Power in­ac­tion up­set Polec

Sunday Mail - - SPORT - JESPER FJELDSTAD WARREN PARTLAND

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.”

Pic­ture: TOM HUNTLEY

EX­PECTED START: Jake Jo­hansen in ac­tion for the Ea­gles this sea­son.

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