Sebastian Hassett July 26, 2012
GWS target ... Travis Cloke with Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley. Photo: Sebastian Costanzo
JUST two days out from Greater Western Sydney's clash against Collingwood, Giants coach Kevin Sheedy has declared he wants to bring out-of-contract Collingwood forward Travis Cloke to Skoda Stadium next season.
Talks between Cloke and the Magpies appear to have broken down with the club announcing this week that all discussions regarding a new deal will be put off until the end of the season, fuelling speculation the star forward is headed for a new home in 2013.
Melbourne and Fremantle are believed to have already tabled deals to the 25-year old, who is still attracting nationwide interest despite suffering a downturn in form that recently led some commentators to call for him to be dropped. Cloke himself has already admitted that the deal from Fremantle is worth close to $1 million per season - a figure with which Collingwood wouldn't be able to compete but the Giants certainly would.
However, while interest has largely been kept private among AFL clubs until now, Sheedy went on the front foot after training at Skoda Stadium today to declare he wants to sign Cloke at the end of the season.
"We just can't sit there on our hands if he doesn't come to terms," Sheedy said. "That's one where now you say if it keeps going and the boy doesn't end up at Collingwood, we'll due our diligence and you probably have to look at players like that.
"We've got to go out and find four or five players to help these young players and they're not going to be 18-year olds because we've got enough of them at the moment ... and we'll go after what we think is available. You have to look at these sorts of players in the end because they're drawcards."
Sheedy said that Cloke had the potential to do what Tony Lockett and Barry Hall achieved for the Swans if he were to follow suit in leaving Victoria for NSW.
"That style of player put the Swans on the map when you think about Lockett and, in particular, Barry Hall," Sheedy said. "It's quite amazing how things can venture."
Sheedy said he wasn't bothered by Cloke's recent dip of form and added that he believed that Cloke's potential presence would only serve to benefit Jeremy Cameron and Jonathan Patton.