Dons ‘good fit’ for Stringer

Sunday Tasmanian - - Sport - THEMERCURY.COM.AU GLENN MCFARLANE SUN­DAY SEPTEM­BER 17 2017

JAKE Stringer has spo­ken with Essendon coach John Wors­fold about join­ing the Bombers as sev­eral other clubs pre­pare to launch their bids for the out-of-favour Western Bull­dogs for­ward.

It is un­der­stood Stringer, 23, and Wors­fold had a brief phone dis­cus­sion, and Stringer’s for­mer team­mate, Brown­low medal­list Adam Cooney, sug­gested the Bombers ap­pear a good fit not only for Stringer’s fu­ture, but also as a club able to meet the Bull­dogs’ trade re­quire­ments. Gee­long re­mains an­other op­tion for the 2015 All-Aus­tralian and 2016 premier­ship player, and he is also likely to chat with an­other for­mer team­mate — Colling­wood’s new devel­op­ment coach, Matthew Boyd — about tee­ing up a meet­ing with Mag­pies coach Nathan Buck­ley.

St Kilda has also ex­pressed an in­ter­est.

“Ob­vi­ously, it is prob­a­bly one of the eas­ier trades to do with Essendon,” Cooney said. “They have a mid first-round pick, and I think that could get it done.”

Wors­fold told the Essendon web­site last week he thought Stringer was “a very tal­ented player ... [but] he is a player that has ta­pered off a lit­tle bit in his form this year, so what we have to look at is how we would use him here”.

“Our for­ward line is func­tion­ing pretty well, but a tal­ent like that, he has got flex­i­bil­ity to play in mul­ti­ple po­si­tions, so does he add some real value on our list if we were able to se­cure him?

“I’ve got no doubt he can [play mid­field] and that’s cer­tainly some­thing you would like to talk to him about and see if that is some­thing he is pas­sion­ate about.”

Cooney told AFL Na­tion ra­dio Stringer had come to terms with the Bull­dogs’ de­ci­sion to trade him, say­ing a break­down in his re­la­tion­ship with coach Luke Bev­eridge made the sit­u­a­tion “al­most un­ten­able”.

“I spoke to Jake dur­ing the week and it cer­tainly wasn’t his idea to be traded,” Cooney said. “It was a con­ver­sa­tion through the exit meet­ing and there was a lot made of the exit meet­ing about how he stormed out post that, but [he didn’t].

“The re­la­tion­ship be­tween coach and player is al­most un­ten­able and not ev­ery­one at the Bull­dogs wants to trade Jake Stringer, but the coach doesn’t like him. At the end of the day, if the coach is off you, you have to look else­where.”

Cooney said Stringer, who strug­gled with form and ham­string in­juries this sea­son, must work harder on and off the field to en­sure he got back to his 2015 form.

The Dogs had been de­mand­ing Stringer lift his stan­dards for some time.

“His main problem ... is that his coach thought he was lazy, wasn’t work­ing hard enough, and you can see that on the field,” Cooney said.

MOV­ING ON: Jake Stringer.

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