Power inaction upset Polec
DEPARTING Port Adelaide wingman Jared Polec has revealed his teammates were in the loop when he was first approached by North Melbourne and shared his disappointment in the Power’s inaction.
Polec yesterday said those closest to him at Alberton were aware of his situation — frustrated at being without a new deal in his final year of a contract — as early as the bye in the season.
Port’s bye came in round 11 but it was only this week that he made public his desire to join the Kangaroos on a five-year deal worth an estimated $3.5 million.
“I’ve actually had conversations with them since pretty much the bye,” Polec said of his teammates. “Rumours started to come … we were joking around at first but then it started to become a bit more of a reality.
“I think they were across it; the guys I was close to knew the situation I was in and they were pretty good with the situation.
“They sometimes (said), ‘You’ve got to take what you can in footy.’ To a certain extent some players were … a bit disappointed.”
Polec had initially asked for a three-year contract with Port Adelaide, which was later trumped by a longer and more lucrative deal with the North Melbourne.
But he said he had not expected the Power to match it for him to stay.
“Towards the end of the season I started to have those feelings (that his future was not with Port Adelaide) and it eventuated that way,” Polec said. “I was disappointed; the whole contract talk was going throughout the year (and) it was the first time that I’d actually been out of contract in that final year.
“I was keen to get a contract early. If you want to stay at a club you’d like for them to show a bit of faith in you, offering that three-year deal at the start. I wasn’t expecting them (Port Adelaide) to match the offer or anything like that. A bit in-between but they never actually came to the table on that.” WOODVILLE-West Torrens coach Michael Godden is in danger of being forced to make more changes to the side to front North Adelaide in the preliminary final at Adelaide Oval today.
Having already lost small forward Tom Gray to a seasonending knee injury, the Eagles coach has confessed that two players are battling to prove their fitness.
Godden did not mention the players, but said they had to safely negotiate a workout at Woodville Oval yesterday afternoon before being declared starters in the battle to decide Norwood’s opponent in the grand final next weekend.
“There is still doubt over two guys, so there is still doubt on our line-up,” Godden said.
“This time of the year it is always like that and the season can take its toll. A couple of blokes could not do the main session and they had to be tested. One has done very little at all this week and one is precautionary.
“The players are very good with their recovery these days and they are confident they will play, so I’m confident.”
Godden is expected to opt for Jake Johansen as the replacement for Gray in attack.
Johansen has missed the Eagles’ first two finals due to a calf problem, but has returned to full training.
While changes to the lineup which lost to Norwood by 17 points in the second semi-final are necessary, the structures will remain intact, according to Godden.
The Roosters are likely to be unchanged from the team which beat Sturt in the first semi-final.
Two of the biggest pests in the state league, Eagles’ Louis Sharrad and Roosters captain Max Thring, will cross paths in an intriguing subplot to the season’s penultimate contest.
Thring has led from the front for the Roosters and provided an accurate impersonation of his coach Josh Carr in his days as an in-your-face onballer with Port Adelaide.
Sharrad, who joined the Eagles from Port Adelaide this season, doesn’t mind the push and shove and annoying opponents himself.
“Louis has got in the face of a few people and caused a few ruckuses, but he is disciplined and knows where the line is,” Godden said. “He is a passionate footballer who gets motivated by being in the moment, he wants to be in combat and that drives him.”
Godden said Sharrad had made a terrific impression from the moment he arrived at the club and described him as an intelligent player and very good leader.
“We have struggled since the Luke Powell and Gavin Colville eras to have a player who demands a lot from teammates,” Godden said. “But he does it exceptionally well.
“He has been a big difference in our culture this year.”
EXPECTED START: Jake Johansen in action for the Eagles this season.