Didak's future in doubt: Pert - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Didak's future in doubt: Pert

By Adam Cooper and Daniel Brettig 07/08/2008 11:55:53 PM Comments (0)

Alan Didak appears a dead man walking at Collingwood after Magpies chief executive Gary Pert said the suspended star had put his AFL future at the club in doubt come the post-season evaluation.

Pert said Didak and Heath Shaw, who Collingwood suspended for the rest of the season after they lied to Magpies hierarchy over last weekend's drink-driving fiasco, would both be discussed at the end of the season when the Magpies decided who to cull.

Heath Shaw's brother Rhyce, who was also suspended for two games for drinking with his teammates, will also be discussed by the football department.

Pert said Collingwood were yet to decide on the trio's future beyond this season, but gave a strong indication that the trouble-prone Didak, 25, has played his last game in the black and white.

"We honestly haven't decided on the future of any of our players," Pert told the Nine Network.

"But any player ... who breaches the code especially to the levels that have happened this week puts themselves in doubt at the end of the year.

"That's when we sit down and decide who do we want as part of the club moving forward and those three names will definitely come up in decisions."

But Pert denied Didak's likely cull would allow the Magpies to make a play for Brisbane star Jonathan Brown, and denied Collingwood were in discussion with the Lions skipper.

"We're not in discussion and we don't have plans we don't have expectations ... we're not planning or expecting to have Jonathan Brown or anyone else," he said.

Didak's bad rap sheet - he was also involved last year in a drinking session with Christopher Wayne Hudson, who this year pleaded guilty to last year shooting dead one man and wounding two other people in the Melbourne CBD - has increased speculation he will be traded to another club this year.

Amid strong speculation he could return to his native South Australia, Adelaide coach Neil Craig said the forward would be the ultimate test of a team culture.

Craig said that in trying to build a strength of culture at Adelaide, where team is forever emphasised and off-field issues are scrutinised by the players, the next hurdle was to discover if the club could successfully absorb a player with a chequered record.

"That would be one thing you'd want to have a discussion about with your playing group in general and your senior leadership group in particular," he said.

"Trying to develop a culture is one thing, to get it to a level the club wants and the playing group wants - it will never be perfect.

"But I think our next challenge will be, can you bring someone into your football club and is your culture strong enough to maybe modify that type of behaviour?

"I think then you've got a really powerful culture, that's something we would discuss for any player we bring into our footy club.

"Everyone would agree Alan's created some situations for himself from his behaviour, which every club now would have to have a lot of discussion about that, about whether he fits into a culture."

Though Port Adelaide have been more vocal in talking up the prospect of luring Didak home, Adelaide appear in more urgent need of a gifted small forward with plenty of miles left on the clock.

Craig admitted that Didak's talent, position and South Australian roots made him decidedly attractive to the Crows.

But he pointed out that until Collingwood made it clear that Didak was available, it would not be worth losing too much sleep.

"We can all waste a lot of time and energy on a player who's just signed a new contract," he said.

"There's a big assumption there that he's going to be available and I'm not sure that will necessarily be the case.

"I think there's a lot of emotion around at the moment with Collingwood and the football public in general, so when that settles down sometimes your thinking settles down as well.

"In general I like his talent and I like the fact he's South Australian, so if he came back to SA I think he'd probably finish his career here."

Collingwood great Nathan Buckley doubted whether Didak would be at Collingwood next year.

"He may not," Buckley told the Seven Network.

"The ball's not in his court and Collingwood have got that to consider at the end of the season."

Buckley said the Magpies made the right decision in suspending Didak and Heath Shaw, as trust was vital at a football club.

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