Lions AFL coach fights to keep Clark - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Lions AFL coach fights to keep Clark

Laine Clark 22/09/2011 03:00:23 PM Comments (0)

Compensation sought for Mitch Clark would be "fair", according to Michael Voss - but the Brisbane AFL coach warned Fremantle the Lions would not be giving him away.

WA-bred Clark's manager is believed to be nutting out a deal with the Dockers this week after the Lions' dangerman asked to be traded to Fremantle.

New Dockers coach Ross Lyon is a big fan of Clark but Fremantle might face a challenge satisfying the Lions' trade demands.

It is believed Brisbane are asking for a first-round draft pick and two players.

Voss denied he would play hard ball with Fremantle over Clark - but made it clear how important the forward was to the rebuilding Lions.

"I wouldn't say hard, I'd say fair," Voss told the Lions website.

"For me, he's a required player and he's a very good player.

"You don't give them away, let's put it that way.

"When you've looked and recruited and made some of your projections based on who you think will and won't be here, it's important we get adequate compensation.

"He's going to be a big part of the group that leads us into the future."

Voss has made a contract offer to Clark and appears to have not given up on retaining the 23-year-old.

The Lions' coach reportedly tried to make contact with Clark - who is in Perth - recently in a bid to convince him to stay in Queensland.

Asked about a trade with Fremantle, Voss said: "I'm speculating here because we haven't talked to them on that level yet and we have to wait until we find out what is on offer.

"But to use a current expansion term, he's a category-one player.

"He's not a second-round draft pick, that's for sure."

Clark's departure would be another blow to the Lions who are still reeling from the loss of another tall forward, Brent Staker.

Staker has been ruled out of the 2012 season as he recovers from a knee reconstruction.

The 200cm, 99kg Clark was the Lions' leading goalkicker this season but can play in the ruck, where he earned a 2009 All-Australian nomination.

Clark - who has played 82 games since being taken as the No.9 pick in the 2005 AFL Draft - was added to the Lions' leadership group this season.

Meanwhile, Voss kept his fingers crossed that they were in the mix to sign Neil Craig as their director of coaching despite reports that five clubs were chasing the ex-Adelaide mentor.

"We've had some chats with him and we'll continue to have dialogue where necessary," Voss said.

"It's a pretty important position for us. We've earmarked Neil as the applicant we'd like to have."

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