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Costa wants to defuse Bombers' tensions

By Roger Vaughan 14/10/2010 07:25:07 PM Comments (0)

Outgoing Geelong president Frank Costa will meet with his Essendon counterpart David Evans to settle growing tensions between the two AFL clubs.

The Cats are fuming after the defection of long-time assistant coach Brendan McCartney to Windy Hill.

There are also persistent rumours that former Cats coach Mark Thompson might end up at Essendon in a support role - something Thompson and Essendon continue to deny.

Costa said he would have appreciated a phone call from Evans, the Essendon chairman, after the Bombers had snared McCartney.

The Cats boss insists he had no problems with McCartney's departure earlier this week, rather the perceived lack of respect from Essendon.

"All I want to do is just clear the air - it's quite right and proper that every club should try to improve itself and that's what Essendon are trying to do," Costa said of Friday's meeting with Evans.

"I thought at least David could have picked up the phone and given us a ring - not beforehand, not during negotiations ... but when they had the deal done and before the coach came down and told us about it.

"Then maybe I could have told the senior people at the football club, at least the chairman had given me a call and explained to me what had happened and why it had happened.

"We all would have felt a bit better ... it would have tasted a bit better, that's all."

Costa will also try to find out at the meeting whether Evans himself approached McCartney.

But Costa also described Evans as "a fine fellow" and said the two clubs had enjoyed a strong off-field relationship.

The long-time Geelong president also backed the assertion from club chief executive Brian Cook on Wednesday that the Cats could contend for the premiership next year.

The departures of Thompson, Gary Ablett and McCartney since their heavy preliminary final loss to Collingwood would tend to suggest the end of a great AFL era at Geelong.

But Costa disagrees, saying the 2007 and `09 premiers still have a strong core of top players and would promote several highly-rated youngsters from the VFL.

He pointed out that apart from Ablett, Geelong still had seven players in the top 40 of an annual "top 50 AFL players" list.

Costa also praised the club's administration, singling out Cook, football manager Neil Balme and his assistant Steve Hocking.

"I'm very, very confident - and also, what we have running the club is a very, very strong and experienced group of administrators.

"We have very good reason to feel quietly confident.

"I reckon we'll challenge for top four next year, no worries."

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