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Cloke inches closer to five-year deal

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TRAVIS Cloke and Collingwood have reopened contract discussions, with the Magpies showing a willingness to budge on clauses restricting his bid for a healthy payday in his fifth season.

David Cloke, Travis' manager and father, said discussions with the Magpies yesterday morning had been productive. A final call could be made within days.

Rival clubs had been told during the Brownlow Medal count on Monday that the Magpies were now prepared to be more accommodating to Cloke as he had reinforced during the finals just how valuable he was in a forward line that lacked blue-chip quality. ''We are getting closer,'' David Cloke told The Age.

Collingwood footballer Travis Cloke.

Collingwood footballer Travis Cloke. Photo: Paul Rovere

''That's what we are talking about - the fifth year. They [Magpies] are budging in some ways. They are the things we are discussing.''

Cloke, 25, is a restricted free agent, meaning Collingwood has the opportunity to match the best offer from a rival club.

Cloke is after a five-year deal worth more than $3.7 million. The Magpies had been willing to offer four years but were concerned the forward would struggle to be productive in a fifth season. Power forwards historically begin to struggle in their late 20s.

The Magpies had set trigger clauses through Cloke's first four years for him to remain on major money in his fifth season, something that has irked the Cloke camp.

''It's over the combination of the first four years. To get the figure in the fifth year, there are a number of configurations that will have to happen in the first four years,'' Cloke snr said.

''We are just trying to work through it, make sure both parties are happy with everything. That's what it is all about.''

Cloke has repeatedly questioned why contractual clauses, which he believes are overly tough, are required for a player who is still only in his mid-20s.

Clauses can include the number of matches played and best-and-fairest placings.

Cloke was the only Magpie to play all 25 matches this season, booting a team-high 59 goals, well ahead of Dayne Beams (28) and Alex Fasolo (28).

His durability cannot be questioned because he played in 25 matches in 2011 and 24 in 2010.

Collingwood football manager Geoff Walsh did not wish to comment last night.

Carlton has also expressed strong interest in Cloke and has been linked to a five-year deal worth $800,000 a season.

Blues coach Mick Malthouse said he would ''absolutely'' target the man he helped morph into the one of the league's premier forwards when he was at Collingwood.

But Blues officials last night believed Cloke would remain a Magpie.

Fremantle had also been linked to Cloke, but is understood to now believe its hopes are dashed.

Cloke said several months ago he was not interested in heading west because of the travel involved.

David Cloke would not discuss rival offers. ''I am not going to comment either way. We are going through the process now,'' he said.

Once the Cloke deal is finalised, the Magpies will be able concentrate on securing new deals for Andrew Krakouer, Harry O'Brien, Tyson Goldsack and Sharrod Wellingham.

43 comments

  • "struggle to be productive in the fifth season". He's not productive now.

    Commenter
    Michael
    Location
    Melbourne
    Date and time
    September 26, 2012, 4:49PM
    • Imagine what he would be worth if he could play well and consistently ?
      I hope that eddywood signs him up, then they blow a large part of a salary cap on that lummox who, by way of his wildly erratic performances, is the other clubs' best weapon.
      I love to see collingwood choke, it's football's greatest joke. Hahaha

      Commenter
      nkelly
      Date and time
      September 26, 2012, 9:03PM
    • <sarcasm>Yeah, that explains why no other club will touch him.</sarcasm>Seriously, you think the man who takes more contested marks than anyone else over the last few years isn't being productive? If Cloke's job was simply to kick goals, then you'd have a point. But it's not. His job is to create scoring opportunities, and he does that in spades. Anyone who can see that is... well... obviously not an AFL coach.

      Commenter
      Bob
      Date and time
      September 26, 2012, 11:03PM
    • Travis can take as many marks as he likes. But what good are they right up the ground? Or if he's not kicking goals? Or providing goal assists? Forwards just can't be one dimensional these days. Guys like Pavlich and Franklin are dangerous because they are multi-faceted. Drew Petrie can pinch hit in the ruck, as can Jarryd Roughhead. Mitch Clark falls into that bracket. Adam Goodes is dangerous on a wing as well as in the forward line. Travis can only play as a forward. He's in the Jack Riewoldt bracket. Sure, he's a target for players running out of the backline. But his value declines even further if there are not targets further afield to kick to. Dawes doesn't look much chop any more, so who is there to kick to?

      He's not worth the money or the length of contract he's been offered. He'll squeeze others out.

      Commenter
      Wes Mantooth
      Date and time
      September 27, 2012, 12:07AM
    • As a Collingwood fan I too could see that at times during the 2012 season, Travis Cloke's productivity was down. This was especially evident during the peak media scrutiny of the contract negotiations, and hung around for a substantial part of the season.

      It was not until both parties decided to set aside the discussions till now, did Travis improve. Not the best way as the $$$$ was clearly in the back of Travis' mind, which affected his performance.

      Let's hope that all out of contract players who are playing for Collingwood in season 2013 are fully signed beforehand. Collingwood, don't leave such vital details unchecked during any playing season. It drags everyone down. Thank you.

      Commenter
      Collingwood Dave
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      September 27, 2012, 7:27AM
    • That's just ill informed rubbish based on KPIs goals and contested marks confirm that, so next time write something that is respected !!!

      Commenter
      tezza
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      September 27, 2012, 8:55AM
    • Wes Mantooth 12:07AM

      'He's in the Jack Riewoldt bracket. ' No he's not. Jack's not bad on the ground, kicks more goals whilst Cloke lumbers.

      Commenter
      kepler-22b
      Date and time
      September 27, 2012, 9:11AM
  • lucky he dosen't get paid by the free kick , if the afl get fair dinkum there are only 7 key backs who legally play the game , reid,lake,taylor,gibson,thompson,glass richards , can't consider fletcher as he never plays on a monster. all the rest infringe in every marking contest (hard to mark with 1 arm let alone no arm) been going on for years key exponents are blake shoemakers grundy dawson must have all learnt of the BRazillian ju jitsu dude SILVANGHI
    But then again how would the giesh know

    Commenter
    open thy eyes
    Date and time
    September 26, 2012, 5:04PM
    • You forgot to include Nathan Brown and Nick Maxwell in those that constantly infringe. Brown always has his hand on his opponent's shoulder holding him down and maxwell takes his eyes off the ball.

      Commenter
      Ross
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      September 27, 2012, 7:26AM
    • Silvagni - the most overrated player ever!

      Commenter
      kepler-22b
      Date and time
      September 27, 2012, 9:12AM

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