Melbourne has convinced Mitch Clark to join the Demons ahead of Fremantle, in a dramatic twist to trade week that will see Brisbane collect pick 12 in the national draft.

The Demons made an improved pitch late yesterday, and Clark informed the club of his decision late last night.

After the Lions yesterday began inching closer to a deal with Fremantle for the 23-year-old, who rejected the Demons’ initial advances on Friday, Melbourne responded by making another strong pitch, upping an already significant four-year offer.

Earlier, the Lions – who have also agreed to a three-year deal with Hawthorn forward Jordan Lisle – were considering a Fremantle offer that would have gained them pick 16 in next month’s draft and access to a pre-listed player, who would come via Greater Western Sydney.

The Lions asked Fremantle for picks 16 and 38, but the Dockers rejected that idea, with the hope that a deal done last week with the Giants would help them get the uncontracted Clark over the line.

On Thursday the Dockers gave GWS the end-of-first-round compensation pick they received for Rhys Palmer’s defection, swapping it for pick 20 in this year’s draft. That deal is believed to have been struck on the proviso that Fremantle would access  an unspecified pre-listed player or two, later in the trade period.

Fremantle’s proposal would see the Dockers give pick 16 to the Lions, who would also get a pre-listed player of their choice. The Giants were able to pre-list and either keep or trade up to 10 players who had previously been on an AFL list or nominated for a previous draft, as part of their list concessions.

They signed former Melbourne captain James McDonald last month and have traded six so far this trade period (Steven Morris, Marty Clarke, Jamie Elliott, Ahmed Saad, Terry Milera and Luke Brown) and are expected to keep Western Jet Adam Kennedy and Casey defender Tim Mohr, leaving one spot open.
Should the Clark trade not happen, GWS will have to consider whether it wants to pick Clark up in the pre-season draft. But the Giants do not expect him to be available.

The Demons hadn’t given up hope even early yesterday that the thought of being snapped up by GWS in the pre-season draft might tempt Clark, who left Brisbane planning to move home to Western Australia, to change his mind.

The Lisle deal is expected to go through tomorrow, with the Hawks and Lions to settle on which draft pick it will involve. Brisbane has picks 29, 30 and 34. Hawthorn is still trying to convince Geelong to trade Tom Gillies, but so far has  not put forward any names that the Cats consider an appropriate swap.

Essendon is highly unlikely to meet Gold Coast’s asking price for onballer Josh Caddy, who wants to return to Melbourne to be with his unwell father.  The Bombers had been trawling clubs trying to access two compensation picks to satisfy the Suns, to no avail.

Sydney forward Lewis Johnston  became an Adelaide player, as reported in The Age late last week.  Sydney received Tony Armstrong  and pick 35 for the 2008 draftee, with another late pick to be negotiated for the Swans. Johnston, a first-round draftee in 2008, played his first two senior games this year and signed a new two-year contract in May.

The deal sending West Coast’s Brad Ebert to Port Adelaide and Power pair Chad Cornes and Dean Brogan to GWS may not be finalised until tomorrow, but the three clubs have come to an arrangement, as touted in Friday’s Age, that will likely see Port gain Ebert and pick 45 and the Eagles take Port’s pick 28 and GWS’s pick 49. The Western Bulldogs opted out of a deal with GWS, West Coast and the Power that would have  sent Josh Hill to the Eagles. The Dogs wanted pick 45 instead of 49.

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