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Football: Collie football talent Jackson Broadbent caught in the middle of transfer stoush

Headshot of Mitchell Woodcock
Mitchell WoodcockBunbury Herald
ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 09: Jackson Broadbent of Western Australia marks the ball during the U18 AFL Boys Championship match between the Allies and Western Australia at Thebarton Oval on July 09, 2022 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by Kelly Barnes/AFL Photos/via Getty Images)
Camera IconADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 09: Jackson Broadbent of Western Australia marks the ball during the U18 AFL Boys Championship match between the Allies and Western Australia at Thebarton Oval on July 09, 2022 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by Kelly Barnes/AFL Photos/via Getty Images) Credit: Kelly Barnes/AFL Photos/AFL Photos via Getty Images

Peel Thunder and South Fremantle will take their fight for Collie teenage ruck sensation Jackson Broadbent to the WAFL arbitrator this week as his future remains up in the air.

Broadbent, 18, wants to move to the Bulldogs — believing he will get more opportunities to play league football at South Fremantle than the Thunder after they lost first-choice big man Hamish Free to North Melbourne in last year’s rookie draft.

Broadbent was one of the hard-luck stories of last year’s draft, being overlooked despite starting the year as one of the top prospects out of WA.

He won the Mel Whinnen Medal as best afield in the WAFL colts grand final, leading Peel to a thrilling two-point victory over West Perth at Leederville Oval.

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Already 201cm and weighing 100kg, Broadbent played three league games for the Thunder as a 16-year-old in 2021, before playing 15 games for the Thunder’s colts side last year.

During the off-season, he has returned up the hill, representing Collie Cricket Club in both Year 12 and first grade.

Peel have only Riley Smith as the sole senior ruckman on their list alongside highly-rated colt Mitch Edwards, but their AFL-aligned club Fremantle has recruited mature rucks Liam Reidy and Max Knobel as well as teenage ruck Eric Benning.

Because Broadbent is under 19 years of age he is ineligible to be transferred unless Peel agrees to it, but the Thunder have him as a required player for this season.

Broadbent has spent his pre-season training with his hometown football club, the Collie Eagles, and it’s believed he is unlikely to return to Peel Thunder even if his transfer is denied again.

South Fremantle believe Broadbent could be their No.1 ruckman next season, having already brought Brock Higgins out of retirement to add to their ruck stocks.

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