“Happy to throw them out”: AFL agent’s swipe at Demons and Dogs

By Jason Phelan, Jason Phelan is a Roar Guru

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13 Have your say

    Leading AFL player manager Paul Connors has delivered a backhander to Melbourne and the Western Bulldogs over their handling of Jack Watts and Jake Stringer respectively during the trade window.

    Both players are contracted but have been told to find new homes at this year’s trade period.

    Connors agrees that it is any AFL club’s prerogative but finds it a bit rich that they also demand a king’s ransom in a trade for a player, who they are showing the door.

    “It’s probably a bit frustrating from our point of view,” Connors told SEN radio.

    “All of a sudden clubs are wanting to publicly put our players, and any player, on the market and then go, ‘Hang on we actually want pick 10 for this player, or pick 20’.

    “There’s a caveat on it.

    “They’re happy to throw them out there, but then there’s all these caveats in and around this.”

    The Bulldogs put Stringer on the trade table soon after a torrid campaign dogged by poor form, injury, and off-field issues came to an end.

    The Dogs have demanded pick 11 from Essendon in return for Stringer and have threatened to hold him to his contract next year if they don’t get a suitable trade.

    “There’s one where people are speaking publicly about it being time to move on and they’re now hedging their bets because they’re not getting offered exactly what they thought,” Connors said.

    “It’s frustrating from our point of view how that’s been played.

    “He’s contracted but it’s really hard to go back to an organisation where he’s probably not welcome.

    “It’s a backflip isn’t it?”

    Connors toured Geelong’s facilities with Watts on Tuesday, but said his client still had plenty of time to decide if he would opt for a trade to the Cattery or his other major suitor, Port Adelaide.

    © AAP 2018
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    The Crowd Says (13)

    • October 11th 2017 @ 9:27am
      truetigerfan said | October 11th 2017 @ 9:27am | ! Report

      Have to agree with Paul Connors on this issue. I find it astounding that many fans want contract issues further tipped in the clubs’ favour e.g. Jake Lever leaving Crows. If clubs are allowed to do this why not players? If clubs can treat players like commodities it follows that players should be afforded the right to treat clubs as employers like the rest of us in society. Clubs treating their own players with spite, indifference or very little or no duty of care is a blight on the game! It’s little wonder players and their managers have fought so hard to bring balance to the equation.

    • October 11th 2017 @ 10:01am
      Aransan said | October 11th 2017 @ 10:01am | ! Report

      The Bulldogs don’t rate Essendon’s pick 11 as highly as Gold Coast or GWS. I don’t think too many outside the Bulldogs rate the chances of Stringer being able to stay at the club.

    • October 11th 2017 @ 10:14am
      Marshall said | October 11th 2017 @ 10:14am | ! Report

      The clubs shoot themselves in the foot. If you want to extract max value then don’t put it out that you want to get rid of the player due to their issues at the club.

      At that point they are no longer a trade ‘asset’ they are a ‘liability’ on your club that you need to offload, and you will have to take what you can get.

      • October 11th 2017 @ 11:58am
        Aransan said | October 11th 2017 @ 11:58am | ! Report

        The revelations of Stringer’s former partner would also count more heavily at the Bulldogs than at Essendon, but the Bulldogs list manager has been given a very difficult task to gain maximum value with the way the issue has been handled.

        • Roar Guru

          October 11th 2017 @ 12:28pm
          Cat said | October 11th 2017 @ 12:28pm | ! Report

          Who cares about the affair, the alleged gambling addiction and $100k debt would be worrisome, if true, to whatever club he plays for.

          • October 11th 2017 @ 1:19pm
            Aransan said | October 11th 2017 @ 1:19pm | ! Report

            Unfortunately there would be other Bulldog players, partners and supporters who have been directly or indirectly affected by the affair but I agree that it would be a minimal concern for Essendon. No doubt there are restrictions built into Stringer’s contract to ensure that his football professionalism will be at a high standard matching his remuneration.

            • Roar Guru

              October 11th 2017 @ 1:26pm
              Cat said | October 11th 2017 @ 1:26pm | ! Report

              All true and I agree. My worry would still be the alleged gambling addiction. Additions can spiral out of control. Gambling also carries the risk of match-fixing and bets placed on your own team. Those kinds of things can end a career in a heartbeat. The affair while unsavory and uncomfortable is more likely to be a one time thing.

              • October 11th 2017 @ 1:38pm
                Aransan said | October 11th 2017 @ 1:38pm | ! Report

                The affair and the publication of it just made me think of it as being a couple of young people being silly. If his professionalism continues to be affected by off field issues his career will indeed be short and I expect that would be the end of his contract.

    • October 11th 2017 @ 12:46pm
      Mattician6x6 said | October 11th 2017 @ 12:46pm | ! Report

      Melb and wb are making stringer and watts fall guys respectively but have expectations for top market value. Effectively they are saying both are best 18 players for any club but theirs, not good platform for negotiations I would’ve thought.

      • Roar Guru

        October 11th 2017 @ 12:56pm
        Cat said | October 11th 2017 @ 12:56pm | ! Report

        I don’t think Watts has been handled poorly at all. Club wants to move him on, player didn’t want to go, so always going to be some bad will there. Stringer on the other hand is up there with a Jerry Springer episode of stupid. WB announced to the media they want him gone before they even tell him, then proceed to paint him like a lazy cancer they want out ASAP – but wait you have to pay top dollar for this guy we can’t stand and need gone.

        • October 11th 2017 @ 2:04pm
          Mattician6x6 said | October 11th 2017 @ 2:04pm | ! Report

          Way it’s coming across is melb are trying to steer watts to best outcome for mfc not best outcome for a contracted player.

          • Roar Guru

            October 11th 2017 @ 2:11pm
            Cat said | October 11th 2017 @ 2:11pm | ! Report

            Isn’t that the clubs job to try to get themselves the best deal? TBH I haven’t heard Melbourne say much of anything at all. I just keep hoping Watts nominates somewhere other than Geelong.

    • October 12th 2017 @ 6:45pm
      Leonard said | October 12th 2017 @ 6:45pm | ! Report

      Generally speaking, aren’t the most effective player agents (as with club CEOs / GMs) the ones we DON’T read about or hear of?

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