Malthouse wants sweet deal for Akermanis - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Malthouse wants sweet deal for Akermanis

By Roger Vaughan 10/09/2006 07:46:53 PM Comments (0)

Collingwood coach Mick Malthouse is interested in trading for former Brisbane midfielder Jason Akermanis, but not at any price.

Speaking after the Magpies' AFL season ended in the elimination final against the Western Bulldogs, Malthouse said it was tough to evaluate the year after the disappointing 41-point loss.

But he was enthusiastic about the development of his first and second-year players, plus the return from injury of several veterans.

Malthouse is interested in Akermanis, the biggest name on the trade market, but not if it means selling the farm to snare him.

The Bulldogs and Essendon have made it clear they are keen on snaring Akermanis and Richmond might also be a player.

"We will weigh up our list (and) draft kids again, we're not really in the hunt for too many players from other clubs - it would have to be a very attractive deal for us to do that," Malthouse said.

When pressed on Akermanis, Malthouse replied: "The deal needs to be attractive."

Collingwood improved dramatically this season after finishing 13th and second-last in the previous two years.

Youngsters such as Heath Shaw, Sean Rusling and Dale Thomas all showed potential and especially early in the season, the Magpies had strong form.

Malthouse was enthusiastic about the team's development, but Sunday's poor performance was the fresher memory.

"No-one wants to make the finals just to be a number, that's not my philosophy," he said.

"We play football to win enough games to make the finals and we play in finals series to keep going, not to bow out.

"Our goal was to make the eight ... with a bad loss, I'm not too sure.

"I guess right now you'd say that was a failure, but given we'd finished 13th and 15th and made the eight and we still have blooded those players and we didn't go the recycle bin and we also didn't panic when the kids had some downers ... that to me is a plus."

Malthouse bristled when quizzed about forward Chris Tarrant, who kicked 3.4.

Tarrant has been the focus of media attention in the last few weeks because of off-field controversy and the coach was again quick to defend him.

"Is this another 'bash Tarrant'?," Malthouse said when asked about Tarrant's three missed shots in the third term.

"I'm just saying - Chris was our most productive forward, you want me to give all the negatives or do you want me to give some positives?

"I would like him to kick goals, but if that's the headline, then let's follow up by saying Chris Tarrant was clearly our most productive forward."

Malthouse expects captain Nathan Buckley and fellow veteran Shane Wakelin to continue next season.

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