Main content
United by Purple

Hamling comes home

Joel Hamling returns home to continue his career in WA. Joel Hamling becomes our third WA product to return home

Fremantle has finalised a trade with the Western Bulldogs that will see the club receive 2016 premiership player Joel Hamling plus picks 40 (2nd round) and 63 (4th round) in the NAB AFL National Draft in exchange for Freo’s picks 35 (2nd round), 43 (3rd round) and 61 (4th round).

The 23-year-old key defender, who played junior football for Cable Beach in Broome, has signed a three-year contract with Fremantle.

Fremantle general manager of list management Brad Lloyd said the club had been monitoring Hamling since playing for WA in the AFL Under-18 Championships in 2011.

“Joel’s really grown physically over the past couple of years and we think there is more growth in him as a player,” Lloyd said.

“He is a promising key defender who we believe will come in and be a long-term player for Fremantle.”

Recruited from Claremont in the WAFL by Geelong in the 2011 National Draft, Hamling moved to the Western Bulldogs as a delisted free-agent in 2014.

He made his AFL debut in 2015 against GWS in round nine and went on to win the Bulldogs’ Best First Year Player award after playing 11 games that year.

Recalled to the side ahead of the Bulldogs’ 2016 Premiership campaign, Hamling was instrumental in restricting West Coast’s Josh Kennedy to two goals in the Elimination Final, before keeping Sydney’s Lance Franklin to a single goal in the Grand Final in his just 23rd game for the club.

Hamling, 23, joins fellow West Australians Bradley Hill, 23, and Cameron McCarthy, 21, as players who have all returned home to WA to continue their playing careers at Fremantle.

Fremantle currently has picks 7 (1st round), 40 (2nd), 63 (4th round) and 73 (4th round) in the National Draft.

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs