Crows confident Tippett will stay

Sportal July 18, 2012, 4:18 pm
Kurt Tippett

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Adelaide coach Brenton Sanderson said he expects uncontracted star forward Kurt Tippett to make a decision on his future at West Lakes in the coming weeks.

Tippett, who has been one of the AFL's more successful converts from basketball, has had a stellar year with the Crows, sitting second behind fellow forward Taylor Walker (37) as the club's leading goalkicker this season with 30.

The 25-year-old's three-year-deal with the Crows expires in October.

While Tippett has not received the highly-publicised attention Collingwood forward Travis Cloke and Port Adelaide midfielder Travis Boak's undecided futures have, the 202cm giant's ongoing contract negotiations has alerted several interested clubs.

The Brisbane Lions and Gold Coast in particular have publicly announced their interest to lure the Queensland native back home.

Sanderson said despite Tippett's contract status remaining unclear, he would not draw a line in the sand and set a deadline for an answer from the versatile tall.

The former Geelong assistant remains quietly confident Tippett would reach a decision and put pen to paper soon.

"My understanding is that at some point in the second half of season Kurt's going to make a decision about his future - that's what it was at the start of the year," Sanderson said.

"His management and our list managers are in constant consultation and we are quietly confident a deal will get done soon.

"All I can do from my point of view is provide an environment of success and encourage Kurt that he is a part of our short and long term plans.

"If he decides that he wants to stay, then that's great, but if he doesn't then we will have to make adjustments for next year."

Having seen his former side Geelong send a delegation team consisting of coach Chris Scott, captain Joel Selwood and team leader Jimmy Bartel over to Adelaide in attempt to 'woo' uncontracted Port Power on-baller Boak to the Cattery, Sanderson admitted he would be disappointed if teams tried a similar approach with Tippett.

"We feel that it's just not the right thing to do, but at the same time it's within the AFL rules and it's the landscape that we are playing in at the moment," Sanderson said.

"I think it's going to happen every year now at every club with free agency coming in as well and players coming out of contract.

"It might just be the nature of the beast a little bit, but at the same time we feel it's not the right way to go about it."

Despite Tippett failing to re-affirm his commitment to the club as hastily as the likes of other uncontracted Crows Patrick Dangerfield and Rory Sloane did, Sanderson also rejected suggestions the 2006 draftee's contract status could affect the team.

Sanderson acknowledged while he understood Tippett's unresolved future was 'newsworthy', he said it would not distract or disrupt the Crows as they enter September

"Internally it's no distraction for us, but it does create some interest outside of the footy club," Sanderson said.

"I know that the longer it drags out and the season wears on, more speculation starts to creep in and the more it becomes a story.

"But we are seriously getting down towards the business end of the season and have to play some good footy.

"The contract negotiations are left to people outside of the coaching group."

Tippett, who missed his side's 119-point destruction of GWS last week following concussion, has been cleared to play against West Coast at AAMI Stadium on Saturday.

The Crows are expected to welcome back veteran defender Michael Doughty, who missed the mauling of the Giants due to the birth of his first child, and wily small forward Jared Petrenko from a foot injury.

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