Dougal Howard has made up his mind and has requested a trade to the Saints.
After meeting with St Kilda, North Melbourne and Essendon in the last fortnight the Port Adelaide defender was considered part of a trade deal for Orazio Fantasia.
However, Port Adelaide have released a statement confirming that Howard has requested the Saints as his destination.
St Kilda is proving to be popular as Paddy Ryder along with Fremantle’s Brad Hill and Sydney’s Zak Jones have all requested moves there. In return Jack Steven is looking to head to Geelong and Josh Bruce is almost certainly going to the Bulldogs.
At the start of the trade period, St Kilda football boss Simon Lethlean went public with the club’s interest in Howard.
“If Dougal wants to come to the Saints, he fits in as a key position (player) – whether that’s back or forward,” said Lethlean.
“He can probably play as a swingman as well, so he’d fit nicely with (Jake) Carlisle, (Max) King and others. He’s a pretty impressive player and kid.”
“He’s captained his club this year (in one game), so it shows the leadership he’s got. He’d be a good get if he wants to come to Victoria, but I don’t think he’s decided yet.”
Howard did sign an extension with the Power in December last year to stay until 2022 but since then Tom Jonas and Tom Clurey have been picked as key defenders over Howard and he has been sent forward instead.
Port Adelaide’s list management team has informed him that his future at the club was in the forward line and encouraged him to consider his options.
The 23-year-old played 15 AFL games in 2019 taking his total up to 45 but was dropped to the SANFL for the last month of the season.
Port Adelaide’s General Manager of Football, Chris Davies, has explained the club’s position on the matter.
“Dougal is aware that he is a highly valued, required player at Port Adelaide,” Davies said.
“Given he is contracted to the end of 2022, the club will only entertain a trade with St Kilda if it is in our best interests to do so.”
“We will discuss the situation with the Saints but if a suitable outcome for our club cannot be reached, Dougal is well aware that he will remain a Port Adelaide player in 2020.”