The Western Bulldogs are set to be active in this year’s trade period, with another player linked with a Footscray move.
Plus Suns coach Stuart Dew confirms star Izak Rankine has a big decision to make on his future.
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DOGS TO ‘POUNCE’ ON FATHER-SON CROW
The Western Bulldogs are reportedly “red hot” on luring Adelaide’s James Rowe away from South Australia for 2023 and beyond.
Rowe, whose father Stephen played for the Crows in the 90s, is out of contract at the end of the year after being snapped up with pick 38 in the 2020 AFL draft.
But the lack of new deal has some speculating Rowe won’t be at the club next season.
“James Rowe is probably not going to get a contract at the Crows, that’s the word,” SEN SA’s Andrew Hayes said.
“The word right now is he’s probably not going to get renewed. This is a bloke who has played 16 games this year and averaging 13 disposals which is marked as above average for a small forward.
“He kicked two goals on the weekend (against North Melbourne) and was a late addition for Wayne Milera.”
It’s reported the Dogs were initially interested in Rowe back at the 2020 Draft, but due to Adelaide’s bid on Jamarra Ugle-Hagan, they had to cough up enough points to match it.
“The Bulldogs are red hot into him. They were into him a couple of years ago, they were going to draft him, hence why the Crows had to nominate Jamarra Ugle-Hagan to get rid of a lot of their (the Bulldogs’) points,” Hayes said.
“They couldn’t accumulate enough points from draft picks to get to James Rowe so he could be on their list.
“Now it looks like the Bulldogs are set to pounce on James Rowe.”
Fellow SEN host Kane Cornes said Rowe “might get a better offer” from an interstate club that what he could expect from the Crows.
“I still think the Crows will offer him a contract, but whether it will be a bargain basement type set up or whether another club sees a different and a larger role for him to play,” he said.
“He might have a decision to make. It might be good for him to go to another club.
“He’ll be playing AFL football next year, I think it will still be at Adelaide but I wouldn’t be surprised if another club makes him feel a bit more loved than Adelaide has made him feel.”
Rowe played 19 games in his debut season and had featured 15 times this year – plus he was an unused medi sub for the clash with Collingwood in Round 18.
The Dogs have been strongly linked to Fremantle big man Rory Lobb this trade period, while there’s also reports of interest in Dockers swing man Griffin Logue.
SUNS COACH ADMITS STAR HAS ‘BIG INCENTIVE’ TO DEPARTMENT
Gold Coast coach Stuart Dew has confirmed star Izak Rankine has received a big offer to join a rival club, with the 22-year-old out of contract at the end of the year.
Adelaide are reportedly offering the forward a five-year deal worth as much as $800,000 per season to return to his home state.
Speaking at his post match press conference on Saturday, Dew all but admitted the Suns weren’t able to match what was being offered to Rankine elsewhere.
“We certainly feel like we’ve got a great support system around him,” he said.
“We feel like we’ve put a lot of development into him and he’s starting to show where he can get to.
“When guys get to the end of their contracts, they’ve got decisions to make.
“And he’s certainly been given a big incentive to look elsewhere.”
It’s believed the Suns are offering Rankine around $650,000 per year.
Rankine has played 48 games for the Suns since being taken with pick three in the 2018 Draft.
He was taken the same year the Gold Coast snapped up Jack Lukosius (pick two) and injured forward Ben King (pick six).
Also taken in that draft year after Rankine were Connor Rozee (five), Bailey Smith (seven), Nick Blakey (10) and Zak Butters (12).
Just last week the Suns leadership group went public with their pleas for Rankine to remain at the club.
Co-captain Touk Miller made it clear that convincing the “special” small forward to stay was a top priority, having already re-signed Ben King, Jack Lukosius, Ben Ainsworth, Elijah Hollands and Mac Andrew this year.
“I know there’s a lot of speculation around him and his future, but for us we really want him to be at this club. He’s a special person, a special player,” Miller said.
“We’ve gone to him and had a few chats about how much he means to us and means to the club, so whether that plays a part in the decision, hopefully it does.”