Sport

Rocky prepares to sail into Port

by
October 11, 2017

Tom Rockliff is set to depart Brisbane Lions to play for Port Adelaide. Picture: AAP Image/Darren England

Benalla-bred Tom Rockliff appears certain to switch allegiances to Port Adelaide.

The Power lodged paperwork for the Brisbane midfielder yesterday, with Rockliff, 27, accepting the offer, believed to be about $650000 a season over four years.

The Lions have an opportunity to match Port’s offer considering Rockliff is a restricted free agent.

However, Brisbane is tipped to accept a compensation pick instead, with that selection to be at the end of the first round, giving the Lions pick 18 or 19.

Brisbane has up to 72 hours to match the offer.

Rockliff has been at the Lions since being taken in the 2008 pre-season draft and has played 154 games for the club.

He captained the club in 2015-16 and won Brisbane’s best-and-fairest in 2011 and 2014.

Rockliff was put up for trade by the Lions last year after Justin Leppitsch was sacked as coach and Chris Fagan took over.

Fagan said last week losing Rockliff was ‘‘not the end of the world’’.

‘‘You do get a compensation pick if he does go and that will be a good player for sure, because it’ll be somewhere in the top 20,’’ Fagan said.

‘‘So it could be good for Tom and it could be good for the footy club.’’

Meanwhile, Seymour product Josh Schache might end up staying in Brisbane, despite the homesick forward and the Lions agreeing to a trade.

Schache re-signed with Brisbane during the year for a further two seasons, but the Lions said they were open to trading him back to Victoria.

However, there appears to be little interest, with Brisbane after significant compensation for the former No.2 draft pick.

News Corp has reported St Kilda, Essendon, Richmond and Hawthorn have ruled themselves out of trading for Schache.

Former Shepparton and Shepparton Swans player Jarman Impey wants to head to Hawthorn, but the Power could stand in the way of that trade.

Hawks list manager Graham Wright said on Monday the club was confident of securing Impey and did not expect there to be ‘‘too many difficulties’’.

However, Port’s list manager Jason Cripps said there was ‘‘still work to be done’’.

‘‘We’ve only had one discussion ... it is really early, so we will keep chatting,’’ Cripps said.

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