Keeping Tippett an uphill battle: Crows - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Keeping Tippett an uphill battle: Crows

By Daniel Brettig 11/06/2009 05:42:19 PM Comments (0)

Adelaide coach Neil Craig admits his club face an uphill struggle to keep Kurt Tippett from choosing the comforts of a Gold Coast AFL home when his contract expires at the end of 2010.

Tippett, a Queenslander, is rapidly emerging as one of the league's most promising key forward/ruck prospects, kicking seven goals in the Crows' round 11 victory over Essendon and also plucking a contender for mark of the season.

He is most definitely on the radar of GC17 scouts, and would appear ideally suited to the expansion club's need for a strong start-up squad as he should be in the prime of his career when they enter the national competition in 2011.

Speculation about Tippett's future has intensified in direct proportion to his on-field exploits for Adelaide, while he added fuel to the talk this week by knocking back the offer of a contract extension.

Tippett also has a Queensland-based girlfriend, and Craig said that in this case, the go-home factor was significant.

"The go home factor is big, put yourself in his shoes, would you like to be able to play AFL football in your home state? Yeah. So we understand that," Craig said on Thursday.

"It's something which is a challenge to us and that's not going to change, because he's from Queensland and they're actually going to have a team on the Gold Coast where he comes from, about as close as you can get.

"In the end all we can do is create an environment to give Kurt the coaching we're trying to give him, create an environment that includes relationships with management, teammates, Adelaide, the whole thing.

"And then you take your chances on it ... we can only do what we can do."

Adelaide's young players have spoken confidently and often about their desire to grow together and ultimately win a premiership - the sort of corporate spirit that will dissuade many of the club's interstate recruits to stay on through homesickness.

But Tippett's links to the Gold Coast make him particularly vulnerable, especially now that their previous No.1 target, St Kilda forward Nick Riewoldt, has ruled himself out via a new deal with the Saints.

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