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Brownlow Medallist
Oct 11, 2004
AFL Club
Other Teams
Mark Duffield: A wink, rather than a blink, gets Jordan Clark deal done for Fremantle Dockers
Headshot of Mark Duffield

Mark DuffieldThe West Australian
Wed, 13 October 2021 4:27PMComments
Mark Duffield

Jordan Clark and Peter Bell.

Jordan Clark and Peter Bell. Credit: AFL Photos

As the clock wound down on the 2021 AFL trade period, there was a simple question Fremantle had to ask themselves.
Were they prepared to walk away from a player they had committed to contractually for the next four years for the sake of a future third-round draft pick?
And in order to answer that question, they had to ask themselves this one: If they had a pick late in the first round of this draft and Jordan Clark was in the draft, would they pick him?
That is what Geelong had effectively made this trade deal about. The Cats either wanted pick 19 and the strategic advantages that come with that, or they wanted to turn Clark’s trade value into something equivalent to the pick they took him with in 2018 by harvesting pick 22 and a future third-rounder. Fremantle wanted it to be pick 22, flat.
It appeared one club had to blink. In the end, Fremantle winked, with Geelong offering a future fourth-rounder back to get the deal done.
Objective thinking in this trade period had given the Dockers a strong draft hand, had helped get good compensation for Adam Cerra and put themselves in a position to make a meaningful play for Clark.

But subjective thinking was required for them to decide whether Clark was worth the price the Cats were demanding.

Depending on your perspective Geelong were either a strong club playing trade hardball or a club being unreasonable. Clark had started but not finished his time at the club in their best 22. There were also strong suggestions from both Fremantle and people close to Clark that Fremantle had been given indications by the Cats that pick 22 would get the deal done.

For Fremantle it broke down to this: The Clark trade value became the equivalent of a draft pick in the teens. You would hope a player taken in that section in the draft plays 150 games, is always inside your best 22, and preferably inside the best 12 players.

By offering Clark a four-year deal, the Dockers had effectively already indicated that they thought he was that type of player.
This was a strong trade period for the Dockers. They managed the departure of Adam Cerra well. They got Will Brodie and pick 19 by helping Gold Coast free salary cap space and swapped picks with Collingwood to position themselves for the Clark trade.
They wisely shouldered arms to unrest swirling about the future of Rory Lobb and let that speculation run out of oxygen.
But how successful the trade period is will depend on Clark’s performance. He is quick, which they need. He can play on a wing, which they need. He is a midfielder ready to step straight into their best 22, which they also need given Cerra’s departure.
Is he the 150-gamer in their best dozen they need him to be to make the trade price right? Only time will tell.
Duffield nails it.

The thing he didn't mention is that the draft is significantly covid-impacted in terms of player intel and development. That is, there's a random element at play in assessing players, and perhaps that was also in play last year when we all but focused on the better exposed local boys.


Community Leader
Jul 16, 2009
AFL Club
What is a pass mark for Jordan Clark next year to put the big green tick on this trade?


Brownlow Medallist
Sep 20, 2008
AFL Club
Other Teams
Sacramento Kings
What is a pass mark for Jordan Clark next year to put the big green tick on this trade?
Playing majority of the season would be a win and if we can turn him into the winger we so desperately need then that's even better.

6, 8, 19, Clark and Brodie. Not bad way to head into the draft

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Heart Of Purple

All Australian
Mar 26, 2018
AFL Club
What is a pass mark for Jordan Clark next year to put the big green tick on this trade?
It depends a bit on the progress of others. He needs to be a better wingman than Frederick/Henry/Walker … and not just by a little bit.
If we haven’t upgraded the extra shot at the draft would’ve been better value.

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Premiership Player
May 7, 2009
AFL Club
22 & F3 for Clark & F4 rates Clark at about 14. Wow. Just Wow.
Depends how you look at it. 22 really becomes 24, and mid 3rd round is about 46 and mid fourth round is about 63 which on points is about pick 18. With academy picks in the 3rd round next year pick 63 (or whatever it is) will move forward. Our picks in the 60’s this year will move forward before the draft order is confirmed due to list sizes and then move forward again due to academy and f/s bids.

As others have said if 12(14) was put on the table I would trade picks 22(24) and third in a heartbeat.

It was a high cost and slightly higher than uncontracted Langdon: who was 22, F2 > 26, Langdon.


Norm Smith Medallist
Jul 12, 2009
AFL Club
Other Teams
Clark and Walker would be the most likely candidates. You'd think we'd have traded him in to play at least some time on the wing.

Gives us a good level of responsiveness to opposition match ups if we can rotate Clark, Young, Walker and Aish across wing/half back.


Byron Schammer
Oct 17, 2016
AFL Club
The issue is this.
walker, young, Clark, Chapman Ryan, Hughes,Wilson, Aish, Logue.

we are stacked at the back.

one of those guys needs to be on a wing with Freddy
JLo always carries on about getting Aish on a wing so I’d imagine he will alternate with Clark. Doubt Fred will get a wing spot though, Tucker maybe? Would like to see NOD & Henry get some minutes there as well

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