O'Keefe closer to heading to Hawthorn - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

O'Keefe closer to heading to Hawthorn

08/10/2008 09:08:21 PM Comments (0)

AFL premiers Hawthorn are closing in on Sydney star forward Ryan O'Keefe after a positive reaction from the Swan to a meeting with Hawks coach Alastair Clarkson.

O'Keefe met with Clarkson and Hawthorn chief executive Ian Robson in Sydney and has indicated he is willing to make a move, despite the prospect of a lesser salary than that offered by Sydney.

The Hawks had already met with O'Keefe's manager Tom Petroro on Tuesday night.

While Hawthorn still need to agree to contract terms with O'Keefe and strike a trade deal with the Swans, they were "quietly confident" that the 2005 premiership player would be wearing brown and gold next year.

"We've got past another stage in the sense that we've got Ryan's indication that he would like to play for Hawthorn," the Hawks player personnel manager Chris Pelchen said.

O'Keefe had previously indicated that the chance to play for a successful club in front of big crowds were key factors in him looking at a move, with the Hawks able to satisfy him on both fronts.

Pelchen said those factors were among several which had O'Keefe leaning towards accepting a contract from the club which would be worth significantly less than he could earn at Sydney or elsewhere.

"It's of lesser monetary value but we believe we could offer a total package, whether it be football or lifestyle or work beyond football," Pelchen said.

The Hawks must also finalise a trade deal with Sydney, with negotiations revolving around Hawthorn's first round national draft pick, No.16 overall, or their second round (No.34) and players.

A request by the Swans for a straight swap for several Hawthorn players was rejected by the Hawks.

"We're confident we can get a deal done but there's water to go under the bridge both with Ryan and his contract and with Sydney," Pelchen said.

Helping Hawthorn in their dealings with Sydney is that O'Keefe is uncontracted, meaning the Swans face losing him for nothing through the draft unless they can work out a trade.

In other trade news, North Melbourne took ruckman Hamish McIntosh off the table, saying the early first round draft pick they had hoped to draw out in return would not be forthcoming.

Kangaroos coach Dean Laidley had surprised by publicly floating McIntosh's name when trade week opened on Monday, despite the 24-year-old having recently signed a three-year deal.

Melbourne remained optimistic Brad Green will re-sign with them, despite the experienced midfielder continuing to assess his options.

Sydney and Collingwood have both expressed interest, but the Swans' ability to trade for him could depend on the outcome of their negotiations with Hawthorn over O'Keefe.

Geelong midfielder Brent Prismall is keen to join Essendon, with the Bombers likely to have to give up a draft pick in return, although Melbourne remains interested.

The Cats had expressed some interest in Bombers speedster Andrew Lovett, who Essendon are open to trading after his disciplinary issues this year.

But Geelong said salary cap restrictions meant it was unlikely they could have room for Lovett and trading for any player would be difficult.

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