Player name: Lin Jong
Current club: Western Bulldogs
Potential clubs: Lin Jong’s name came to prominence when it emerged he had been given a tour of Collingwood’s facilities in late June. Although his visit to Holden Centre had most thinking his going to Collingwood was a given, particularly when it came to light Travis Cloke wanted out and his preferred destination was the Bulldogs. A straight swap between the two clubs seemed on the cards. However it appears as though both parties have cooled on each other and Gold Coast, who showed interest in Jong last season are in the box seat for his signature at this stage. The Suns also have plenty of draft picks to satisfy the Dogs, so it appears likely Jong will at the Gold Coast in 2017.
The original price
Jong was picked by the Bulldogs with the ninth overall pick of the 2011 Rookie Draft.
The Good: Jong has had his best season to date in terms of games played and in a number of statistical categories. Standing at 188cm and 89kg, he is the prototype for the modern day midfielder and has a good level of speed and can play a number of roles. Had career high 28 disposals in Round 23 against the Dockers.
The Bad: Suffered a broken collarbone in the elimination final against the Eagles just when he was hitting peak form and having his longest run in the side(10 games). You can also view that stat as a negative as it shows that he is yet to nail down a consistent spot after five years and 39 games in the AFL system.
What his club wants: Jong is still young (23), so if he did want to leave the club you would imagine the Bulldogs would want a mid to late second round pick for him. Whether clubs are willing to give that up will be fascinating to see.
What he’s worth: His value is rising as he gets more games and good performances under his belt. By no means a star as a career disposal average of 15.3 would attest, but strong-bodied players and speed are a pretty handy combination to have. His performance in the VFL Grand Final on Sunday where he won the Norm Goss medal for best afield showed he can perform on the big stage and he has a big upside.
What we’d pay
Late second/early third round pick.
Possible trade scenarios:
- Collingwood trades Travis Cloke to Bulldogs for Lin Jong
- Gold Coast trades pick 27 for Lin Jong and Bulldogs third round selection – 53/54
The Verdict:. In Football terms, Jong would be mad to leave a club like the Dogs who are a side clearly on the rise. More and more however, players are looking at deals that can set them up for later life. There is plenty of competition for spots at the Dogs and with Jong one of those players on the edge of selection most weeks, he may see a greater opportunity at the Pies or indeed another club.
Star rating: 3/5