Collingwood coach Craig McRae wants both Brodie Grundy and Jordan De Goey at his club in 2022.
Plus the latest on the Liam Jones situation and why Adelaide should keep tabs on a Swan.
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PIES COACH TIGHT-LIPPED ON GRUNDY… BUT WANTS DUO TO STAY
Collingwood coach Craig McRae has declared he wants both Brodie Grundy and Jordan De Goey at the club next season but remained tight-lipped on whether Grundy was up for trade.
While both Grundy and De Goey remain sidelined due to injury, external focus on their footy futures has sharpened in recent weeks.
De Goey remains out of contract beyond this season and is eligible for a free agency, with St Kilda and Geelong linked to the 26-year-old.
Multiple reports have indicated Grundy’s management are preparing to be asked by Collingwood about the possibility of trading the ruck, even though he’s contracted to the club until the end of 2027 on a deal worth around $1 million per season. Grundy’s manager was last week seen meeting with Giants football boss Jason McCartney, where the dual All-Australian’s future was reportedly discussed.
Asked on Fox Footy’s AFL 360 if he wanted Grundy at Collingwood next year, McRae said on Monday night: “I do. I want Brodie there. I think he makes us better. I’ve got a great relationship with Brodie that goes way back from when he first started.
“I think its maybe forgotten how good a player he is… you go back to his last game against (Sam) Draper and he was significant in that Anzac Day game.
“But to answer your question, do I want Brodie Grundy at Collingwood? Absolutely.”
Asked directly if Grundy was up for trade, McRae said: “I can’t comment on that. That’s up to his management of him and Graham Wright does the list management around those things. ”
McRae then laughed off a question from Mark Robinson about how much influence he had on Wright’s list management calls.
“I might ring him (Wright) later and ask him if I have that much say… No I don’t want to get into that, c’mon Robbo,” McRae said.
The Pies coach said he wanted to keep De Goey because “he’s a player I just think makes us better”
“Jordy has had three or four weeks off and he looks really fit, so I’m excited about what he could do for us in the next month. Beyond that? Ideally again he’s another player I’d love to keep longer-term,” McRae said.
McRae said Grundy was unlikely to face Port Adelaide this weekend but was optimistic De Goey would be available for selection.
BLUES’ BID FOR JONES COMPO HEATS UP
Carlton’s bid to receive compensation if Liam Jones joins another AFL club at season’s end has stepped up, with the club telling the league it wants the retired defender to be added back onto its list, reports the Herald Sun.
Jones refused to meet the AFL’s vaccine mandate last year and subsequently retired, despite still having a year to run on his Carlton contract. But the key defender, who’s been playing in the QAFL this year, has previously declared he hasn’t given up hope of playing in the AFL again – a hope that was boosted earlier this month after the league lifted its vaccination requirements for players and staff .
Essendon confirmed it had an informal meeting with Jones in Queensland, while Jones and his partner also reportedly met with the Western Bulldogs – the club he played 66 games for after it drafted him with Pick 32 in 2008 – at club football boss Chris Grant’s home, sparking suggestions of a Whitten Oval homecoming.
the Herald Sun also reported Gold Coast Suns recruiters were expected to watch Jones play in the QAFL.
The Blues, who have no intentions to re-recruit the key defender after recruiting ex-Bulldog Lewis Young as cover, don’t want to stand in the way of Jones returning to the AFL via another club, which could pick him up via the exchange period or a draft. Under current AFL rules, though, a contracted player who retires can’t return to play for another club for 18 months.
But the Herald Sun reported Carlton is keen for the AFL to make Jones an unrestricted free agent, meaning the Blues could then receive a compensation draft pick for losing him. Where that selection would be in the draft order would be determined by the length and size of the rival club’s offer.
Jones’ manager Shane Casley said he’s had conversations with the AFL and was expecting a resolution “pretty soon”.
Asked if the goal was Jones becoming an unrestricted free agent, Casley told the Herald Sun: “That is the aim.
“We are not even looking at the other options and we are talking to the AFL about where that lands.”
EMERGING SWAN SHOULD BE CROWS’ ‘PRIORITY NO. 1’
Adelaide should put Swans forward Will Hayward at the top of its trade wishlist, according to four-time Power best and fairest winner Kane Cornes.
Hayward has become a consistent goalkicker for Sydney across the past two seasons, booting 53 goals from his past 38 games, including an equal season-high three majors in the Swans’ most recent win over Adelaide.
The 23-year-old, who was drafted out of North Adelaide by the Swans with Pick 21 in the 2016 draft, is contracted to Sydney until the end of 2024.
But speaking on SEN SA Breakfast on Monday morning, Cornes said Hayward was “a midfielder waiting to happen” that the Crows should prioritize should he ever wish to return home to South Australia.
“We know contracts don’t mean a lot,” Cornes told SEN SA Breakfast.
“If he decided he wanted to come home, I’d offer him big money, I think he’s an absolute gun.
“Will Hayward would be priority No. 1 for me if I was the Crows.”