Sydney Swans recruit and Yorta Yorta man Joel Hamling has shed light on the "disrespectful" tabled by Fremantle after seven seasons in his home state.
The 30-year-old journeyman has endured an injury-plagued career and extended stints overlooked for selection in the seniors with Geelong, Bulldogs and Dockers.
Speaking to media earlier this week, Hamling said he "wanted to get out of Perth" for a "fresh start" with initial hopes to land at a Melbourne-based club to be closer to his partner's family with their young child.
A Broome product and 2016 premiership player, Hamling eventually joined the Swans as an unrestricted free agent in the recent trade period.
However the defender revealed an under par offer played a role in crossing east after just six games across the previous three seasons at the Dockers.
He said after some interest from Sydney in his draft year, a conversation between his manager and Swans list manager Kinnear Beatson sparked renewed intent with a feeling the clock was ticking on his time out west.
"My manager was at a (VFL club) Sandringham game last season and Kinnear was there and asked what was going on with me. My manager said (I) might be out of Freo so it just eventuated like that," Hamling said, via AFL.com.au
"He came over to Perth and met me and spoke to my partner and it sounded really interesting.
"I never really wanted to leave Perth. I still had a contract there, but it wasn't as good as would've liked. It was a bit disrespectful, to be honest."
Hamling said the Dockers tabled what was likely a "bottom end" offer before coming back with a two-year deal after the Swans emerged as an option.
"I really enjoyed my time at Freo, they're a good club. But I don't think they thought anyone else would take me," he said.
Hamling said he had "sort of had enough in the end and it was time to get out of there" before packing his bags.
After 91 games over 12 seasons in the AFL system, Hamling insists his body is right to go for a full season in red and white as one of a number of older recruits.
Brodie Grundy and Taylor Adams also arrived at the Swans after being underutilised at the Demons and missing Collingwood's 2023 premiership with injury, respectively.
Hamling said he expects to slot into the backline as a third tall or roll player and mentor to younger players after the retirement of Paddy McCartin.
"I feel like at 30 my body's quite good. I don't have any soft tissue injuries and I've mainly had impact injuries my whole career," he said.
"So the ankle is feeling really good, body's feeling good and the mind's feeling good as well.
"So there's no reason why I can't get out there and play 22 games this year."