Fremantle plays guilt card with Chris Tarrant
Fremantle coach Mark Harvey has played the guilt card ahead of the impending tug-of-war for Chris Tarrant’s services, claiming the departing defender owes the club for turning his career around.
The Dockers were dealt a major blow earlier this week when Tarrant advised the club he would be returning to Melbourne next season due to personal reasons.
Fremantle’s only chance to receive compensation for the out-of-contract Tarrant is if a trade with a rival club can be worked out.
But should Tarrant choose to instead nominate for either the pre-season or AFL Draft, Fremantle will receive nothing.
Tarrant spent the majority of his career as a key forward but struggled during his first two years at the Dockers.
But an experimental shift to defence at the start of 2009 proved to be a masterstroke, with Tarrant now regarded as one of the game’s best backmen.
Harvey felt the soon-to-be 30-year-old, who is reportedly in the sights of Carlton and Hawthorn, should repay the club’s faith by helping negotiate a trade.
“We effectively turned his career around a couple of years ago so he knows that there’s responsibility with all this,” Harvey told Perth radio station 6PR.
“I think there’ll be a number of clubs that will be after him and we just have to make sure we do what’s right for Fremantle.
“And for that matter we’ve spoken to Chris about that and he understands that.”
Harvey said Fremantle would be targeting a player in return for Tarrant rather than a draft pick.
“We’ve had a lot of picks over the last couple of years … our first port of call would be to look at a player from another club,” he said.
“This is not a draft where you want to be having a lot of picks. we all know it’s compromised because Gold Coast have an enormous amount of picks and the following year the new Sydney team will, too.
“Effectively you only want to be having four or five or six picks in this draft otherwise you are talking about picks after pick 100 and it’s going to be quite unusual in what type of player you are going to get at that particular stage.”
Fremantle won 13 games this season and reached the semi-final before a battle-hardened Geelong ended their campaign.
Harvey warned his players that there was plenty of work ahead for the club to become a serious premiership contender.
“The problem is everyone is saying you are going to get bigger and stronger and faster,” Harvey said.
“Well that’s only one aspect, your football’s got to go to another level as well along the way.
“I said ‘don’t assume this is going to happen this time next year’.
“… it’s whether they want to be a regular part of this finals series and hence move towards the ultimate.”