Where will Travis Cloke end up in 2013?
- Philadelphia Eagles?
- Manchester United?
It seems that every football club in existence is being used to drive up the price of the T.Cloke! Sure, every club in the AFL would want Cloke but how many can realistically afford him? Secondly, how many can offer a 5 year deal? Thirdly, how many are within reach of Premierships?
They are the three big questions that need to be answered by the clubs chasing him, as if they answer is no to either of them then they realistically have not chance in obtaining Cloke.
When calling Clokes bluff they have to believe he will answer NO to one of the following questions: Does he really need to earn and extra $200k+ a season? Does he really need a 5 year deal? Does he want to resettle interstate? Does he want to sacrifice a dynasty at Collingwood? Does he want to let down the life long friends he has made at the Collingwood Football Club?
Cloke is the only one who can those questions and will ultimately decide on weather he stays or goes! Collingwood wont fold or should not fold on their position when negotiating with Cloke. Collingwood are not in a position to negotiate or be held at ransom by Cloke or any player for that matter!
So if Cloke does pack his bags and leave where does that leave Collingwood?
Stuffed is the short answer! It ruins what could have been a dynasty and multiple flags for Pies fans.
Although the only good to come out of the deal of Cloke leaving is that they will be compensated for his departure. Hopefully significantly compensated for his departure!
This will leave Collingwood with out a key forward and also with multiple high draft picks in the 2012 AFL Draft!
Questions is what do Collingwood do with these draft picks, lets say two first round compensation picks plus their original first round pick and around $750k in the salary cap? TRADE HEAVILY!!!
The only way for Collingwood to use the enormous talent they already have at their disposal is to trade for a mature developed key forward and be prepared to pay over the market rate for one. If they fail to replace Cloke they will struggle to make the top four in future years and effectively end their chance on winning a flag.
Who Should Collingwood Target?
Lets set down some guidelines for what Collingwood need to replace Cloke:
- Key Forward - ie. Over 192cm and 100kg
- Strong Marking
- Can kick at least 50 goals in a season
- Can take two defenders and still perform
- Mature aged player - Collingwood dont need a young key forward, they need an experience pro who can play NOW and win games NOW
- Aged between 24yo and 30yo
What does that leave them with?
Matthew Pavlich - Big Pav is best suited to playing a key forward role and is a multiple All Australian and B&F winner. Can kick 50 goals, is big, is strong and is commanding. Is on the older side of players but that is what they need, a proven match winner! Pav is that! Given his age and perhaps his willingness to move to a team which is actually a chance of winning a flag, he may be tempted to the move. Although Adelaide pushed hard for him a few years ago to get him to move home and they failed, so would be a big call to get Pav to get on his bike! Odds: 21/1
Johnathan Brown - Proven winner! All-Australian, B&F winner, a couple of flags and possibly the best CHF since Carey! A Victorian boy who may be tempted to return home in the twilight of his career. Injuries have got the better of him in recent times and all that bashing & crashing he did early on in his career may have caught up with him! But if he can be a Clark Keating ‘finals only’ player, may be able to win the pies another flag! Collingwood did try to buy him many years ago and they failed then, but would the chance to win another flag tempt the big man or would he rather remain a one club player? Odds: 15/1
Drew Petrie - His career took a while to take off but has now become a premier key forward of the competition. Can also play in the ruck, when needed to devastating effect due to his mobility. Not known for taking big grabs but can lead a forward line and be a target. Still playing fantastic football and has recovered well from his major injury a couple of season ago. Would he leave for a premiership or would he rather stay a one club player? I would think he would be available for the ‘right’ price. Odds: 7/1
Nick Riewoldt - All Australian, B&F winner and legend of the St Kilda football club. Perhaps more a lead up forward than a power forward but still a commanding presence in any forward line. Rejected moves from the Gold Coast to head home and would perhaps stay at the saints and remain a one club player. Odds: 51/1
Jarrad Waite - I can hear the calls into SEN already! Why this spud! Why a Carlton reject! He is useless! He cant stay on the park! Falls over at the drop of a hat! Makes STUPID decision! Well he may be all that but he is a key forward and he would be available! Perhaps cheaper than you think! Bold move but perhaps could be bargain buy! Odds: 9/1
Quentin Lynch - Exactly what Collingwoods needs! They dont come any bigger or more powerful than big Q! Doubt he would leave West Coast as he is a Perth boy and West Coast are in a strong position to win flags over the next few years. Would the right offer tempt the Eagles though? Perhaps given they have Kennedy and Darling taking up two key posts and both are younger than him! Can they play Kennedy, Darling, Nic-Nat, Cox and Lynch in the same team? Odds: 15/1
Jarryd Roughhead - Straight up I doubt the Hawks would let him go! Would be perfect to fill the full forward role at the Pies and can pinch hit in the ruck! Although I do personally believe he is a better defender, but where is he more devastating? Up forward of course! Odds: 71/1
Tom Hawkins -Potential, Potential, Potential! Irony is the only time he has ever lived up to that potential was again Collingwood in the 2011 Grand Final! Other than that he is a lazy fat full forward! Could do with a move to give him the kick up the backside he needs! Odds: 21/1
Jack Riewoldt -Personally not a fan of Jack! At All! But he is a Coleman medalist and thus a proven key forward! Collingwood have a history of poaching Richmond players! Could they do it again? Odds: 71/1
Taylor Walker -Taylor has his problems off the field and would be a massive risk! Would struggle to fit into a Collingwood culture but seem the sort of player would leave if the Pies offered the right deal. Proving this season to be a goal kicker and match winner, with All Australian honors beckoning! Could see Adelaide cutting their losses and saying to Taylor ‘F#ck off’ and we will take the picks! Odds: 21/1
John Butcher - One of the non proven players on the list but has big raps and the ‘come home’ factor will remain ever present for Butcher! Perhaps injury prone and not yet the player they require, but that bag of 7 last year showed what a damaging player he can be! Doesn’t fit exactly what Collingwood needs, but cant see him staying in Port Adelaide forever and a big offer from the Pies would allow him to leave! Odds: 3/1
Sam Reid - Another non-proven player, although if you read my previous posts you will see that I believe he can become the best player in league given time. So not the player they need now but proven he will be in years to come. Would he leave the Swans to head back to Victoria and join his brother at the pies? Doubt it, given the strong Swans culture. Odds: 51/1
Barry Hall - Yes, Barry Hall! Nothing needs to be said, we all know his background on and off the field! Would he still be up to it after a year out of the game? Perhaps, although most of the time retired players often are not! Could come cheap and would therefore give the pies nothing to lose! Odds: 41/1