Transfer talk ‘part of game’
RICHMOND coach Damien Hardwick says he would prefer his players didn’t meet with opposition clubs in season but has conceded that is “part of the landscape” in the free agency world.
It was reported on Thursday that Tigers midfielder Dustin Martin had met with members of North Melbourne’s leadership group “about six weeks ago” as the Tigers star contemplates a big-money move to the Kangaroos.
Out of contract at season’s end, Martin has been offered $1.5 million a year over seven years at North Melbourne, while Richmond’s offer stands at $1.1 million a season.
When asked yesterday if he was aware that Martin had met with North Melbourne, Hardwick said the reports did not come as a surprise.
“I think we’re all big boys these days. I think we’ve got a fair understanding this thing happens all the time,” he said.
Hardwick denied the ongoing speculation about Martin’s future had been a distraction to the 26-year-old or his teammates as they prepared for a finals campaign.