Late bids for unsigned Ryder
Gold Coast and Fremantle could make late bids to win the playing services of Essendon big man Paddy Ryder.
Gold Coast is believed to have sights on securing a gun power forward while Fremantle is understood to have Ryder as a fall-back option if the Dockers fail to win the race to sign Collingwood colossus Travis Cloke.
Dockers management has made clear intentions to lure a power forward since a desperate bid to win former Brisbane big man Mitch Clark failed at the last minute during controversial trade dealing last October.
Fremantle retains significant scope in their salary cap to attract a big gun like Cloke, or Ryder in their bid to bolster scoring power at the front-end of a substantially revised defensive game style under new coach Ross Lyon.
Lyon and Dockers officials are also believed to be scouring AFL lists to secure additional midfield pace in their blueprint for potential sustained finals and genuine premiership tilt in the approaching few seasons.
Ryder, 24, is likely to become a top priority to Fremanle’s power forward bid if Cloke rejects Dockers offers.
Industry sources are abuzz that Cloke will eventually agree to terms at Collignwood, despite prospects of around $1million a season to walk out on the famous Magpies.
Ryder is one of a host of big stars in discussions with Bombers management on a new deal, but has yet to confirm he will stay beyond this season.
The big ruckman-forward is out of contract at the end of this season and is understood to be in strong negotiations with Bombers management.
Ryder appears more likely to stay as the Bombers continue their renaissance under club legend James Hird.
But it is understood that Gold Coast’s desperate search for a power forward has turned toward Ryder.
The big Bomber has been a revelation in back-up ruck duties as well as lurking forward with strong marking and sure kicking in Essendon’s run of six wins and just one narrow loss to Collingwood on ANZAC Day to start the 2012 premiership campaign and Hird’s second season at the helm.
Ryder is averaging 10 possessions and almost six marks a game and made more than 150 hitouts in his seven outings so far this season.
His finest performance so far this season was a best-afield effort in Round 2 against Port Adelaide when Ryder made 46 hitouts in leading a prolific Bombers midfield immediately after lead ruck force David Hille was forced out of action with a bad calf tear.
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