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Wallace: no animosity with Kellaway

07/09/2006 07:14:12 PM Comments (0)

Richmond coach Terry Wallace claims there is "no animosity" between AFL veteran Andrew Kellaway and himself.

The Tigers announced on Wednesday they would not offer Kellaway a new contract and would prefer he retire.

But Kellaway's manager Ricky Nixon said the decision "staggers me" and indicated Kellaway wants to keep playing.

The decision to cut one of the club's most popular players was always going to sit badly with some Richmond fans and Wallace posted an article on the official club website to explain his reasoning.

"This is purely a football disagreement with Andy, he believes he should play on with the Tigers and I believe he should retire," Wallace wrote.

"There's certainly nothing personal involved.

"I had a beer with Andy on 'Mad Monday' this week and told him I'd see him next day at the Club for a chat about his playing future.

"He is still comfortable being around the club and there is no animosity at all, it's simply a matter of differing opinions on where he's at in his league career."

Wallace added it did not come down to whether the Tigers should retain Kellaway or fellow veteran Darren Gaspar, saying they had different roles in defence.

The Tigers also announced they had offered Gaspar a one-year deal.

"In Andy Kellaway's case, we saw him as competing for a senior spot next year against young players such as Brett Deledio, Andrew Raines, Jarrad Oakley-Nicholls, Matty White and Dean Polo, along with more seasoned campaigners in the Bowden brothers and Chris Newman," Wallace said.

"When you also have the likes of the taller Will Thursfield (returning from his knee reconstruction) and Darren Gaspar to add to our defence, you can see that we have quite a few options back there and competition for places is going to be strong.

"Let me just clarify that it's not and never has been a Kellaway v Gaspar contest.

"That's not fair on Darren, who's been a team-mate and good mate of Andy's over the past decade."

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