De­mons’ May hopes dashed

Geelong Advertiser - - SPORT - JA­SON PHELAN and ROB FORSAITH

MEL­BOURNE is plan­ning to go into the 2019 AFL sea­son with Jesse Ho­gan and with­out Gold Coast tar­get Steven May af­ter Fre­man­tle’s abrupt move to end its pur­suit of Ho­gan.

The De­mons had made no se­cret of their de­sire to add the Suns’ co-cap­tain but are adamant that would re­quire Ho­gan’s de­par­ture, which, un­til Fri­day, had been ex­pected to oc­cur.

The Dock­ers have long been linked with the Perth na­tive but sen­sa­tion­ally shut down talks about a pos­si­ble switch.

“We have been un­der­tak­ing a due dili­gence process as part of a pos­si­ble trade to se­cure Jesse Ho­gan,” re­cently in­stalled Fre­man­tle foot­ball boss Peter Bell said.

“While dis­cus­sions were pro­ceed­ing, it be­came clear that what Mel­bourne would be seek­ing for a trade would not be pos­si­ble for our club to meet. As such, we have in­formed Mel­bourne and Jesse’s man­age­ment that we will not be con­tin­u­ing fur­ther with the due dili­gence process.”

It is un­der­stood Fre­man­tle’s first-round pick (No.11) and a fu­ture sec­ond-rounder were on the ta­ble, with the De­mons set­ting Ho­gan’s value at two first-round picks.

With five days left in the trade pe­riod, it re­mains to be seen whether the move is a ne­go­ti­at­ing ploy by the Dock­ers.

But as it stands, Ho­gan will play for Mel­bourne in 2019.

“At the end of the sea­son, Jesse ex­pressed his in­ter­est to ex­plore other op­por­tu­ni­ties, and to re­turn to Perth and play for Fre­man­tle,” De­mons foot­ball chief Josh Ma­honey said.

“We be­lieve our of­fer was rea­son­able, given Jesse’s record as a 71-game player. Jesse has been with us since he was 17 and has gone through some well-doc­u­mented per­sonal is­sues, par­tic­u­larly in the last two years, so we were com­fort­able to sup­port his re­quest.

“It was made clear to Jesse that if we were un­able to com­plete an ap­pro­pri­ate deal for both clubs, he will re­main a Mel­bourne player.”

Ho­gan lost his fa­ther this year to can­cer and had his own bat­tle last year with tes­tic­u­lar can­cer.

It had been thought the Dock­ers would look to cap­i­talise on Lachie Neale’s de­sire for a trade to Bris­bane to land the 23-year-old power for­ward they had long cov­eted.

The Lions’ No.5 pick is in play for the con­tracted Neale, who has made it clear he doesn’t want to play for Fre­man­tle again.

In other de­vel­op­ments yes­ter­day, GWS star Tom Scully is re­ported to be on the verge of a shock trade to Hawthorn, which is also look­ing to add Port Ade­laide’s Chad Win­gard.

St Kilda signed Syd­ney’s Dan Han­nebery on a five-year deal, the Saints ex­chang­ing pick No.39 and their sec­on­dround se­lec­tion in the 2019 draft to ac­quire Han­nebery and pick No.28.

St Kilda also com­pleted a deal to re­cruit Mel­bourne’s Dean Kent, of­fload­ing its fourth-round se­lec­tion (pick No.65).

De­mon mid­fielder Dom Tyson’s move to North Mel­bourne was also rub­ber­stamped. The Kan­ga­roos swapped Bray­den Preuss and pick No.62 for Tyson. Young Gi­ant Will Set­ter­field of­fi­cially joined Carl­ton, the Blues ac­quir­ing the mid­fielder and GWS’ pick No.71 in re­turn for their fu­ture sec­ond-round pick as well as pick No.43 in this year’s draft.

DEAL’S OFF: Fre­man­tle’s plans to se­cure Jesse Ho­gan for the club have been abruptly ter­mi­nated.

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