I owe Pies: Tarrant
Collingwood recruit Chris Tarrant says he wants to make up for the ill-discipline that marred his first stint at the club.
After four years at Fremantle, Tarrant’s wish to be traded back to the Magpies was fulfilled on the final day of trade week.
“I really owe this club,” Tarrant said at his first press conference back in black and white.
“I’ve got something to offer this club and I just can’t wait to get that opportunity to have another crack at it.”
Tarrant, who ran second in the Collingwood best-and-fairest in 2003 and was the club’s leading goalkicker five times, was packed off to Fremantle after a disappointing 2006 season.
A few months before he headed west, he and teammate Ben Johnson had been involved in a fight outside a nightclub in Port Melbourne.
Tarrant was fined $5000 for the indiscretion.
“I was a late maturer,” Tarrant said. “When I was 25-26 I don’t think I’d fully grown up and I didn’t really have 100 per cent dedication towards my football.
“Towards the latter part of my time at the club there were a few mistakes that I made.
“I probably would have regretted them if I didn’t get the opportunity to come back to the club and do everything possible to help this club try to win another premiership.”
Now 30, the veteran of 233 AFL matches believes he returns to Victoria as a much more mature person.
“I definitely think I’ve got some unfinished business [at Collingwood],” said Tarrant, who had threatened to retire if he was not allowed to return to the Magpies.
“I’m a pretty focused player at the moment and I’ve probably changed a lot in the four years that I haven’t been here.”
Tarrant’s career was stuck in the doldrums just two years ago. Then a struggling key forward, he was revitalised as a player when Fremantle coach Mark Harvey moved him to the backline during the 2009 campaign.
His dramatically improved form since then has impressed Collingwood enough to grant him another chance.
“I’d really like to thank the Fremantle Football Club, as they’ve been great to me,” Tarrant said.
“What I take away from there is that they really helped me become a different player and I’d really like to thank the club for that.”
Although Collingwood’s premiership-winning key defenders Nathan Brown and Ben Reid were exceptional during the recent finals series, Tarrant believes he can break into the Magpies’ backline next year.
“I know I’m outside the 22 and I have to work my way into the 22,” Tarrant said.
“I’m under no illusions that it’s a big task, but it’s a task that I’m looking forward to.”