivals believing he will move to the Western Bulldogs.

The 29-year-old, who is under contract at Fremantle for 2023, is reportedly seeking a three-year, $1.5 million deal.

Lobb is in the midst of a career-best season, leading the Dockers in kicks with 29 majors in 15 games.

Longmuir did not divulge specific details about his recent discussions with Lobb, but ensured that he remains committed to the cause, at least for now.

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“It’s a conversation best left between coach and player. I reassured him that I see him as part of our long-term future,” Longmuir told reporters.

“He reassured me that he was going to stay in the moment and continue to compete as he has. Playing the best football possible for Fremantle is his top priority at the moment.

It comes amid reports that Fremantle are growing confident of landing Demons star Luke Jackson at the end of the season in a huge potential move to bolster their key actions.

And Longmuir said he would like to see Lobb stay with the Dockers no matter what happens with the other trades.

“He’s a contracted player, he leads our shots on goal. He’s been one of our most consistent strikers this year, so you don’t really want to lose those kind of players,” he said. .