Beams to stay with Pies
Dayne Beams' stocks have risen significantly this year. Photo: Sebastian Costanzo
IN-FORM Collingwood midfielder Dayne Beams has all but agreed to terms on a three-year contract extension that will tie him to the club until the end of 2015.
Sources say Beams will sign on with the Magpies in a deal estimated at approximately $1.1 million, as the club steadily ticks off its list of out-of-contract players.
Beams' stocks have risen significantly this year, with his former coach, Mick Malthouse, even suggesting on the weekend that the 22-year-old midfielder could be a Brownlow medal chance.
The imminent re-signing of Beams leaves Travis Cloke as the major contractual issue for the Magpies, who also have all-Australian centre half-back Ben Reid, Sharrod Wellingham, Harry O'Brien and Tyson Goldsack still to sign. The club began the season with a dozen players players coming out of contract and have since re-signed key players Scott Pendlebury, Heath Shaw, Steele Sidebottom and Jarryd Blair, with Beams the next to commit.
Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley has maintained that the club would be able to keep all the players that it wanted, despite the widespread perception and real possibility that the Magpies will struggle to keep their list intact. They also have veterans Chris Tarrant and Ben Johnson coming of contract, who would cost the club relatively little - given the discount for the veterans allowance - if they choose to play on in 2013. Dane Swan and Alan Didak qualify for veteran status next year.
Beams missed the opening game and a period of the pre-season but has shown marked improvement since then, averaging 30.4 disposals, 10.6 contested possessions and booting 13 goals in a predominantly midfield role. Like Blair and Sidebottom, he is seen to have relished the extra midfield duties created by the season-ending knee injury to Luke Ball.
Beams has played 73 games for Collingwood since his debut in 2009, his first season, and booted 74 goals. He missed last year's grand final, ruling himself out with a groin injury, but has emerged as one of the major reasons the Pies have been able to weather the loss of Ball and other injuries this season. He has accumulated more than 30 disposals in nine of his 14 games this year and has never failed to win more than 20.
Meanwhile, the AFL has indicated that Geelong's meeting with Port Adelaide's out-of-contract midfielder Travis Boak did not violate the rules that relate to players in contract or poaching.
The AFL's general manager of football operations, Adrian Anderson, said last night that meeting a player, in the manner that Geelong did with Boak, did not breach the rules.
''The rule says you can't enter into a contract, arrangement or understanding, it doesn't say you can't talk to someone,'' he said.
Port has expressed disappointment with the nature of the Geelong meeting.
The AFL is reviewing the rule (4.7) relating to poaching, the question of whether players can commit to another club when coming out of contract because free agency has created a situation in which a player can have certainty that he will be playing for a specific, different club in the next season. It has sought input from the clubs on the issue, and the league has made plain to clubs that it does not want free agency to create a culture like NRL, in which a player can be open - and quite public - in reaching a deal with a different team in the course of a season.
Geelong took a contingent to Adelaide - skipper Joel Selwood, champion Jimmy Bartel and coach Chris Scott - to meet Boak. Scott said yesterday that the meeting was necessary because Port had put Boak under pressure to make a decision and Boak had to have the options in front of him before making a decision.