Dees ready to grab Dawes
Chris Dawes will consider offers from other clubs. Photo: Sebastian Costanzo
THE choice for Collingwood forward Chris Dawes would appear to be to stay put or move down Swan Street to Melbourne next season.
The Demons are keen on securing the power forward, who has agreed with his club that he should look at the prospect of a move, after the Magpies recruited former Eagle Quinten Lynch this week to fill the role Dawes had played this year.
Dawes met coach Nathan Buckley yesterday to discuss the ramifications of Lynch’s signing and the pair resolved that the forward would consider other offers.
Melbourne has already expressed strong interest in Dawes, who played under its coach, Mark Neeld, when he was an assistant coach at Collingwood.
‘‘He is one that we are interested in,’’ Melbourne football manager Tim Harrington said on SEN yesterday. ‘‘There’s quite a range of tall types who we’ve made inquiries about.
‘‘We’re just watching what’s unfolding at Collingwood so that we can make some sort of assessment of whether he’s for us as well.’’
The Western Bulldogs had asked about Dawes’ status in recent weeks, but their interest has not yet significantly advanced on that. Carlton, Richmond and St Kilda all said they would not pursue Dawes.
Hawthorn does not lack tall forwards, nor do North Melbourne or Essendon, which is also reviewing its salary cap after signing former Saint Brendon Goddard.
It is uncertain whether Geelong holds any interest in Dawes.
Dawes has two years to run on his contract, so any move would happen only if he and
Collingwood were satisfied with the terms.
It is not out of the question that Dawes will remain at Collingwood, with the club and player prepared for that eventuality, but both are also prepared for him to go to the market.
Dawes is studying law in Melbourne and is not interested in a shift interstate.
His manager, Ben Niall, said Dawes was happy at Collingwood but the situation had changed slightly with Lynch’s arrival, prompting him to now consider his options. ‘‘Chris had a good discussion with Nathan and he has been happy at Collingwood, but the change in circumstances [are] such that he needs to look at other options, and the club was comfortable with that,’’ Niall said.
‘‘So he will explore other options, bearing in mind that he is contracted to Collingwood and has been happy there, so any move would only come about if it suited Chris and suited Collingwood, in a trade sense.’’
It would appear Collingwood intends to play Travis Cloke and Lynch as the two tall forwards next season and Dawes would have to work to find a position in the structure.
He would need to force Lynch out of the side on form if there is a decision to play only two tall forwards.
If Collingwood intends to try to play the three-talls structure it used effectively in 2010-11, Dawes would be competing for the third tall forward position with emerging players Jackson Paine — who played six games this year — and 208-centimetre teenage ruck-forward Jarrod Witts.
Niall told the AFL website: ‘‘He [Dawes] is certainly a very important player for the modern style of footy.
‘‘He’s a very good role model and sets high standards in training, and for clubs that are trying to build something that have that missing in the 23-24 age bracket, he’s a pretty good fit.’’
Collingwood’s football and coaching strategist, Rodney Eade, was not dismissive of Dawes’ capability to consistently lift his form, telling AFL.com.au: ‘‘It was a down year for him, but he’s only 24 and everyone has some bad years at some stage, so we’d like to think with his work rate, like Travis [Cloke], he’ll be able to turn that around.
‘‘He was asked to fill that second ruck role, which was foreign to him.
‘‘Obviously his form wasn’t as good as 2010 or 2011 up until he broke his knuckle [in round 15].
‘‘I think playing a foreign position may have had a bit of an impact on him.
‘‘His ruck work improved by the end of the year, but his main bread and butter is his forward play, so we would like to think that will improve now we’ve got Lynch.’’