Blumfield blows back to Windy Hill - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Blumfield blows back to Windy Hill

By Chris Lines 01/11/2004 08:12:15 PM Comments (0)

Justin Blumfield has commenced training at Essendon as his former club Richmond prepares to use Darren Gaspar's paycut to help secure a big name in the pre-season draft.

The Bombers will meet this week to discuss preparations for pre-season training commencing on November 15, including invitees eager to push for a spot on the club list.

Blumfield, who went close to winning the Norm Smith Medal with Essendon in 2000, is currently clubless after an injury-wrecked spell with the Tigers.

He had been training in the gymnasium and pool at Windy Hill and will be considered for the training group come the 15th.

"We're more than happy for Justin to train and use the gym to make sure he keeps his fitness up and to do some training," Bombers football manager Dominic Cato said.

"That's on Justin's own time, he can use our gym rather than go to the Nautilus up the road."

Essendon has four picks in this month's national draft, but will probably pass on the fourth to enable it to have a selection in the pre-season draft.

The club must then weigh up whether Blumfield was worth a third-round pick in the national draft or wait until the pre-season draft, with much hinging on whether the club believes it can get a quality player in the latter draft given it has a relatively late pick.

Richmond will have first selection in the pre-season draft, and pay deals struck with Gaspar and Ty Zantuck mean the Tigers could have a decent warchest to attract the best player.

Initially the financially-struggling Richmond thought it could not afford a big-ticket player with that first pick but a likely mutual annulment of Zantuck's contract and Gaspar's preparedness to sacrifice much of his weighty salary had improved the club's spending power.

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