The Fremantle Dockers have finally got their man, with Geelong’s exciting midfielder Jordan Clark making the move west.
Despite not officially requesting a move to the Dockers, Clark had been heavily linked to the side throughout the trade period with both parties struggling to reach what they deemed was a ‘fair deal.’
With pick eight off the cards, the Cats settled on pick 22 and a future third round pick (tied to Carlton) in exchange for the midfielder Clark and a future fourth round pick, with the Dockers building an exciting young list with Suns midfielder Will Brodie joining last week.
Though he’s shown promise in the early part of his career, Geelong’s Jordan Clark found himself out of favour in 2021 playing just 11 games this season and missing the entirety of the Cats finals campaign.
Drafted as a rebounding defender back in 2018, Clark was billed to be similar player to fellow Cats defender Zach Tuohy, a good one-on-one defender with great speed and great skill under pressure.
And though the Cats initially envisioned Clark breaking into the side off the half-back, Clark was used predominantly as a midfielder and on the wing.
And while he shun in 2019 in debut season, Clark has played just 14 games in the last two seasons due to a mixture of injury and team depth keeping him out of the side.
Now joining the Fremantle Dockers, the exciting Western-Australian prospect back in his home state with hopes he can live up to his early promise and an opportunity to play consistent senior football.
Suiting Fremantle’s needs as the side lacks pace in both the midfield and backline, Clark’s can add a new dimension to the Dockers line-up in 2022.
Could Clark return to his natural position?
Having played most of his U18s football as a defender, a return to his natural position could see the Dockers get the best out of Jordan Clark.
Clark was noted for being one of the best attacking half-backs back in 2018 AFL Draft, and was touted as being a good lockdown defender who can shut out his opponents while also possessing the ability to read the ball and come off the man.
Another strength of Clark is his ball use, with the speedster being a good distributor even at fall-tilt. His ability to find teammates while under pressure is impressive for a player his age and limited experience having played just 32 games of senior football.
Using Clark as an attacking defender will also play to his biggest strength which is his speed, and with Stephen Hill retiring, Reece Conca and Tobe Watson both being delisted, there leaves a hole in the Fremantle defence that Clark can replace.
Alternatively he could also play a role similar to and Cam Guthrie and Rory Laird in previous seasons where they’ve been used predominantly as an attacking defender that can rotate through the midfield.
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Will he get opportunities in the midfield?
Though not as strong of a midfield group as Geelong’s, the Dockers midfield is certainly not lacking talent being studded with the likes Nat Fyfe, David Mundy, Andrew Brayshaw and Caleb Serong.
With the Dockers also acquiring Will Brodie from the Suns recently, Clark could be utilised as an outside midfielder playing largely on the wing rather than through the middle of the ground.
However he does possess the offensive traits to be a damaging wingman at AFL level due to his pace and good decision making. In 2021 Clark was ranked elite for bounces per game and ranked elite in disposal efficiency, going at 80 per cent for overall disposal efficiency and 79 per cent by foot.
Though a major factor in Clark wanting a move to the Dockers was to play at AFL-level regularly, having been dropped from the Cats best 22 last year.
And though possessing the skills to be impactful further up the ground, Clark will behind the pecking order in the Dockers midfield, a situation that he’ll unlikely want to revisit given his experience in his past 12 months at the Cats.
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