Dons ‘good fit’ for Stringer
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.