Gerard Whateley believes rival clubs should be looking to poach Fremantle ruckman Sean Darcy, given the club’s reported pursuit of Luke Jackson.
Melbourne confirmed on Friday Jackson had put off contract talks until the end of the season. amidst speculation he’s set to sign a big-money offer from the Dockers and return home to Western Australia.
It’s a move that could leave Darcy in an awkward spot. The 24-year-old is in the top handful of ruckmen across the competition and won his club’s best and fairest last year playing as Fremantle’s primary ruckman.
However, that role could be taken away if Fremantle secures Jackson’s signature.
Despite Jackson’s evident talent, Whateley wouldn’t be rushing to sign the 20-year-old ruck/forward if he was the Dockers.
“I’d be waiting two years,” he said on SEN’s Crunch Time.
“If I was in conversation with Luke I’d say, ‘sign two years at Melbourne and we’ll pick this up down the track’.
“I’m not paying him $1 million next year… that’s okay (paying him more in future years) because he’ll be a revealed product next year.”
However, Whateley would be more interested in securing Darcy’s services as a third club given the situation.
Darcy ranks fourth across the competition for hitouts per game in 2022 and can also have an impact around the ground. He was drafted out of the Geelong Falcons back in 2016 and is currently signed to the Dockers until 2024.
“If I was a third club, I would be all over Darcy, trying to disrupt all of that,” Whateley stated.
“(I’d be saying), ‘mate, what do you think’s going to happen next year? They’re going to pay him $1.2 million, which is half a million more than you’re earning and you’re going to have to share your time. You might be about to become the All-Australian ruckman. Come and play with us and you can play 85 per cent in the ruck’.
“I would be all over him if I was another club.”
Jackson gathered 13 disposals and 11 hitouts while battling a knee injury in Friday night’s win over Fremantle, while Darcy had 19 disposals and 37 hitouts.