'Do the work': Geelong boss hits back after AFL trade furore

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·Sports Reporter
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Steven Hocking says Geelong's young players must earn their place in the side, after Jordan Clark requested a trade away to Fremantle in a bid for more playing time. Pictures: Getty Images
Steven Hocking says Geelong's young players must earn their place in the side, after Jordan Clark requested a trade away to Fremantle in a bid for more playing time. Pictures: Getty Images

Geelong's new chief executive Steven Hocking has made it clear the club's young players must earn their place in the side, following the tumultuous trade of Jordan Clark to Fremantle.

The Cats reluctantly parted ways with Clark after the young wingman requested a trade to Fremantle, prompting a protracted round of negotiations which nearly fell through at the end of the trade period.

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The relationship between Clark and the Cats is believed to have soured during the protracted negotiations, with Geelong list manager Stephen Wells denying a story that Clark had hung up on him during a heated conversation.

Geelong wanted either pick No.19 from Fremantle, or pick No.22 and a future third-round selection to make the deal happen.

In the end, the Cats got pick No.22 and a third-round selection but had to send a fourth-round selection back to Fremantle along with Clark.

Clark, who had one more year to run on his Geelong contract, was desperate to return home to WA after struggling for opportunities at the Cats over the past two seasons.

He played only 11 games for the Cats in 2021, but in an interview on Wednesday, Hocking said the Cats' ageing list did not mean younger players could expect games in the name of development.

“For our younger players, you have to do the work," he told 3AW's Sportsday.

“If you do get an opportunity, you need to grab it with both hands and push past some of those experienced players.

“I think Melbourne have proven that, and are a great example of that.

“That’s the comment I would make around Jordan Clark.”

Clark has signed a four-year deal at Fremantle.

The 20-year-old was taken by Geelong with pick No.15 in the 2018 national draft and was an instant hit in his first year, playing 18 games in 2019.

But he managed just 14 over the past two seasons and was desperate to land at Fremantle.

No AFL role for Ross Lyon at Geelong

Geelong has sought out Ross Lyon for advice but the former St Kilda and Fremantle coach will not be joining the Cats in an AFL role.

Lyon was among a number of experienced people new Geelong chief executive Steve Hocking has spoken to as he stamps his mark at the club.

There has been significant change at Kardinia Park since the Cats were thumped by Melbourne in the preliminary final.

Assistant coaches Matthew Knights, Matthew Scarlett and Corey Enright have left, while Carlton great Eddie Betts has signed on in a development position.

Hocking confirmed he and Geelong coach Chris Scott had spoken to Lyon as the Cats attempt to bounce back from their humiliating finals exit.

But Lyon, who was an early favourite to replace David Teague as Carlton coach, is likely to remain in the media.

Despite speculation Ross Lyon could take a job with Geelong, the former St Kilda and Fremantle coach will not be joining the Cats. (Photo by Daniel Carson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)
Despite speculation Ross Lyon could take a job with Geelong, the former St Kilda and Fremantle coach will not be joining the Cats. (Photo by Daniel Carson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

"Chris and Ross go back a long way," Hocking told SEN.

"I've had a fair bit to do with Ross at the AFL.

"Ross was one of a number of people we've spoken to.

"One of the great things about Ross, which Chris and I both enjoyed, was he gave us an external view of what he sees as our football club.

"The potential opportunities that might be in front of us, where the game's going.

"I was very appreciative of the time he gave us and the insight he provided us and he was a good sounding board."

Scott's two-year contract extension is a mere formality but Hocking said the Cats were not in a position to announce anything yet.

With AAP

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