Rivals in tug of war

Tim EdmundsAlbany Advertiser
The 2016 GSFL Kleemann medallist Matt Smith.
Camera IconThe 2016 GSFL Kleemann medallist Matt Smith. Credit: Laurie Benson

Mt Barker’s audacious bid to poach two more of North Albany’s premiership players has launched a tug of war between the two clubs, with Kleemann medallist Matt Smith and premiership goalsneak Jake Becroft at the centre of the tussle.

The Bulls snared 2016 Plaisted medallist Daniel Parker from the premiers last month and told the Albany Advertiser last week that Smith had also joined the Bulls.

Both clubs confirmed yesterday small forward Becroft had also been in discussions with the Bulls about joining in 2017.

But North Albany Football Club coaching director Gerard Cameron said yesterday both players had not notified the Kangas about leaving or lodged a transfer application.

“In both instances we realise it’s difficult with money around but we are hopeful of retaining their services,” he said.

It is understood Smith had been lured with a lucrative financial offer but Mt Barker president Gordon Reid said the discussion of numbers offered by his club were “all speculation” and Smith would play for the Bulls in 2017.

“Last year we bought players in from Perth but long term we know that’s not viable,” he said. “Long term, we need local players and last season with some success a bit of interest was gained and we became a lot more attractive to local players.

“We looked at the strongest club and certainly wouldn’t target clubs in the same situation as us.

“I certainly don’t feel bad for a few of their players leaving.”

North Albany president Iian Woods said this month it was not his club’s stance to pay players.

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