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Dogs, Demons in hunt for Cloke

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MELBOURNE and the Western Bulldogs are among the clubs to have expressed interest in Collingwood's powerhouse key forward Travis Cloke.

The Bulldogs have not made Cloke a formal offer, but they are set to make one of close to $1 million a year over a long term, while the Demons are willing to dangle a similar deal, given they have the salary cap room to pay Cloke that amount.

Fremantle, which has offered a four- or five-year deal at around the $1 million a season mark, has been the most aggressive suitor for Cloke, who is a restricted free agent this year.

Wanted: Travis Cloke.

Wanted: Travis Cloke. Photo: Getty Images

There has never been any suggestion that Cloke wants to leave Collingwood, which is willing to give him a long-term contract, but his management has been testing the market and seeking offers from rival clubs.

GWS has ruled out pursuing Cloke.

The Dogs yesterday met with Ralph Carr, who is assisting Cloke's father, David, in managing Travis. Melbourne has been in discussions with David Cloke, having a connection through chief executive Cameron Schwab, whose relationship with Cloke snr stretches back to the 1970s when Schwab's father, Alan, was general manager of the Tigers and David Cloke was a young player.

Melbourne's coach Mark Neeld also has a relationship with Travis Cloke from the coach's time as a Collingwood assistant and Demons' forward coach Leigh Brown played alongside Cloke in the same forward line, including during the Magpies' 2010 premiership.

Melbourne would not comment last night on Cloke, with chief executive Schwab saying that it was club policy not to comment on player contracts or recruitment of players. Bulldogs football operations chief James Fantasia also declined to comment.

The Bulldogs' interest in Cloke is based upon the club's desperate need for a power forward, the club having struggled to convert the deluge of opportunities created by its midfield in the wake of Barry Hall's retirement.

To date, the club's new list manager, Jason McCartney, has met with Carr to ascertain the All-Australian's situation, what Cloke is seeking and whether he is genuinely interested in leaving via free agency.

Collingwood remains confident that it will retain Cloke, whom most observers from rival clubs believe is likely to remain with the Magpies, despite the greater dollars available elsewhere.

Melbourne has already recruited Mitch Clark to play as a power forward, wooing the 24-year-old from the Lions on a lucrative four-year contract. Clark, who has impressed this year, has the capacity to also play in the ruck in the improbable event that Cloke joined the Demons.

Under the new free agency system, Cloke is a restricted free agent at the end of this season, so Collingwood is allowed to match the best offer and retain him.

11 comments so far

  • If he goes, he goes. We can' stop the bloke & he is entitled to go wherever he wants. Otherwise, it is a restraint of trade.

    Of course I hope he stays, but if he does leave, I hope the club is smart enough to use the (now) extra room in the salary cap to poach a big name, free agent from another club.

    What goes around, comes around.

    Commenter
    Christos
    Date and time
    May 17, 2012, 8:54AM
    • what a waste of a million dollar. his not even a straight kicker. has more worse games then good. going to either teams that doesn't go inside 50's . what a waste. if cloke goes not in for the money then sign life deal with the pies. then dont become a scully and go for $$$$.

      when was the last time cloke was ontop of the goalkicking?

      also he cant catch the ball without a glove.

      Commenter
      dom
      Location
      melb
      Date and time
      May 17, 2012, 9:12AM
      • Dom - Cloke was second in the Coleman behind Buddy Franklin last year and led the competition in contested marks by a long way. Who cares if he wears a glove, he marks the footy. Any club would be thrilled to have him as his work rate is sensational for a bloke who is 6 foot 5 and weighs 100 + kilos. I think you may be judging him a little harshly.

        Commenter
        Digby
        Location
        Melbourne
        Date and time
        May 17, 2012, 11:27AM
    • Where are you Carlton?

      Lose Waite, get Cloke.

      Commenter
      Dropthedeadwaite
      Date and time
      May 17, 2012, 9:17AM
      • Unfortunately with Judd taking 10% of the salary cap, and with 3 other no.1 draft picks demanding big pay rises its a wonder how carlton has any money at all let alone enough to chase Cloke. I dont think hes worth it anyway, but big forwards are hard to come by..

        Commenter
        Geoff
        Date and time
        May 17, 2012, 10:37AM
    • Surprised to see Melbournes name up there. Imagine $1.8mil being taken up by Mitch Clarke and Cloke. That's just resigning yourself to 30+ mediocre players for the next 5 years. The Bulldogs would be a good fit though

      Commenter
      Mick
      Location
      Melb
      Date and time
      May 17, 2012, 12:09PM
      • I don't understand why the Dogs would bother with him..He couldn't get a kick against Brian Lake just 2 weeks ago. Even though the Dogs do get it into the forward fifty a lot more than Colliwhatsit, I couldn't see him improving enough to justify the $$$.

        Commenter
        Saxier1
        Location
        Bendigo
        Date and time
        May 17, 2012, 1:20PM
        • Team, breaking news....this has been done a few times already this year. Tell us some actual news, not the same thing rehashed time after time. Yawn! make an effort, please.

          Commenter
          FWOZ
          Location
          Saints
          Date and time
          May 17, 2012, 1:20PM
          • @FWOZ , I'm with you mate . Slow news day again . Yawn , Yawn . I prefer to look at the score line again , and again , of the 1966 Grand Final . Only 1 point , but what a wonderful story . Can just keep reading it again and again . It is so good because I am reading it off my original copy of the 1966 Record . I cannot recall ever reading anything interesting about that Collithingamejig mob .

            Commenter
            Graham Thomas
            Location
            Mount Gambier SA
            Date and time
            May 17, 2012, 1:59PM
        • Wow! A Collingwood article appears and it's a signal to the deranged and envious to spew the usual hate. Why would Cloke seriously entertain the thought of leaving Collingwood for the perennial basket cases of Footscray and Melbourne? Collingwood is confident of keeping him for less money just as it did with Thomas, Pendlebury and Swan. They'll offer him $850,000 a year and he'll stay with the biggest most powerful club.
          The boy's not stupid.

          Commenter
          Apples
          Location
          Abbottsford
          Date and time
          May 17, 2012, 1:52PM

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