Bartel could be next: Cats coach - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Bartel could be next: Cats coach

Robert Grant 15/02/2011 05:01:49 PM Comments (0)

Geelong coach Chris Scott says the AFL club will be powerless to stop Jimmy Bartel moving to Greater Western Sydney when his contract expires at the end of this year if the Brownlow medallist wants out.

Were Bartel to switch it would be the second major blow for the Cats in as many years following Gary Ablett's decision to sign a lucrative deal with Gold Coast.

First-year coach Scott said on Tuesday he could not predict whether Bartel, 27, would re-sign but believed he was content at the moment.

"It's really hard for me to read Jimmy's mind," Scott said.

"I'm very confident he's happy at Geelong."

Ablett, the Brownlow Medallist for Geelong in 2009, was signed by the Suns in a five-year deal understood to be worth considerably more than $1 million per year.

Scott said he could empathise with players contemplating mega-bucks deals.

"If GWS offer Jimmy the same money that Gold Coast offered Gary then it's going to be a really hard decision for him," he said.

"As we've said with Gary in the past - we can completely understand his reasons for going."

Scott said that AFL clubs needed to understand they were in a rare situation with two new clubs needing to be competitive entering the competition this year and next.

"We're in a unique environment. I wouldn't expect that any of us are going to see a situation like this in the next 10 years and we've just got to do the best we possibly can," he said.

"I don't think that anyone can say that they begrudge GWS going after good players with a straight face.

"I think if GWS think (Melbourne young gun) Tom Scully or Jimmy Bartel are the ones they want, then they're well within their rights to go after them.

"You could lose a player for nothing in another circumstance."

Scott said he did not see the need for the AFL to introduce any new rules to protect clubs who might be targeted.

Whether or not it was reasonable for a leading club to lose two or more star players to a new franchise was a moot point, he said.

"If we lose Jimmy or if Melbourne lose Tom Scully, they'll get compensated."

The Cats received two first-round draft picks following the loss of Ablett to the Suns.

They traded one to the Suns for pick 15 in last year's national draft which they used on 18-year-old forward Billie Smedts. The second will be used within the next four years.

"Is it fair? We don't know, we don't know how good Billie Smedts is going to be and the pick that we use in the next couple of years is going to be.

"We'll be in a much better position to answer those questions in 12 years," Scott said.

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