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Knights joins Tigers, Chaplin close behind

Date

Jon Pierik and Michael Gleeson

Chris Knights in action for the Crows.

Chris Knights in action for the Crows. Photo: Sebastian Costanzo

RICHMOND'S bid to emerge as a legitimate finals aspirant has gained momentum, with the Tigers adding depth and dash through the midfield and almost certainly a key defender on the first day of free agency.

The Tigers yesterday confirmed Chris Knights, the former Crow, had joined the club as an unrestricted free agent, meaning he could have walked to the club of his choice even if the Adelaide had matched the Tigers' offer.

Knights, 26, played 96 matches with the Crows but only five this season. When fit, he provides run and carry through the midfield and half-forward and has a booming left-foot kick.

The Tigers had also made it clear they were after a key defender, and Troy Chaplin, from Port Adelaide, had long been mooted as their ideal man. This came to fruition when the Tigers offered the restricted free agent a four-year deal.

If Port does match the deal, it has until Thursday afternoon to do so and he could either stay at Alberton or nominate for the national draft.

Chaplin's manager, Liam Pickering of Strategic Management Australia, said Chaplin had resolved to leave Port and wanted to go to the Tigers so he was prepared to go in the draft if Port tried to match the offer.

Pickering is also working on finding David Rodan a new home, with the Power yet to clarify if he is a wanted player.

Knights, though, doesn't have any worries and revealed he had maintained a keen eye on the Tigers this season. One reason was to see how Ivan Maric, his former housemate with the famous mullet haircut, was doing, the other because he sensed his time was up at a club he had joined as the 56th pick in the 2004 national draft from the Eastern Ranges.

''I have been watching Richmond closely this year. A good friend of mine, Ivan, who I lived with for six years, came across, so I have been following the progress and form,'' he said.

''They played some really good football. A lot of players had great seasons, Ivan included, so hopefully I can be involved in that, be a part of it, and have some success next year.''

What the Tigers will hope is that Knights can avoid injuries. This will be his first pre-season in three years where he hasn't required surgery.

''It's been one of those seasons where I got off to a slow start. The [Adelaide] boys have been firing and I didn't really get an opportunity this year,'' he said.

''I have had a bit of an unfortunate run due to injuries. Last year I had hip surgery on both hips.

''Before that I had a bad foot. It's exciting because my body now is in good stead and I can have a full pre-season.''

Tigers general manager of football Craig Cameron was delighted to secure Knights. ''Chris has the all-round talent, versatility, and experience to really help us, and we feel that he'll thrive with the opportunities at Tigerland,'' he said.

Fremantle has also been active. The Dockers, looking to bolster their midfield, have tabled an offer to Port Adelaide's Danyle Pearce, a restricted free agent.

The Dockers have lodged paperwork with the AFL.

Pearce has played 154 matches for the Power since making his debut in 2005. He was named the AFL Rising Star in 2006.

''The club will not be making any further comment until the free agency process is completed,'' the Dockers said.

If Pearce were to leave, the Dockers would receive a compensation pick in the national draft, possibly a second-round selection.

West Coast's Quinten Lynch has yet to declare where he will go next after telling the Eagles on Saturday that he had decided to leave the club as an unrestricted free agent.

Lynch is understood to have agreed to a two-year deal, with either Melbourne or Collingwood his likely destination. Melbourne's offer is understood to be more lucrative than the Magpies'.

Carlton, which was also keen on the ruck-forward, was resigned to the fact he would be going elsewhere.

Lynch's manager Colin Young yesterday said a decision would be made today or tomorrow.

Pickering also confirmed that several clubs had inquired about West Coast defender Mitch Brown who is contracted for one more year to the Eagles and remains a required player there.

Brown battled for senior opportunities this year, prompting the interest from clubs such as St Kilda and Hawthorn.

''He is happy in Perth. He has a year to go and the Eagles have said they want to keep him so he is happy with that, but he just wants to play,'' Pickering said.

Sharrod Wellingham, who is uncontracted but is not a free agent, yesterday met with the West Coast Eagles as he continues to debate whether to begin afresh at a new club. It's understood the Collingwood midfielder has three clubs to choose from - the Magpies, the Eagles and Fremantle.

9 comments

  • i didnt realise pearce was so bad that freo would get him and a compensation pick for taking him. pav must be wondering whats going on

    Commenter
    mark
    Date and time
    October 02, 2012, 7:47AM
    • beautiful utility player, Id take pearce in any team he has a left foot like a bullet and a knack of finding the ball in space, a true outside player that if used properly and positioned well can really hurt teams. He only really lacks stamina but that could be a consequence of poor discipline.

      Commenter
      Geoff
      Date and time
      October 02, 2012, 2:57PM
  • CANT believe HAWTHORN arent chasing CHAPLIN! IF theres one club thats needs a hard-nosed, big-bodied key position defender, then its the HAWKS! I'D trade Shoey in a direct swap for him in a minute! STOP DRagging you're heels HAWKS!

    Commenter
    Procrustes
    Date and time
    October 02, 2012, 7:57AM
    • @Procrustes he's another zone off defender.. carlile played on the no 1 forwards

      Commenter
      bankster
      Date and time
      October 02, 2012, 8:28AM
  • Can someone at the big paper please right something of substance about the abject failure of the Saints board (there was a minor spill this year- I think you guys may have devoted a 'paragraph' to it), They have overseen the relocation of the club to Frankston. Frankston. No offence but everyones trying to get out of Frankston, not move there! Retirees move to the Peninsula, I've got two sets of grandparents down there. Successful young Y-GEN footballers should gather into groups of fifty and move down there? Who's crap idea was that. Its as bad as the stadium deal that was negotiated with madening fine print that forced the club to 'pay to play there' if a smallish (22,000) crowd turned up. The current board was also unable to land a co-major jumper sponsor even during '09 and'10. Essendon appear to have four or five and they haven't realistically contended in over a decade. What an impressive and dynamic group of men. What a sence of urgency! While this board was at it they over saw the departure of arguably the best coach in the land and then for good measure they were able to sit on their hands for long enough that the most talented player at the club walked out. And all of this absolute garbage Watters and the board are trying to spin about money is pathetic. Finally, five yrs after Gerry Ryan donated a million dollar altitude room they are actually holding a pre-season alt-camp. Are they serious. Any wonder people get frustrated and leave. They had the jump on the others and blew it. Where is the major-charity community alignment. Membership is down 10000 so they design a jumper thanking the members. If this was one of the big clubs...

    Commenter
    shop early - avoid rush
    Location
    yarraville
    Date and time
    October 02, 2012, 8:07AM
    • That'd be WRITE... Right?

      Commenter
      Panther
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      October 02, 2012, 9:37AM
  • Shop early, relax mate, i'm sure Stkilda has a brighter on field future than Essendon. I'd suggest apart from the Western Bulldogs, Essendon are in for the bleakest 10 years of any AFL club.The worst most arrogant supporters in the league are Essendon supporters.

    Commenter
    manny
    Location
    willowgrove sth
    Date and time
    October 02, 2012, 11:35AM
    • Thanks for the compensation pick for Chris Knights as he was sure to be delisted any way - a slightly better outcome for the Crows than Richmond picking him up through the PSD.

      Commenter
      Viv R
      Location
      Adelaide
      Date and time
      October 02, 2012, 1:04PM
      • So free agency seems to be working well for Liam Pickering. It would be interesting to see how Pickering and Chaplin would play it if Port decides to call their bluff and match the offer. Port would then potentially lose their compensation but would Chaplin really won't to go in the draft? I don't think they will by the way because they can't afford to be saddled with a four year deal for Chaplin. The four year deal is the most interesting thing to come out of free agency so far. I can't help but suspect teams will soon be regretting given 26 and 27yo players four years. As a Port fan I like Chaplin BUT ..... he's had knee problems, he's a liability with the ball in his hands and is isn't big enough for the power forwards.He may very soon be a liability with 3 years left on his contract.
        Still at least when we play Richmond next year we will be able to rely on him hitting our players on the chest with his clearances.

        Commenter
        Stevo
        Location
        Largs Bay
        Date and time
        October 02, 2012, 2:20PM
        Comments are now closed

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