Footy great lifts lid on rival's notorious negotiating style

Chris Young
·Sports Reporter
·3-min read
A 50-50 split image shows Stephen Silvagni on the left and Adrian Dodoro on the right.
Stephen Silvagni has lifted the lid on Essendon list manager Adrian Dodoro's notoriously hard-line tactics at the trade table. Pictures: Getty Images

It’s a long-running joke among AFL fans that the Bombers drive the hardest bargains at the trade table - and former Carlton list manager Stephen Silvagni has lifted the lid on Essendon’s negotiating tactics.

The Blues club great turned list manager, who exited the club at the end of 2019 under somewhat acrimonious circumstances, opened up about how talks with Essendon counterpart Adrian Dodoro typically went down.

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In the interview with AFL Trade Radio, Silvagni said Bombers list manager Dodoro carried himself ‘like Marlon Brando’, and that his hard-line style was borne of a desire to get the best result possible for the Bombers.

“I look at Adrian and I think he’s the Marlon Brando of the list management teams out there. He walks into a room and he commands respect, sometimes he comes in a bit unshaven,” he said.

“In all fairness, the thing about Essendon and every club - sometimes you’ve got the figurehead to go in there and do the deal, but the deal they’re fighting for is backed up by the whole list management team.

“The thing about Adrian and I really respect him as a person, he’s passionate about the football club ... you’ve got to fight really hard for the football club and that’s what he does do.

“You don’t take it personally.”

Essendon’s list management strategy has been questioned somewhat by fans after a lacklustre 2020 season and the looming departures of fan favourite Joe Daniher and defender Adam Saad, whom the club recruited in 2017.

Saad has since requested a trade to Carlton, setting the stage for protracted negotiations to take place.

Carlton great Stephen Silvagni lifts lid on Bombers negotiations

The negotiations have already begun after Saad requested a trade to the Blues, with Carlton already knocking back two initial offers from the Bombers for the wantaway defender.

Silvagni said the pressure would be on Carlton to find a way to get the deal over the line, with the Blues having already knocked back offers that would have seen one of Charlie Curnow, Harry McKay or Sam Walsh move to Essendon.

Essendon's Adam Saad is pictured during an AFL match.
Essendon's Adam Saad requested a trade to Carlton at the end of the 2020 season. (Photo by Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images)

“When a club has a player actually committed to coming to your football club, it’s probably the onus on the club to get the deal done,” Silvagni said.

“Carlton are the ones here that probably need to get that deal done.

“I would think pick seven is going to have to be on the table because that’s what they’ve got.”

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