AFL trade period: Western Bulldogs do over Lachie Hunter in James Harmes announcement

The Western Bulldogs have stitched up former vice-captain Lachie Hunter in an eyebrow-raising trade period announcement.

Hunter, a former best and fairest winner with the club, was famously traded to the Demons 12 months ago for a pittance in a move that sparked rumours of a falling out.

Hunter’s time at the Bulldogs ended in a disappointing 2022 season where he struggled to hold down a position in the club’s best 22.

It’s why his appearance in the club’s announcement of its acquisition of Demons midfielder James Harmes caught Hunter’s attention.

Harmes joined the Bulldogs on Tuesday night in a trade that has seen the Demons receive a future third round draft pick.

Harmes’ surprise move was overshadowed by the outraged response to the free agency compensation farce that resulted in the Kangaroos receiving pick three following Essendon’s raid on Ben McKay.

The trade news has continued to drop on Wednesday.

Harmes, meanwhile, has signed a three-year deal through to the end of 2026.

The Bulldogs trumpeted the news with a highlights clip on its social media channels that showed Harmes kicking goals, taking flying hangers and pulling off some outrageous tackles.

The clip that has got people talking is the one of Harmes taking a speccy over the top of Hunter — when Hunter was still playing for the Dogs.

Hunter responded to the video by commentating on the club’s Instagram post: “No way you did me like this”.

His comment was met by a flurry of ugly comments from Bulldogs fans.

The club’s signing of Harmes has been questioned by some with the premiership-winner facing a tough assignment to sneak into the midfield at the Bulldogs.

“James comes to us with plenty of experience, having played over 150 games and winning a premiership across his nine years in the system,” Bulldogs list manager Luke Power said.

“His defensive mindset and ability to cover the ground will add to our midfield group, while he also has the versatility to play in a variety of roles.”

The Demons are going to have salary cap space to play with this trade period after James Jordon officially moved to the Swans and star ruckman Brodie Grundy also expected to be traded to the Swans.

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