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Lycett to join Port Adelaide after Eagles back out

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West Coast’s Scott Lycett will join Port Adelaide after the Eagles confirmed they would not match the Power’s five-year offer to the premiership ruckman.

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Lycett, 26, has joined Port as a restricted free agent.

The Eagles’ compensation for losing the premiership ruckman is a selection at the end of the first round of the upcoming draft.

West Coast, who enjoyed an early victory in the league’s silly season when Andrew Gaff re-signed after rejecting a lucrative deal with North Melbourne, had publicly floated the idea of matching Port’s offer to Lycett.

But the Eagles confirmed this morning Lycett is headed to Port. The deal is believed to be worth approximately $3 million over five years.

Lycett, a former Port Adelaide junior, played six league games for Port in the SANFL before being drafted in 2010.

He said he was “excited to be coming home to South Australia and to the club that I supported since my childhood”.

“I can’t wait to get back to Adelaide and want to help the Power achieve some success,” he said.

Lycett’s departure, combined with the fact Nic Naitanui is recovering from a knee reconstruction, leaves West Coast with a void to fill as they seek to go back to back.

Rory Lobb, who is keen to return home to Western Australia, was an obvious trade target but the GWS ruckman has requested a trade to Fremantle.

West Coast are instead looking at Western Bulldogs big man Jordan Roughead and St Kilda’s Tom Hickey as potential options to help ease the burden on ruckman Nathan Vardy.

“We’ve had a discussion with Tom and his management and a couple of other options as well,” Eagles football manager Craig Vozzo said on Monday.

The Eagles’ compensation pick for losing Lycett now shapes as their best bargaining chip in discussions with Geelong regarding young gun Tim Kelly.

Kelly polled 13 Brownlow votes in a stellar debut season and is now keen to return home to Perth.

Both WA clubs are proving active in this year’s post-season player frenzy.

The Dockers are chasing Lobb and Melbourne spearhead Jesse Hogan while they look like losing reigning best-and-fairest winner Lachie Neale to Brisbane.

“We’re confident that we feel we can get a deal done,” Lions football manager David Noble told radio station SEN.

“We understand and respect that he’s in contract and they would like to keep him, but we’ll do everything we can to get the deal done.”

The Dockers may also dump Harley Bennell, who signed a one-year contract extension less than two months ago, according to a report on AFL Trade Radio.

Bennell has managed just two senior games in three years at Fremantle, suffering persistent calf injuries.

Bennell sought a fresh start at the Dockers in 2015, having been shown the door by Gold Coast after a series of behavioural issues.

– with AAP

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