GWS offers more than money: Ward's manager - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

GWS offers more than money: Ward's manager

By Rob Forsaith 05/09/2011 08:23:18 PM Comments (0)

Paul Connors, manager of Greater Western Sydney recruit Callan Ward, says his client's decision to join the AFL's newest franchise wasn't based purely on the riches available.

Months of speculation came to an end on Monday when Ward's departure to GWS was made official.

Ward has reportedly signed a five-year deal with the Giants, with some media outlets suggesting it's worth $4.5 million.

There's no doubting the extra money on offer played a major part in the young midfielder's decision to sign with GWS but Connors says it wasn't the only factor.

"It was an extremely difficult decision to make and it wasn't just about money," Connors said.

"Knowing how great the draft picks are for Greater Western Sydney (played a role).

However, Connors admitted Ward would have more than likely stayed with the Western Bulldogs had they matched the Giants' substantial offer.

"He probably wouldn't (change clubs if there wasn't a difference in income). There's a number of factors that come into it, and that's for Callan to work through," he told SEN radio.

"He's a big boy, he's 21 and he can make his decisions. I still think he looks at it, he looks at their list ... (and) can also see a bright future."

The Giants released a statement confirming Ward had joined the club but he won't be discussing the move until Wednesday.

"We understand that there is a lot of interest and excitement that comes with these announcements, however in order to give Callan the time to meet with his teammates, family and friends, we will be holding a press conference on Wednesday," chief executive Dale Holmes said.

"Callan will be joined by myself, Kevin Sheedy and some of his new teammates.

"We understand the disappointment that the Western Bulldogs and its supporters will experience at this announcement."

Connors praised the 'Dogs for the way they handled the situation.

"They were very good. They handled it very professionally. They certainly gave it their best shot," Connors said.

Bulldogs chief executive Simon Garlick said it was "incredibly disappointing" for Ward to sign on with GWS for 2012, but that the club must move on.

"While it's disappointing that Callan has made this decision, we will be looking to ensure we receive appropriate compensation," Garlick said in a statement.

"We have done everything we responsibly could to keep Callan at the Western Bulldogs."

Garlick told Fox Sports he would be bitterly disappointed if the AFL offered anything less than two first-round selections.

"We saw him as a ten-year player, a future leader of the club. He's come on in leaps and bounds in the past 12 months," he said.

The AFL will determine the Bulldogs' compensation for Ward when the Giants formally lodge his contract with the league.

Compensation works on two areas, the age of a player and his contract - these are then both weighted against the age and contracts of all players in the competition.

Ward represents the Giants' first official signing of an AFL-listed player.

While Adelaide's Phil Davis revealed mid-season he was joining the team, GWS released a statement rejecting the news.

The Giants have also been linked with Melbourne's Tom Scully, with speculation he could sign in the next few days.

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