'In Bell we trust': Freo fans erupt as Hogan bluff pays off

Fremantle supporters have lauded the club’s new football boss Peter Bell after securing tall forward Jesse Hogan in a long-awaited trade with Melbourne.

Hogan secured his move home to Western Australia on the final day of the AFL trade period – and just five days after Bell all but said he had shut down trade talks with the Demons.

“We have been undertaking a due diligence process as part of a possible trade to secure Jesse Hogan,” 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.”

Peter Bell has got his man, with Jesse Hogan joining the Dockers in a trade. Pic: Getty

At the time the Demons reportedly wanted two first-round picks, while Fremantle would only seek to part with a first and a second.

One extraordinary report also claimed Hogan and his manager had sought a mammoth eight-year deal, despite concerns over the player’s injury history.

In the end, the deal was done on Wednesday afternoon with picks No.6 and No.23 moving to Melbourne for Hogan and pick No.65.

The Dockers’ bluff paid off, with the club then able to send picks no.11 and No.19 to GWS for another tall forward in Rory Lobb.

Hogan, who has signed a three-year deal with Fremantle, had long been rumoured to move back to Perth eventually.

The 23-year-old lost his father and suffered his own battle with testicular cancer last year.

Melbourne football boss Josh Mahoney paid a classy tribute to Hogan after the trade went through on Wednesday.

“While we are disappointed to lose the high-quality player that Jesse is, we respect this decision and his request for a trade,” he said.

“Jesse has been through some significant personal trauma in the past 18 months, and he has close ties to family members, including his mother, brother and sister, back in Western Australia.

“As a club, we understand that being closer to family in Perth is Jesse’s priority, and we appreciate the positive impact this can have on his wellbeing.”

For the Dockers, the trade secures not one but two established key forwards – the type of players they have craved since club legend Matthew Pavlich left a void upon his retirement in 2016.

“Signing Jesse and Rory is an excellent result for Fremantle,” Bell said.

“Both players were very keen to join our club and we’re confident they will have an instant impact as a part of our starting 22, both in 2019.

“We’re excited about what they will add to our tall forward stocks, which also includes a number of exciting prospects in Brennan Cox and Hugh Dixon as well as established players Matthew Taberner and Cam McCarthy.”

Fremantle had earlier sent Lachie Neale and pick No.30 to Brisbane for picks No.6, No.55 and the since-traded No.19.