Dockers great Matthew Pavlich claims Luke Jackson is Fremantle’s “answer for the future” and believes the club should be “going hard for him”.
Plus the Pies are confident on a new deal for a star for 2023 and beyond.
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WHY JACKSON IS FREMANTLE’S ‘ANSWER’
Fremantle should be “going hard” for Luke Jackson, according to Dockers great Matthew Pavlich as he believes the 20-year-old is the “answer” for the future.
Jackson is out of contract at the end of this season, and has put talks on hold with the Demons. It’s fueled speculation he wants to return home to WA for 2023 and beyond.
While there’s plenty of debate over just how much the young ruckman is worth per season, with some estimates at $800,000, Pavlich says a partnership between Jackson and Sean Darcy is one Fremantle fans should get around.
“There’s the now and then there’s the future,” he said on SEN WA.
“The now, Luke Jackson would be a pretty good player in that Fremantle side. If you take out, I guess you’d have to give something to get something. So is it Rory Lobb for Luke Jackson? Is that part of the deal? I don’t know.
“Whether he’s the answer right now, he’s a great player. We know what he’s capable of. He’s 20.
“In the context of young developing ruckmen, he’s a great young developing ruckman.
“Is he a great player yet? No. He’s got the potential to be a really great player.
“He’s the answer for the future. He can help Fremantle long-term.
“I would absolutely be going hard for him… him and Sean Darcy as a combination between ruck/forward – that’s a threat for a long time if you’re a Fremantle supporter.”
But what would the Dockers have to offer and where would Jackson fit into the line up?
Pavlich says Darcy would still remain the number one ruck in his eyes.
“What they miss is a dynamic leading forward at the moment,” he said.
“But if you wanted to look at Luke Jackson in a Fremantle jumper on Friday night then you’d take out something and it’d have to be one of the key forwards from the Fremantle line up.”
Despite all the contract talk surrounding Luke Jackson, Melbourne captain Max Gawn is confident his premiership teammate will knock back a huge offer to join Fremantle.
“Luke’s a talent and he’s got every right, as every player does, to look at any offer that’s coming his way,” Gawn told reporters on Monday.
“I’m pretty confident he’s going to be a Melbourne player still and I know that’s very far from what the consensus is out in the media.
“He was the happiest person I’ve ever seen (last Friday night) beating Fremantle, who is the team that he’s supposed to be going to.
“I love playing with him, I love being his leader, I love being his friend, I love coaching him and I love seeing little bits that I’ve told him during the week come out on game day.
“I’m really excited, especially for the next seven weeks, to play with Luke and then hopefully for the next few years.”
Local fans in Perth taunted Melbourne players last Friday night by hanging a Fremantle jersey with “Jackson” written on it over the race. The jersey was snatched and then thrown away by Jackson’s teammate Jake Melksham.
FEET STAR SET TO LOCK IN NEW DEAL
Collingwood are looking to lock in Round 19 hero Jamie Elliott on a new deal for 2023 and beyond.
Elliott becomes an unrestricted free agent after 11 seasons with the club.
Magpies CEO Mark Anderson on Monday said he was pleased with progress on a new deal for Elliott.
“Discussions are going well with ‘Billy’,” Anderson said on SEN.
“Graham Wright heads up that area and does a great job in that space.
“Discussions with Billy are going well.”
But he refused to be drawn into talk about potential offers for Lion Dan McStay or Giant Tim Taranto.
“We’re focused on our current playing group with four rounds to go,” he said.
“We’ve got a great list and they’re performing.
“So we are staying focused.
“We don’t talk about players at other clubs and it wouldn’t be appropriate to do so.”
Collingwood have a host of players out of contract including Jordan De Goey, the Brown brothers Callum and Tyler, Steele Sidebottom, Mason Cox and young Josh Carmichael.
FRINGE DOCKER URGED TO STAY PUT
Bailey Banfield is having a great season for the Dockers, and sits inside their top five goal scorers in 2022.
But the 24-year-old remains on the fringe, as an unused medi sub on five separate occasions and activated as the sub in other matches.
WA commentator Tim Gossage argued Banfield would get a game at “four or five other clubs and play 20 games a year” if he left the Dockers in search of a more permanent role.
But Fremantle great Matthew Pavlich urged Banfield to “stick it out”.
“Would he get personal satisfaction and would he get a sense of purpose of being in a group and building and working his way into a team? No he would n’t (if he he left), ”Pavlich sad on SEN.
“He could go to, you’re right, half a dozen clubs, 12 clubs and be playing most weeks.
“But all his effort, his leadership, he’s rated really highly down there. It would not be necessarily worth his time if he chose to leave.
“He’s put all this effort in… I would stick it out but that’s just the way I look at those things.”
While statistics show Banfield has kicked 18 goals from 19 matches, he didn’t get on the field for five of those games.
Banfield was snapped up with pick five in the 2018 rookie draft after being named Claremont’s best and fairest in the WAFL in 2017.