Magpies’ Cloke says no hurry on AFL deal
Collingwood star forward Travis Cloke says he does not feel any pressure to temper contract demands to suit the AFL club, as he has to look after himself.
Speculation swirled on Thursday that the out-of-contract 25-year-old had agreed to a new deal with the Magpies.
But Cloke scotched that on Thursday night, saying he did not care if negotiations dragged on all season.
“If it takes until the end of the year, it gets done then. If it gets done in a week or two weeks’ time from now then great,” Cloke told the Nine Network’s AFL Footy Show.
“But right now where we’re sitting, there’s no contract signed.
“I don’t have a time limit.”
Cloke, an All Australian and Collingwood’s leading goalkicker last year, is chasing a five-year deal.
He acknowledged he had been offered a long-term deal to move to Fremantle, worth about $1 million per season, but that his preference was to stay with Collingwood.
But he said he did not feel pressured by comments from Magpies coach Nathan Buckley earlier this week suggesting that if his salary demands were too great it could force him or other players out of the club.
Fellow regular senior players Dayne Beams, Ben Reid, Harry O’Brien, Sharrod Wellingham and Tyson Goldsack also come out of contract at the end of this season.
“If a player or a player manager was to go a little bit too hard with us, especially in the circumstances we’re in this year, you’d either need to let that guy go or you have to find room somewhere else,” Buckley said this week.
Cloke acknowledged that was a veiled message to him, but said he did not expect anyone to be forced out and keeping the list together was not his responsibility.
“This is my career, my life and I’m trying to get obviously what’s best for myself,” he said.
He said while he wanted a five-year deal, he had not issued an ultimatum to Collingwood.
“We’re not holding Collingwood to (ransom) saying ‘You’ve got to give me five years, you’ve got to give me X amount of money or I’m walking,” he said.
Cloke said he could understand Collingwood not wanting to commit for that amount of time, but he had to think about his own future.
“They’ve got to think about what’s best for their brand, the Collingwood Football Club,” he said.
“That’s what I’m doing, I’ve got to think about what’s best for myself.”
On-field, Cloke had been struggling to find his top form until last weekend’s narrow win over West Coast, when he kicked five goals, his best haul of the season so far.© AAP 2013