Richmond signs Taylor Hunt, Joel Hamling heads to Bulldogs

The paperwork to finalise the Taylor Hunt deal was lodged with the AFL on Sunday. Photo: Sebastian Costanzo

The paperwork to finalise the Taylor Hunt deal was lodged with the AFL on Sunday. Photo: Sebastian Costanzo

The paperwork to finalise the Taylor Hunt deal was lodged with the AFL on Sunday. Photo: Sebastian Costanzo

Richmond has moved swiftly to secure former Geelong midfielder Taylor Hunt after the former Cat had accepted an offer to train with St Kilda.

And another former Cat, key backman Joel Hamling who did not make his senior debut in three years on the Geelong list, has been signed by the Western Bulldogs.

The paperwork to finalise the Hunt deal was lodged with the AFL on Sunday and will be confirmed by the league Monday.

St Kilda had made an offer to Hunt to train with the club with a view to signing him, but Richmond scuppered those plans when it offered a one-year deal for the onballer and tagger, who grew up a passionate Richmond supporter.

Geelong will this week secure former Melbourne midfielder Sam Blease. The pacy running player, who was taken with pick 17 in the 2008 national draft, was cut by the Demons last week. Geelong will sign him as a delisted free agent.

Carlton will  secure former Swan, Matthew Dick, a fast medium tall running defender, as a delisted free agent. The Blues will also secure  former Bulldog Jason Tutt. They will either pick up Tutt as a delisted free agent, or, should the Bulldogs not delist him, through the pre-season draft.

The Saints on Saturday signed delisted Swans player Tim Membrey after the list lodgement last Friday cleared players to be signed as delisted free agents.

The Saints have also asked former Adelaide pair Shaun McKernan and Jared Petrenko to train with the club in coming weeks. McKernan could fill a key position role with Rhys Stanley traded out of the club. Petrenko would shape a a potential rookie listing with his speed and defensive pressure.

The Tigers’ move to secure Hunt follows the earlier play to secure Jack Trengove from Melbourne in a trade. That deal fell through when the final scans in a medical examination uncovered complications with a foot problem.

Tigers football manager Dan Richardson said the Hunt move was plainly part of the club’s push to increase midfield depth of experienced talent as the 23-year-old had played 63 games in six seasons with the Cats.

“We have been clear in our intention to add to our midfield during the off-season, and we believe Taylor will be a strong addition to the club,” Richardson said.

“Taylor will complement our playing list with his speed and versatility, and we are confident he has his best football ahead of him.”

With other pieces of their emerging list starting to fall into place, the Western Bulldogs continued to add depth to another of their weak points – the key defender stocks.

Having already secured highly-rated draft prospect Zaine Cordy (son of Brian and brother of Ayce) as a father-son pick, the Dogs signed Hamling, a 195cm athletic defender who finished third in the club’s VFL best and fairest this season.

The 21-year-old former West Australian had attracted interest from several clubs since being delisted two weeks ago.

List manager Jason McCartney said the Dogs considered it important to secure another key defender who was already in the system, although Hamling has also shown versatility to suggest he could also be tried forward at different stages.

“Joel adds a different dynamic to that group with his raw athleticism,” McCartney said.

“Joel has been part of an elite development program at Geelong, and having watched closely throughout the year, we believe he is not far away from playing good consistent AFL football.”

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