Dees and Dogs keen to stay active in busy trade period
Collingwood's Chris Dawes (left) battles Melbourne's Mitch Clark earlier this year. Photo: Sebastian Costanzo
Two of the biggest players on day one of trade week, Melbourne and the Western Bulldogs, aim to remain active participants in what shapes as the busiest exchange period in recent memory.
Melbourne list manager Tim Harrington says his club is still a chance to nab players such as Josh Caddy, Sharrod Wellingham and Chris Dawes.
Sharrod Wellingham ... preferred option is a move to West Coast. Photo: Sebastian Costanzo
"If they make their decision to go, they don't necessarily get to go exactly where they want to go to unless they are a free agent," Harrington told SEN radio.
He cited the examples of Mitch Clark, who left Brisbane and was keen to return to Perth, but ended up with Melbourne, and Kurt Tippett, who was expected to return to the Gold Coast after leaving Adelaide, but who now wishes to be traded to Sydney.
Harrington said the Demons remained keen to deal with Chris Dawes and Collingwood. "We obviously lack for bodied forward half players."
Josh Caddy of the Suns celebrates with teammates after kicking a goal during their match against Greater Western Sydney Giants. Photo: Getty Images
He was adamant that Melbourne's first round national draft picks four and 13 remained up for grabs.
"We're still saying they're both tradeable if the right deal is there… whether we trade them to get ourselves some established, ready to go players or use them in the under-17 system… or go to the draft table, we're just going to do what we think is the best deal at the time that sets us up for the future."
He also talked up Melbourne as a viable option for players looking to move clubs.
"Some of those names mentioned are interested in coming to Melbourne. We are an attractive club for particular types of players and players we have targeted to say 'well this is the type we need and this is how they would fit in' – that is what players are looking for, they want to some clarity and some certainty about the role they might play," Harrington said.
Bulldogs list manager Jason McCartney said his club would have loved to grab a first round draft pick for departing full-back Brian Lake, but with the former All-Australia now 31 years-old and injury-affected in the past couple of seasons, the Bulldogs "had to be a bit realistic" in what they asked for.
McCartney said the Dogs have to manage the "exiting" of several senior players in the next few seasons, and could not afford to have too many senior players leave at once, or it would end up with too many high draft picks and would "end up picking players at 120 (in the national draft)."
McCartney said he had first discussed trading Lake with his new club Hawthorn 10 days ago, and there had been no interest from any other club in the gifted key position star.
He also revealed that before trading Lake the Western Bulldogs match committee had come to the decision to play him in the forward line next year, keen to build a new defensive group around promising youngsters Jordan Roughead, Michael Talia and Fletcher Roberts.
St Kilda head of football operations Chris Pelchen says many clubs had been monitoring exciting key position prospect Tim Lee, which it picked up yesterday in a swap of picks with GWS.
"Tom had an outstanding year, no doubt about it," Pelchen told SEN, despite emphasising that the athletic utility had been on clubs' radars for two seasons.
Pelchen says Lee is more of a key position player, but at 195cm, "he certainly has the flexibility to play a forward utility role".
The Saints list boss said it was "very early days" in discussions with Melbourne about contracted St Kilda midfielder Farren Ray, saying the Saints would like to keep the three-time grand finalist, but respected that he had told his management to explore possible deals elsewhere.
St Kilda is "confident" it can get a deal done to swap utility Jamie Cripps, who wants to return home to WA, to the Eagles for backman Mitch Brown, who wants to return home to Victoria. But Pelchen admits that several discussions were yet to budge the contracted Brown.
"Mitch has made it clear to us, through his management, and also to the Eagles that he'd like to return home to Melbourne," Pelchen told SEN.
"With Jamie Cripps indicating the same through his manager to us, we thought it was a win-win situation for both clubs, with both players wanting to return to their original state.
"At the moment the Eagles are resisting moving Mitch away from their club to any club, not just St Kilda.
"We'll continue those discussions. We're still confident we can get a deal done but obviously it'd have to be attractive to both parties."