JavaScript disabled. Please enable JavaScript to use My News, My Clippings, My Comments and user settings.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

Clokes, Pies must end this Travis-ty


Travis Cloke's contract talks could destabilise Collingwood's flag tilt.

Travis Cloke watches as Collingwood train yesterday.

Travis Cloke watches as Collingwood train yesterday. Photo: Paul Rovere

DAVID Cloke's very public bid to land a long and lucrative deal for his son Travis would be dismissed as embarrassing if the stakes were not so high.

In this astonishing season where any one of six teams appears quite capable of claiming the premiership, Collingwood sits tantalisingly close, if not at the top of those six. But the nature of 2012 means that the margin for error has rarely been narrower.

And despite coach Nathan Buckley's stated view that the protracted dispute over his star forward's future is not affecting his form, there can be no doubt it is not helping. Cloke is not disgracing himself on the field by any means, but he can play better and he will need to if the Magpies are to win their second flag in three years.

Collingwood knows all too well about outside distractions. Any hope it had of claiming a top-four spot as it rose in 2008 was cruelled in August that year by the Heath Shaw and Alan Didak drink-driving lying scandal.

In August 2011, the club had lost one game and seemed premiership-bound when - in the space of two days - coach Mick Malthouse aired his frustrations on The Footy Show over his coaching future, and Shaw and Nick Maxwell were exposed in a gambling controversy. Most at the club believe the off-field distractions may have helped cost the Magpies a flag.

Cloke snr is not the ideal person to be negotiating for his son. Not only because he lacks market experience but because this is not a job suited to any father.

When parents become too heavily involved in their children's sporting careers, it rarely ends happily.

It must remain a great source of embarrassment to Greater Western Sydney that its star recruit, Tom Scully, is supporting his father's livelihood in the AFL salary cap. Many years ago the Giants' list manager, Stephen Silvagni, was selected for his first senior game at Carlton and his father, Sergio - a legendary Blue - promptly and quite rightly quit the club's match committee.

Too often the opposite seems to happen. Far from leaving their sons to clubs of their own, fathers sign on at those clubs as well.

And speaking of the Giants, that club has repeatedly confirmed what most suspected all along: it had never offered Travis Cloke a contract. David Cloke, in fact, called them. It is perfectly legitimate for a manager to shop his player around, but less so when the player appears to have no intention of leaving in the first place.

There is also the fact that as good as Travis has been for Collingwood, the club in return has been good to the Clokes. Any off-field issues that could have harmed Cloke's name or that of his family have been deftly handled by the Pies.

It seems unthinkable for anyone who knows Travis Cloke that the 25-year-old would dream of moving to Fremantle. Given how happy he has been at Collingwood, the Western Bulldogs or Melbourne would seemingly not loom as viable alternatives.

The quality of the Magpies' list dictates the club cannot pay him anywhere near what he could command on the open market. And while Sam Reid, Brett Deledio and Michael Hurley are embarking on five-year deals, Collingwood is adamant it does not believe in them.

Cloke may yet get his five years, although Collingwood is insisting four years is plenty. The Magpies have no history of such agreements and Cloke snr's constant attempts to negotiate through the media can only hurt the club and his son's reputation.

The closer the Magpies move to September, the more frustrated their fans will become at the Cloke standoff.

Football people sometimes like to laugh at the Cloke family, more in an affectionate rather than a cruel way, but the Clokes occasionally resemble an AFL version of a WildWest gang. Old man David is the one riding around the country trying to do deals and holding grudges. Right now causing trouble.

Youngest son Travis is the most talented cowboy of his brood but he doesn't want to go anywhere and doesn't seem particularly keen to cause trouble. Right now he might be holding out for a massive pay rise and a five-year deal, but nobody believes he will leave the Magpies.

The scenario has some similarities to that of the Cash family and that fatherson team that rode roughshod over the Australian tennis fraternity during long periods in the 1980s. There were differences, of course, but like Pat Cash with a tennis racquet, no one laughs when Travis Cloke is taking marks in Collingwood's forward 50.

But people should stop chuckling, because the longer this undignified episode drags on, the less likely it is to finish up a laughing matter. Shootouts can get messy and tend to claim innocent victims. This one could claim rookie coach Buckley's very credible bid for a premiership in his first season.


  • Good old Damir Cloke at it again.

    Date and time
    June 07, 2012, 6:55AM
    • The media has a short memory - this is like Groundhog Day from D Cloke. He did it with Jason , then Cam, has already done it with Trav previously - he is an 80s moron. Living in the past - still believing he is on-field & using his hefty frame to intimidate people out of the way.

      Trav is a meek sort of guy - let him be old man

      Date and time
      June 07, 2012, 8:30AM
    • At the end of the day it is Trav who has to put pen to paper. He is 25 and should be able to make a considered decision as to where he wants to play, and for approximately how long and how much (maybe he isn't too switched on though). It doesn't seem like David has much more idea other than 'lots of money over a long period of time or anyone listening to me...can I approach someone else...???'

      Souf Yarra
      Date and time
      June 07, 2012, 9:06AM
    • The arrogance and possible stupidity of Cloke senior. If Trav simply must receive more (and over 5 years) then the tattooed Danes, Steele, Daisy, Pendles, Reid et al must consequently receive less of the pie. Doesn't auger well for team unity and flags. 5 years is a long time in a contact sport too. The Collingwood hierarchy must be so frustrated in having to accept a player of Trav's ability being managed this way.

      Date and time
      June 07, 2012, 9:29AM
  • The hypocrisy of this position is outstanding. I would bet London to a brick that Cloke's form is not being affected by the contract position anywhere near as much as it is being affected by the media coverage. Leave him alone, stop writing articles like this, and deal with the reality of professional sports. This is not kid's stuff. Almost every other sport in the world deals with player transfers in a mature, adult fashion, and yet we weep and wring our hands for months any time this situation arises. Give it a rest Caro!

    Not Caroline
    Date and time
    June 07, 2012, 7:08AM
    • waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!

      Date and time
      June 07, 2012, 10:13AM
  • I'm not a pies supporter but with all the bad talk about them an injuries, it is amazing they are still around. Cloke should get over himself and sign up. Nathan Buckley is doing a fantastic job and taken the pies to a new level.

    Date and time
    June 07, 2012, 7:11AM
    • How true perfectly described talk about the ugly parent syndrome in sport. David Cloke fits the bill to a tee. Go get yourself a job and leave your sons contract to a professional.

      clifton hill
      Date and time
      June 07, 2012, 7:16AM
      • Here we have the meddling father trying to enact his own faded dreams through his son. Like an old and stubborn king, the danger is he'll let the city burn rather than surrender it. He won't let go, so we may have to let Trav go.

        Date and time
        June 07, 2012, 7:16AM
        • Meddling father? What a load of ....!
          He, like any father, is trying to get as much cash as he can for his sons future, would you do any different? He knows collingwood can't afford to loose his son because they have nobody who can replace him, atm.
          Just maybe it's collingwood (what a surprise) being unreasonable. How many games has Cloke missed thru injury or form since 08, which would be 5 seasons ago at season end? So why not give him 5 years when you can always trade him later, which these articles always seem to leave out. That's right, they could give him 5 years and then trade him next year if they really wanted too, so the length of the contract is a media taking point only. He wont be over paid because collingwood can't afford to, so even if they had to trade him with 4 years left on his contract the money isn't going to put off other clubs from doing a deal. David knows this, so does collingwood, but it seems nobody in the media does because it doesn't suit their “story”.
          Also it is not Davids fault if Ross Lyon is willing to sell the whole Freo footy club to get his son, is it! Melb haven't any money except what their given so they are kidding no-one, the same for the dogs.
          Just another story meant to get people angry with David, instead of a stubborn collingwood lead by a stubborn president who always likes to be seen as being able to get everybody to march to his drum. Which he has, because there is no way in hell caro is going to take on eddie everywhere and put this at the feet of the collingwood fc, where it belongs.

          Date and time
          June 07, 2012, 8:40AM

      More comments

      Comments are now closed

      Related Coverage

      HuffPost Australia

      AFL 2015

      Round 1
      Thu, 02 AprTimes shown AEDT
      CAR 78vs RIC 105 Report Stats
      Sat, 04 AprTimes shown AEDT
      MEL 115vs GCF 89 Stats
      SYD 72vs ESS 60 Stats
      BRI 74vs COL 86 Stats
      WBU 97vs WCE 87 Stats
      Sun, 05 AprTimes shown AEST
      STK 78vs GWS 87 Stats
      ADE 140vs NTH 63 Stats
      FRE 75vs PTA 68 Stats
      Mon, 06 AprTimes shown AEST
      HAW 123vs GEE 61 Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 2
      Fri, 10 AprTimes shown AEST
      WCE 131vs CAR 62 Stats
      Sat, 11 AprTimes shown AEST
      RIC 66vs WBU 85 Report Stats
      GWS 101vs MEL 56 Stats
      COL 63vs ADE 90 Report Stats
      GCF 76vs STK 104 Stats
      PTA 44vs SYD 92 Stats
      Sun, 12 AprTimes shown AEST
      GEE 60vs FRE 104 Stats
      ESS 78vs HAW 76 Stats
      NTH 133vs BRI 51 Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 3
      Fri, 17 AprTimes shown AEST
      COL 140vs STK 66 Stats
      Sat, 18 AprTimes shown AEST
      CAR 84vs ESS 105 Stats
      ADE 80vs MEL 55 Stats
      SYD 111vs GWS 90 Report Stats
      NTH 105vs PTA 113 Stats
      BRI 58vs RIC 137 Stats
      Sun, 19 AprTimes shown AEST
      HAW 127vs WBU 57 Stats
      GEE 105vs GCF 96 Stats
      WCE 81vs FRE 111 Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 4
      Fri, 24 AprTimes shown AEST
      RIC 51vs MEL 83 Stats
      Sat, 25 AprTimes shown AEST
      STK 81vs CAR 121 Report Report Stats
      ESS 49vs COL 69 Report Stats
      GWS 119vs GCF 53 Stats
      PTA 99vs HAW 91 Stats
      FRE 74vs SYD 60 Stats
      Sun, 26 AprTimes shown AEST
      BRI 65vs WCE 118 Stats
      GEE 67vs NTH 83 Stats
      WBU 125vs ADE 68 Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 5
      Fri, 01 MayTimes shown AEST
      CAR 45vs COL 120 Stats
      Sat, 02 MayTimes shown AEST
      RIC 76vs GEE 85 Stats
      SYD 73vs WBU 77 Stats
      GCF 118vs BRI 54 Stats
      NTH 70vs HAW 130 Stats
      WCE 120vs GWS 33 Stats
      Sun, 03 MayTimes shown AEST
      MEL 50vs FRE 118 Stats
      STK 80vs ESS 82 Stats
      ADE 91vs PTA 115 Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 6
      Fri, 08 MayTimes shown AEST
      COL 59vs GEE 100 Stats
      Sat, 09 MayTimes shown AEST
      NTH 109vs RIC 74 Stats
      WBU 87vs STK 94 Stats
      GWS 108vs HAW 98 Stats
      GCF 78vs ADE 119 Stats
      MEL 50vs SYD 88 Stats
      FRE 80vs ESS 52 Stats
      Sun, 10 MayTimes shown AEST
      CAR 75vs BRI 84 Report Stats
      PTA 68vs WCE 78 Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 7
      Fri, 15 MayTimes shown AEST
      ESS 82vs NTH 93 Stats
      Sat, 16 MayTimes shown AEST
      ADE 119vs STK 73 Stats
      HAW 155vs MEL 50 Stats
      CAR 57vs GWS 135 Stats
      SYD 120vs GEE 77 Stats
      WCE 135vs GCF 43 Stats
      Sun, 17 MayTimes shown AEST
      WBU 88vs FRE 101 Stats
      RIC 105vs COL 100 Report Stats
      BRI 102vs PTA 65 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 8
      Fri, 22 MayTimes shown AEST
      GEE 140vs CAR 63 Report Stats
      Sat, 23 MayTimes shown AEST
      STK 78vs WCE 131 Report Stats
      GWS 108vs ADE 84 Report Stats
      GCF 63vs COL 132 Report Stats
      HAW 69vs SYD 73 Report Stats
      FRE 115vs NTH 42 Report Stats
      Sun, 24 MayTimes shown AEST
      ESS 136vs BRI 78 Report Stats
      MEL 103vs WBU 64 Report Stats
      PTA 43vs RIC 76 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 9
      Fri, 29 MayTimes shown AEST
      SYD 122vs CAR 62 Report Stats
      Sat, 30 MayTimes shown AEST
      HAW 93vs GCF 40 Report Stats
      MEL 54vs PTA 115 Report Stats
      WBU 113vs GWS 68 Report Stats
      RIC 72vs ESS 59 Report Stats
      ADE 57vs FRE 68 Report Stats
      Sun, 31 MayTimes shown AEST
      BRI 86vs STK 108 Report Stats
      COL 112vs NTH 95 Report Stats
      WCE 120vs GEE 64 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 10
      Fri, 05 JunTimes shown AEST
      FRE 70vs RIC 97 Report Stats
      Sat, 06 JunTimes shown AEST
      CAR 90vs ADE 99 Report Stats
      GCF 41vs SYD 93 Report Stats
      ESS 53vs GEE 122 Report Stats
      PTA 100vs WBU 62 Report Stats
      Sun, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
      GWS 97vs BRI 67 Report Stats
      NTH 85vs WCE 75 Report Stats
      STK 69vs HAW 132 Report Stats
      Mon, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
      MEL 85vs COL 110 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 11
      Fri, 12 JunTimes shown AEST
      PTA 69vs GEE 92 Report Stats
      Sat, 13 JunTimes shown AEST
      GCF 46vs FRE 53 Report Stats
      WCE 96vs ESS 46 Report Stats
      NTH 75vs SYD 91 Report Report Stats
      Sun, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
      COL 119vs GWS 77 Report Stats
      STK 85vs MEL 83 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 12
      Thu, 18 JunTimes shown AEST
      ADE 85vs HAW 114 Report Stats
      Fri, 19 JunTimes shown AEST
      RIC 70vs WCE 90 Report Stats
      Sat, 20 JunTimes shown AEST
      CAR 110vs PTA 106 Report Stats
      GWS 61vs NTH 117 Report Stats
      WBU 146vs BRI 74 Report Stats
      Sun, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
      GEE 89vs MEL 113 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 13
      Thu, 25 JunTimes shown AEST
      FRE 80vs COL 73 Report Stats
      Fri, 26 JunTimes shown AEST
      SYD 77vs RIC 95 Report Stats
      Sat, 27 JunTimes shown AEST
      HAW 114vs ESS 76 Report Stats
      BRI 69vs ADE 82 Report Stats
      STK 56vs WBU 62 Report Stats
      Sun, 28 JunTimes shown AEST
      CAR 103vs GCF 69 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 14
      Thu, 02 JulTimes shown AEST
      SYD 94vs PTA 84 Report Stats
      Fri, 03 JulTimes shown AEST
      COL 91vs HAW 101 Report Stats
      Sat, 04 JulTimes shown AEST
      RIC 78vs GWS 69 Report Stats
      GCF 125vs NTH 70 Report Stats
      WBU 64vs CAR 53 Report Stats
      MEL 60vs WCE 114 Report Stats
      Sun, 05 JulTimes shown AEST
      ESS 52vs STK 162 Stats
      ADE vs GEE 15:20Adelaide Oval
      FRE 84vs BRI 48 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 15
      Thu, 09 JulTimes shown AEST
      PTA 66vs COL 63 Report Stats
      Fri, 10 JulTimes shown AEST
      RIC 71vs CAR 41 Report Stats
      Sat, 11 JulTimes shown AEST
      ESS 69vs MEL 60 Report Stats
      WBU 95vs GCF 73 Report Stats
      NTH 120vs GEE 79 Report Stats
      WCE 147vs ADE 91 Report Stats
      Sun, 12 JulTimes shown AEST
      GWS 84vs STK 49 Report Stats
      HAW 115vs FRE 43 Report Stats
      BRI 49vs SYD 70 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 16
      Fri, 17 JulTimes shown AEST
      NTH 93vs ESS 68 Report Stats
      Sat, 18 JulTimes shown AEST
      GEE 72vs WBU 64 Report Stats
      GCF 79vs GWS 94 Report Stats
      COL 56vs WCE 87 Report Stats
      SYD 57vs HAW 146 Report Stats
      FRE 95vs CAR 53 Report Stats
      Sun, 19 JulTimes shown AEST
      MEL 60vs BRI 36 Report Stats
      PTA 113vs ADE 116 Report Stats
      STK 73vs RIC 89 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 17
      Fri, 24 JulTimes shown AEST
      CAR 35vs HAW 173 Report Stats
      Sat, 25 JulTimes shown AEST
      GWS 42vs GEE 69 Stats
      ADE 125vs GCF 80 Stats
      RIC 78vs FRE 82 Stats
      ESS 116vs PTA 129 Stats
      BRI 38vs NTH 110 Report Stats
      Sun, 26 JulTimes shown AEST
      WBU 104vs COL 86 Report Stats
      MEL 46vs STK 83 Report Stats
      WCE 103vs SYD 51 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 18
      Fri, 31 JulTimes shown AEST
      HAW 53vs RIC 71 Report Stats
      Sat, 01 AugTimes shown AEST
      GEE 113vs BRI 57 Stats
      COL 54vs MEL 91 Report Stats
      SYD 117vs ADE 65 Report Stats
      CAR 54vs NTH 118 Report Stats
      GCF 83vs WCE 83 Report Stats
      Sun, 02 AugTimes shown AEST
      PTA 112vs STK 49 Report Stats
      ESS 40vs WBU 127 Report Stats
      FRE 84vs GWS 63 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 19
      Fri, 07 AugTimes shown AEST
      ADE 88vs RIC 52 Report Stats
      Sat, 08 AugTimes shown AEST
      COL 105vs CAR 87 Report Stats
      WBU 128vs PTA 64 Report Stats
      BRI 100vs GCF 114 Report Stats
      GEE 95vs SYD 63 Report Stats
      WCE 74vs HAW 88 Report Stats
      Sun, 09 AugTimes shown AEST
      MEL 92vs NTH 127 Report Stats
      GWS 93vs ESS 61 Report Stats
      STK 59vs FRE 96 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 20
      Fri, 14 AugTimes shown AEST
      SYD 87vs COL 76 Report Stats
      Sat, 15 AugTimes shown AEST
      ESS 59vs ADE 171 Report Stats
      NTH 120vs STK 83 Report Stats
      PTA 111vs GWS 90 Report Stats
      GEE 85vs HAW 121 Report Stats
      BRI 131vs CAR 67 Report Stats
      Sun, 16 AugTimes shown AEST
      RIC 138vs GCF 55 Report Stats
      WBU 153vs MEL 55 Report Stats
      FRE 80vs WCE 104 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 21
      Fri, 21 AugTimes shown AEST
      HAW 86vs PTA 108 Report Stats
      Sat, 22 AugTimes shown AEST
      COL 56vs RIC 147 Report Stats
      GWS 44vs SYD 133 Report Stats
      GCF 97vs ESS 95 Report Stats
      STK 97vs GEE 97 Report Stats
      ADE 131vs BRI 44 Report Stats
      Sun, 23 AugTimes shown AEST
      NTH 94vs FRE 83 Report Stats
      CAR 78vs MEL 55 Report Stats
      WCE 162vs WBU 85 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 22
      Fri, 28 AugTimes shown AEST
      GEE 62vs COL 110 Report Stats
      Sat, 29 AugTimes shown AEST
      GWS 132vs CAR 51 Report Stats
      HAW 134vs BRI 62 Report Stats
      NTH 73vs WBU 96 Report Stats
      ESS 47vs RIC 74 Report Stats
      GCF 51vs PTA 88 Report Stats
      Sun, 30 AugTimes shown AEST
      ADE 126vs WCE 69 Report Stats
      STK 38vs SYD 135 Report Stats
      FRE 108vs MEL 54 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 23
      Fri, 04 SepTimes shown AEST
      RIC 108vs NTH 67 Report Stats
      Sat, 05 SepTimes shown AEST
      GEE 119vs ADE 80 Report Stats
      BRI 130vs WBU 122 Report Stats
      PTA 122vs FRE 53 Report Stats
      HAW 113vs CAR 56 Report Stats
      SYD 127vs GCF 64 Report Stats
      WCE 125vs STK 30 Report Stats
      Sun, 06 SepTimes shown AEST
      MEL ($2.40)vs GWS ($1.57) 13:10ES
      COL ($1.28)vs ESS ($3.70) 15:20MCG
      View All Fixtures
      AFL 2015
      Overall standings
      Team P W L D % Pts
      Fremantle 22 17 5 0 118.73 68
      West Coast Eagles 22 16 5 1 148.22 66
      Hawthorn 22 16 6 0 158.40 64
      Sydney Swans 22 16 6 0 127.12 64
      Richmond 22 15 7 0 123.09 60
      Western Bulldogs 22 14 8 0 115.12 56
      Adelaide Crows 21 13 8 0 115.71 54
      North Melbourne 22 13 9 0 106.45 52
      View all

      Follow Us on Facebook

      Featured advertisers