Eade backs Mar­tin

Mercury (Hobart) - - SPORT - JON RALPH AFL

JACK Mar­tin’s for­mer coach Rod­ney Eade says he will pro­vide a cru­cial point of dif­fer­ence in Carl­ton’s for­ward line as Gold Coast pre­pares to let him walk for free.

The 24-year-old will get to the Blues without los­ing a draft pick at 10am on Fri­day in the pre-sea­son draft, with the Suns not pre­pared to re-draft a player who is so des­per­ate to get to an AFL ri­val.

Gold Coast had its own win last week when it se­cured Jack Luko­sius on top of its re-con­tract­ing of Ben King and will en­ter 2020 with mo­men­tum rather than deal­ing with a year of spec­u­la­tion over Mar­tin’s on­go­ing fu­ture.

But it means Carl­ton list boss Steve Sil­vagni’s part­ing gift to the Blues will be or­ches­trat­ing a deal that se­cures the tal­ented but in­con­sis­tent Sun without hand­ing over a draft pick.

Tas­ma­nian Eade coached Mar­tin when he fin­ished third in the best-and-fairest in suc­ces­sive sea­sons in 2016 and 2017, kick­ing 24 goals to go with 410 pos­ses­sions in 2017.

He says that not only is Mar­tin a ver­sa­tile player who can eas­ily take his turn at half back, he is ca­pa­ble of 30 goals a year as a mark­ing half­for­ward who pinch-hits in the mid­field.

“He is a dif­fer­ent type of player to what they have got. For­ward lines need a dif­fer­ent look,” he said.

“He can mark it over­head, he is very good on the ground, he’s a dif­fer­ent player to [Tom] Pap­ley be­cause he can take a mark. He is 186cm and he has got good speed and agility. He is as good on the ground as he is in the air and he does add a dif­fer­ent dy­namic. He can go into the mid­field and win the ball out of the cen­tre square, so he gives the Carl­ton coach­ing group a real flex­i­ble player who can go to half back and set the game up if he needs to.

“He is really su­per tough, can win a really hard ball, tack­les well, can do some ex­cit­ing stuff even if he floats in and out of the game.

“If there is enough ball com­ing down there, he cer­tainly could kick 30 goals, no doubt.”

There is a win­dow for delisted free agents be­tween 8am and 9am on Fri­day, only an hour be­fore the pre­sea­son and rookie drafts.

But the Suns are un­likely to delist Mar­tin be­fore the pre-sea­son draft and Essendon’s Michael Hart­ley does not fit into that win­dow on his way to Hawthorn be­cause he delisted him­self and isn’t el­i­gi­ble as a free agent delisted by a club.

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