Mitch Clark a priority for Lyon
Big forward Mitch Clark will be a priority recruit for new Fremantle coach Ross Lyon when he starts work with Dockers football staff next week.
Reports in national morning press on Friday that Fremantle was wavering in their plan to snare the out-of-contract departed Brisbane Lion will be quashed when Lyon launches talks with Clark and his management.
Clark, 23, arrived back into his home town of Perth late on Wednesday less than 24 hours before Lyon was a shock appointment as Fremantle coach after the Dockers stunned AFL circles with the sacking of Mark Harvey.
Lyon had made initial attempts to lure Clark to St Kilda before his shock departure, while Harvey had declared the potential big power forward as a crucial link in any premiership plan for Fremantle in the next two seasons.
Clark’s manager Colin Young confirmed the former Lion remains firmly in Fremantle’s sights.
Young was in contact with Dockers list manager Brad Lloyd as soon as Harvey’s dismissal and Lyon’s appointment broke on Thursday.
“I spoke to Brad straight after all the new broke and he reaffirmed Fremantle’s strong interest in Mitchell Clark,” Young said.
“I will sit down with Brad and Fremantle football staff next week, as had been arranged before the change of coach.”
Fremantle are in the market for an influential power forward to work alongside captain and star play-maker Matthew Pavlich who is expected to play closer to the Dockers goal-front next season.
Clark told Brisbane coach Michael Voss a day before Brisbane’s fairest-and-best function a week ago that he wanted to be traded.
Fremantle is front-runner to win the 82-game big man’s signature as a key forward and occasional ruckman in back-up to football’s biggest player Aaron Sandilands.
Voss is understood to still be making late attempts to keep Clark at Brisbane, but it appears the talented all-rounder is fully committed to his move back home.
Clark is likely to cost the Dockers at least a first round draft pick and another player or two in a trade.
The Lions have been linked with a possible request for emerging young Dockers ruckman Zac Clarke, just 21, after his impressive breakout 2011 season.
Amid a horrendous injury crisis that significantly contributed to Fremantle’s demise as a potential finals force this season, Clarke was a standout success as a running midfielder and occasional ruckman.
The gangly, highly leaping 203cm Clarke played 13 senior games in 2011 to take his overall tally to 21 since his debut three seasons ago.