West Coast playing hardball over star’s trade
In what looms as one of the trade period’s longest sagas, the Eagles are hellbent on receiving a selection at least of the value of the compensation pick Port received for Karl Amon.
The AFL gave Port a second-round selection, currently No.27, after the left-footed winger joined Hawthorn as a free agent.
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The Rioli deal is one of several transactions that Port GM Chris Davies will have to manage, with the top priority being the acquisition of last year’s No.1 pick Jason Horne-Francis.
North Melbourne has insisted that it expects more than Port’s top pick (No.8) from this season and its first-round pick from next year’s draft in exchange for the 19-year-old.
Port’s next best draft pick after pick 27 is in the fifties and unlikely to move the needle on any Horne-Francis deal.
The Rioli trade request left the West Coast frustrated after the star was supported by the club through a string of off-field and personal issues.
“We could not have done any more to support Junior since his infraction in 2019,” Eagles CEO Trevor Nisbett said in a statement last month.
“We facilitated his appeal and subsequent return to football, so this decision is bitterly disappointing.
“We will put that disappointment to one side now and work to arrange a suitable trade for a player who has high end talent, is a premiership player and is in the prime of his career, having played just 51 games of senior football.
“Junior has made his decision and while he has indicated Port is his preferred destination we will work to get the best outcome for our club.”
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