Could Fremantle be plotting a draft move for a West Coast academy talent?
Dockers great Paul Hasleby is of the belief that his former club is showing considerable interest in Subiaco excitement machine Lance Collard.
Collard, who grew up a Freo fan, is linked to West Coast via their Next Generation Academy, but there is no guarantees he’ll end up an Eagle in 2024 as interested clubs can come for him prior to Pick 40 in the National Draft, whereafter they can match a bid.
West Coast currently hold Picks 1, 23 and 37 (plus 58 and 81), while the Dockers hold Picks 34 and 46 (plus three later selections). The Eagles are unlikely to take Collard with their first two picks (as it currently stands) which would allow the Dockers to make a play for him with their first selection.
That is the situation according to Hasleby.
He believes the Dockers are showing enough interest which could force the Eagles to work their way up the draft board in order to select the WA Under-18 small forward somewhere in the 30s.
“Lance Collard. Watch for this to play out,” Hasleby said on SEN WA’s The Run Home.
“He’s a NGA player to West Coast, but if he’s selected before Pick 40 then somebody else can nab him.
“Fremantle’s first pick is 34 and there’s a train of thought that West Coast would like to get him.
“They would maybe reshuffle some of their picks to have a pick just before the Fremantle Dockers.
“He’s a talented small forward who could fill the void left by Lachie Schultz.”
Collard has been likened to Richmond’s Shai Bolton and Collingwood’s Norm Smith Medal hero Bobby Hill.
The 18-year-old kicked 32 goals in 11 Colts matches for Subiaco in 2023, including 10 goals in the club’s two finals games.