Mitch Clark’s trade hopes slide
Mitch Clark may struggle in his bid to be traded to a Perth club this week while John McCarthy looks increasingly unlikely to be at Collingwood next year, said their respective managers on Wednesday.
It also appears as though Hawthorn defender Rick Ladson could be on his way to Greater Western Sydney with the Giants expressing keen interest in the 27-year-old.
Clark’s manager Colin Young said he was growing increasingly concerned a deal with Fremantle – Clark’s preferred target – was not going to happen this week with the Brisbane Lions wanting more than the club could offer.
He also said Clark could opt to enter the NAB AFL Pre-season Draft in December if a trade didn’t come up before Monday’s deadline, with the Lions believing Fremantle’s first-round selection of No.16 in the NAB AFL Draft is not enough to get the deal done.
“The draft has been compromised and unfortunately Brisbane deserve a top-10 pick but they probably won’t get it if Fremantle can’t negotiate down,” Young told afl.com.au‘s Trade Week Radio.
“That’s just the nature of the beast and so they’re going to have to accept, if it’s pick 16 and something else, they’re going to have to accept that.
“That’s unfortunate because they probably do deserve a top 10 pick and something extra but unfortunately I can’t see that happening.
“I think at the end of the day come Monday, if it’s not done, you’d rather get at least pick 16 than nothing.”
Young said his client could be willing to try his luck in the December draft in his bid to make his way home to his native state of Western Australia.
“I spoke to Mitchell last night because he’d had phone calls from both parties regarding the trade, and he’s having a think about that today, so his options are pretty well known,” he said.
“Brisbane will try and attempt to keep him or he’ll enter the pre-season draft.”
Meanwhile, McCarthy looks almost certain to find himself at another club next year as he seeks to nail down a regular senior spot after 18 games in four years at Collingwood.
The 21-year-old midfielder has generated interest from other clubs, and has taken some time off to consider his options.
But his manager Ned Guy says they were “having a very good look” at what else is around.
“I think he would have greater game time elsewhere. Obviously Collingwood has a pretty strong list and John, he didn’t have any injuries this year and he played some really good footy in the VFL for them,” he said.
“At times he struggled to break into the senior side.
“Without a doubt, there are greater opportunities elsewhere; it’s just a matter of pinning down who’s interested and whether or not the opportunities lie there.
“He loves the club and he loves all his teammates so if he does make that call, it’s going to be tough for him to leave but you do need to start looking at where the opportunity lies.”
Ladson’s manager Tom Petroro confirmed the Giants’ interest in the premiership backman, and said his proven ability with helping the young Box Hill players in the VFL this year made him a perfect candidate to join the new club.
“I think the opportunity dried up a little bit at Hawthorn this year and Rick’s a beautiful kick and can run and carry,” he said.
“He’s still got plenty of footy left in him and he’s young enough to also add a bit of development to the young Giants’ list and has really good character.
“I think there’s a fair bit of water to go under the bridge before anything happens there.”
In other trade week news, Petroro said two of his other clients – St Kilda’s Jason Gram and Essendon’s Cale Hooker – were likely to remain with their current clubs.
He said the salary cap speculation regarding St Kilda’s salary cap issues was “a little over the top”, and the Saints were keen to keep their man.
“Jason is a required player, but if someone came to them and St Kilda wanted a pick inside 10, and Jason was the player and the club could give that up, maybe St Kilda would consider it but I would be surprised if Jason moved in the next four or five days,” he said.
Petroro said Hooker was on a two-year contract with Essendon and was confident he would not be starved of opportunities should he remain at Windy Hill.
“From what I can pick up, I think there was interest shown by a club, not that Essendon wants to trade Cale or anything like that,” he said.
“He’s an emerging defender and there’s not a lot of key defenders out there and they’re hard to find, but by no means is he on the trade table.
“I think he’ll stay a Bomber.”
Petroro said Adelaide, which has lost backmen Nathan Bock and Phil Davis to the two new clubs in the past 12 months, was not the club that had expressed interest in the 22-year-old.