Mitch Brown. Photo: Sebastian Costanzo
ST KILDA and West Coast are locked in a staring contest with the Eagles refusing to entertain including defender Mitch Brown in a deal for young Saints forward Jamie Cripps as the opening day of the trade period hit an impasse.
The West Coast defender told his club at the weekend that he wanted to be traded to St Kilda, where he had been offered a three-year deal to come home to Victoria. He has since gone on an overseas holiday.
The Saints want to tie the move of Brown to Seaford into a deal for out-of-contract young Saints forward Cripps, who has asked his club to trade him home to Western Australia to play for the Eagles.
The 23-year-old Brown has one year to run on his contract with the Eagles and they have insisted he will not be traded.
''Mitch did tell us that [he wanted to be traded to St Kilda] in discussions with his manager Liam Pickering on Saturday, but we told the manager then what I am telling you now and that is that Mitch is a contracted player and very much a required player and we see him as an important part of our future. We see him playing for us for the next six years and more,'' West Coast list manager Craig Vozzo said.
Brown has struggled for games at the Eagles - playing just eight this year - as he sits fourth in the pecking order of tall defenders after Darren Glass, Eric Mackenzie and Will Schofield.
Brown was told at a recent meeting with coach John Worsfold that his time would come but it was effectively not likely to be until Glass retired.
Brown was recruited with pick No. 16 in the 2006 draft and has managed just 51 games due to a knee reconstruction, a broken thumb and other soft-tissue injuries.
St Kilda coach Scott Watters coached Brown's twin brother Nathan when he was assistant coach in charge of defence at Collingwood. Watters recently met Cripps in Perth in an attempt to persuade him to return to the Saints next season.
The Saints are adamant they will only do a deal for Cripps if it involves Brown and they are prepared to lose Cripps in the national draft for nothing if they cannot finalise a deal. The Saints are also interested in Gold Coast ruckman Tom Hickey, but have been told their second-round draft pick offer is insufficient and the Suns want a first-round pick for him.
St Kilda is also one of three clubs - with Geelong and North Melbourne - bidding for Josh Caddy, but the Suns alarmed all three clubs yesterday by insisting they would require two first-round draft picks for the out-of-contract midfielder. All three clubs have said they would not trade two picks for him.