The frantic chase for Port Adelaide reigning best and fairest winner, Travis Boak, has developed further this week following a reportedly ‘unapproved’ meeting between Cats coach Chris Scott and stars Jimmy Bartel and Joel Selwood.
Port Adelaide’s chief executive Kieth Thomas has slammed the Cats’ poaching attempts, saying that all meetings held with Travis (including Sunday’s meeting) were not approved by the Power, nor was Port Adelaide notified by Geelong of their chats with Boak. However, this was disputed by Scott.
This whole saga has essentially turned into a battle of ‘he said, she said’. Of course, Port Adelaide have every right to be angry at Geelong for trying to poach one of their most talented players. Perhaps it’s time for Port to act objectively, and find out just how much Boak is worth. It is evident that Boak is weighing up his options and the go-home factor is clearly an attraction, but in reality, Geelong is less than an hour away from Melbourne, so most Victorian clubs could be of interest to him.
In this case, Boak surely would not be offended if he was offered up for trade bait in the open market, as he has already showed signs of lacking loyalty. Geelong surely would not be the only club chasing Boak. Clubs such as Melbourne, Essendon, St Kilda and the Bulldogs all could use him and perhaps could offer something that Port Adelaide need.
Geelong: The cats realistically may finish outside the eight. Their first pick should be between 10-15. On its own, it’s about fair for Boak, although Port will certainly play hardball, as there is next to no chance Boak would be able to slip to the Cats through the Pre-Season Draft.
Port would ideally like someone in the Daniel Menzel/Allen Christensen range, and perhaps an exchange of picks to even out the deal.
Essendon: The Bombers would certainly not be looking at giving away their first pick, as that is reserved for Joe Daniher. The Dombers do have quite a range of players that are either fringe, or starting to cement their spot in the 22. Perhaps someone like Ben Howlett and their second round pick for Boak would be appropriate, although the Bombers would more than likely have to part with much more to try keep up with the Cats.
Melbourne: The main worry for the Dees is their salary cap. Mitch Clark is taking up a huge amount, and players like Nathan Jones and Jack Trengove would surely be asking for more then they are on now in the next few years. Melbourne are unlikely to trade their first two picks. Perhaps their third pick (mid-first round, Tom Scully compensation) would get it done. But they may have to part with more, as Geelong could essentially match that. Mid-first round pick and Jack Fitzpatrick could suit well.
Then there are the less-likely clubs.
St Kilda: Depending on how finals go for the Saints this year, it could be time for a clean out or a stock up. Most of St Kilda’s most valuable players are too old for Port Adelaide. However, Jack Steven is one who has proven his worth. The Saints would love Boak, but perhaps wouldn’t have the resources to get him.
Bulldogs: At the moment, Tom Liberatore and Mitch Wallis are proving that they will be a formidable inside midfield duo, but neither have quite honed their outside games. Boak is a good mix of both inside and outside, and would be worth their first rounder. Alternatively, Easton Wood and a second rounder would realistically net Boak, however the Doggies are not in desperate need for a midfielder. As such they’re more likely to take their chances in the draft.
Wherever Boak ends up in 2013, there’s sure to be plenty of wheeling and dealing before the year is out.