MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MAY 23: Brodie Grundy of the Magpies and Peter Ladhams of the Power compete for the ball during the 2021 AFL Round 10 match between the Collingwood Magpies and the Port Adelaide Power at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on May 23, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

The race for Port Adelaide ruck/forward Peter Ladhams is set to heat up, with both Geelong and the Western Bulldogs now registering their interest.

The 23-year-old was already reportedly seeking a move away over the summer after playing second fiddle to Scott Lycett in the same position over the course of 2021.

According to Herald Sun reporter Jon Ralph, the Doggies, fresh off their grand final defeat, are very much in the race alongside the Cats.

“The Dogs have not escalated that conversation yet, but they’re only 48 hours apart from a Grand Final," Ralph said on AFL Tonight.

“It’s a conversation Geelong will have internally – whether it’s very low interest, with it going to escalate in the next couple of weeks so they might do a deal on it."

Ladhams played on 17 occasions for the Power in season 2021, managing to boot 13 goals, with the South Australian deputising the likes of Lycett, Charlie Dixon and Mitch Georgiades.

ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 11: Peter Ladhams and Charlie Dixon of the Power look dejected after losing the AFL Second Preliminary Final match between Port Adelaide Power and Western Bulldogs at Adelaide Oval on September 11, 2021 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images)

With there being several players that are ahead of him in the pecking order, a move elsewhere may very well be just the trick to get him back into form.

Luke Beveridge's Western Bulldogs side have been notably beaten on several occasions in the ruck, with first-choice tall Stefan Martin being absent for most of the season.

This left the duties in the ruck to Tim English, who was ultimately sent down forward in favour of defender Lewis Young taking the share of the responsibility.

Additionally, the aforementioned English has, according to Ralph, committed himself to the Luke Beveridge's side after speculation his services could be plied elsewhere. 

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 03: Tim English (right) and Stefan Martin of the Bulldogs in action during the Western Bulldogs AFL training session at Whitten Oval on February 03, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

“My understanding is that English is really keen to stay in Melbourne. He’ll wait until midway through next year to consider a contract extension,” Ralph said.

To avoid the scenario repeating itself again it would be wise for the Bulldogs to target Ladhams as well, with his young age still meaning he has plenty of growth left in him in terms of his footballing ability.

Conversely, a move to Kardinia Park to play under Chris Scott is a big possibility as well, with Geelong's list not one that boasts young talent.

With Rhys Stanley now 30 years of age, Mark Blicavs' best position being down back and Esava Ratugolea being unable to patch together a true run of form, another ruckman is exactly what the Cats need.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MAY 12: Rhys Stanley of the Cats competes for the ball against Nick Larkey of the Kangaroos during the round eight AFL match between the North Melbourne Kangaroos and the Geelong Cats at Marvel Stadium on May 12, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

Ladhams would likely be closer to a flag should he move to Whitten Oval, with the bulk of Geelong's stars coming into the final years of their footballing careers, however it remains to be seen what each club is willing to offer him in terms of money and if that could sway him.

There is no doubt that this saga is one to keep an eye on over the course of trade period 2021.