2012 AFL Season. 1st Semi Final  Collingwood vs West Coast Eagles at the MCG.
Magpie Sharrod Wellingham attempts to control the ball as Eagle Matt Priddis prepares to tackle.
15 September 2012. Picture by PAUL ROVERE / THE AGE

Going home? Sharrod Wellingham wants to return to Perth. Photo: Paul Rovere

SHARROD Wellingham's declaration on the West Coast website that he wished to join the Eagles came as news to Collingwood, which had not been told of the midfielder's decision to leave.

Collingwood football manager Geoff Walsh, who read of Wellingham's intentions after being alerted to the internet article, told The Age he thought it was ''a bit premature'' for the Eagles to have claimed the former rookie.

The uncontracted Wellingham, who also met with Melbourne, was quoted on the website as saying that after spending the past week contemplating his future, he had decided it was time to move on from the Magpies.

''The dealings I have had with West Coast have been really impressive and I will now go on a break overseas and wait for the two clubs to reach a deal on the terms of my move back home,'' said the West Australian native.

''It will be exciting to get back to Perth and play in front of my family every week. That was a very strong influence on my decision to leave and I look forward to playing with the Eagles.

''Playing against them, we had enormous respect for West Coast, and I believe they have a young list capable of winning a premiership in the next few years.

''I will always have some very good friends [at Collingwood], but it is now time to move on.''

Walsh, who spoke to Wellingham yesterday, said Collingwood had not spoken to West Coast about the onballer at any great length, although Magpie recruiting manager Derek Hine had been told the Eagles planned to meet with him while he was at home in Perth.

''We talked to him today and that wasn't centred on where he was going and what he wanted to do, it was more a discussion from our point of view, so this is news to us,'' Walsh said.

''From our point of view we haven't spoken to any club about trading Sharrod, so it's a bit premature for a club to be declaring they have him.

''Perhaps they think it will put some pressure on us, but we haven't spoken to West Coast for any length of time at all and we haven't made any decisions.''

West Coast communications manager Gary Stocks tweeted: ''Sharrod Wellingham has nominated West Coast as his club of choice. Now need to get deal done in trade period. Happy days.''

Collingwood defender Harry O'Brien sympathised with Wellingham's decision, tweeting: ''Sad to see u go mate … At the end of the day you gotta do what you gotta do and that's your business.''

Wellingham has played 92 games for the Magpies since 2008, and was a member of the 2010 premiership team.

■Fremantle defender Luke McPharlin has signed a two-year contract extension. McPharlin was selected in the All-Australian team for the first time and has flourished under new coach Ross Lyon.

The Dockers will now look to re-sign defender Adam McPhee.

''We're really confident Adam is more or less close to re-signing with us,'' football operations manager Chris Bond said on 6PR. ''We're pretty sure that'll be announced in the next few days.''

■Essendon is poised to declare its interest in recruiting Tom Fields, the son of former midfielder Neville, as a father-son rookie selection by today's deadline.

The Bombers, who will make official their bid for Joe Daniher by the 2pm deadline, must express their interest in Fields, who played for Labrador in the Queensland state league, at the same time.

Under the new rule introduced this year, clubs are not committed to pick any father-son rookies they nominate, but must make their interest in possibly doing so known. Should the player then go through the national draft and not be selected by another team, the club may pre-select them ahead of the rookie draft in December.

Gold Coast, which has access to Fields as a Queensland zone player, could move him to Windy Hill in a trade deal, but the Bombers would prefer to place him on their rookie rather than senior list.