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The Age

Hawks want player in coach trade-off

Author: PATRICK SMITH
Date: 23/08/1999
Words: 585
          Publication: The Age
Section: Sport
Page: 1
In an innovative first for Australian football, a player swap may be involved in the deal to get coaches Mick Malthouse to Victoria Park and Ken Judge to West Coast.

It is believed West Coast will release Malthouse from his contract at the end of this season only if it is assured that Judge will leave Hawthorn and take over the Eagles next year.

However, Hawthorn is not expected to release Judge - he, too, has a year of his contract left - unless it receives compensation from West Coast.

And Hawthorn is considering a player trade that would be very one-sided and favorable to the club. That is, a player low on the Hawthorn list for a player who is considered among the best on West Coast's list.

It may be a move that needs AFL approval, for Ian Collins and his football department would need to rule whether the plan was prejudicial to a fair draft.

Judge said yesterday on Triple M that he believed Hawthorn had finished the season in reasonable position. He said a place in the finals would have been nice but that most of the objectives identified by both him and the Hawthorn board had been achieved.

Judge has re-established his position at Hawthorn after the board lost confidence in his ability to lead the Hawks next year following the shock loss to Collingwood in round 16.

The Hawks have won their past four games, including brave wins over West Coast in Perth in round 20 and Saturday night's two-point win over Geelong.

It is believed that Hawthorn has identified Gary Ayres as its No.1 choice to replace Judge, although Adelaide, too, is interested in the Geelong coach.

It was a tough weekend for coaches with Jeff Gieschen admitting his tenure at Richmond could be in doubt. Though he doubted he could have got more out of his players, Geischen said on 3LO that his position at the club ``is out of my hands".

Richmond president Leon Daphne has dismissed as speculation suggestions that the Tigers have made a late play for Kevin Sheedy, who is yet to re-sign with Essendon.

However, Richmond has also made contact with Malthouse to establish his immediate future.

Daphne stated last week that the club would review all positions at the club from the presidency down. He has not unconditionally supported Gieschen until that review is completed.

Tim Watson, St Kilda's rookie coach, said he accepted the blame for the Saints' poor year and admitted he was not getting the best out of his team.

After St Kilda's first-round thrashing by the Lions in Brisbane, Watson said his team played without passion.

It is a problem he has been unable to solve all season and he said after the Saints' limp performance against Carlton on Saturday that the club's major problem was not lack of fitness but a poor work rate.

``I feel the devastation, the disappointment that's attached to a side that in my reckoning doesn't compete at the desired level," Watson said.

Former West Coast champion John Worsfold yesterday confirmed his interest in coaching and that he would be prepared to move interstate to get the opportunity.

Worsfold will spend a day with Geelong chief executive Brian Cook next week after the Cats-Fremantle game at Shell Stadium.

Geelong's Barry Stoneham and his manager Ricky Nixon will meet Geelong officials tonight to discuss whether the veteran is required by the club next year.

 
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