Fremantle are bracing for a top-10 bid on academy prospect Liam Henry as the exciting forward prepares for follow-up interviews ahead of next month’s national draft.
The Dockers yesterday finished a three-day conference on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula to debrief on the trade period and prepare for the draft, with the Henry bid shaping as a key to their fortunes.
Henry, who met all clubs at the AFL combine earlier this month, is due to meet Carlton again next month and has completed follow-up meetings with most other clubs with top-10 selections.
The Dockers hold selections seven and 10 in next month’s national draft and want to snare Henry with later picks, given they have the right to match any rival bids on their Next Generation Academy player.
But industry sources suggested the Dockers were expecting an early bid on the forward.
A rival recruiting manager said most clubs rated Henry in the eight-to-12 range, with multiple clubs in the top 10 considering calling Henry’s name early at the November 27-28 draft.
Melbourne (picks three and eight) and Carlton (pick nine) are the clubs considered most likely to bid on Henry.
Henry, who was born in Derby, sustained a dislocated knee cap in August, preventing him from making his senior debut for Claremont. He recovered from a minor knee setback early in the season to star for WA in their championship-winning under-18 team.
Football manager Peter Bell said this month that the Dockers were already fielding calls to swap draft picks as clubs position themselves around academy bids.
“We’ll look at everything,” he said. “We’ve got the flexibility to do that with the draft picks we have.”
The Dockers also have a future first-round pick and two 2020 second-round selections they can use in swapping picks ahead of, or during, the November draft