Adelaide will entertain offers for two of its star free agents, Matt Crouch and Daniel Talia.
Rival clubs, particularly those based in Victoria (where Crouch and Talia grew up) have this week become aware of Adelaide’s willingness to let them walk out of the club.
Senior sources at Adelaide have also told The Age that versatile veteran Tom Lynch is also unlikely to be offered a new contract, which has raised eyebrows among some teammates.
Matt Crouch may leave Adelaide this year as a free agent. Credit:Getty
Neither Crouch (groin) nor Talia (foot) have played this season as they deal with ongoing injuries and both are in the final years of their contract.
Crouch has long been linked with a move back to Victoria and those noises have only become louder since his brother Brad made the move to St Kilda last year.
While the Crows have made progress this year without Crouch and Talia playing, their departures would be significant.
On the move? Daniel Talia.Credit:Getty Images
Talia is a dual All-Australian key defender and a best and fairest winner, while Crouch won the best and fairest in 2017, the same year he was an All-Australian.
Crouch ranked fifth in the competition for disposals in 2020.
Rival clubs told The Age on Wednesday that both players would be valued at approximately second-round draft picks, mainly due to Crouch’s injury history and Talia’s age.
Coach Matthew Nicks addressed the situation surrounding the contracts for Crouch, Lynch and Talia in late June.
“I am not going to come out and say they have to play football [this season] for them to be at this footy club going forward, that’s not the case,” Nicks said
“But it is factored into the conversation at this point.”
Meanwhile, Fremantle small forward Lachie Schultz is on Hawthorn’s radar, with the Hawks showing interest in bringing him to Waverley as a free agent at the end of the season.
Originally from Moama, Schultz played for the Bendigo Pioneers but was undrafted as an 18-year-old, before pressing his case for an opportunity at the top level with strong form for Williamstown in the VFL.
Taken at pick 57 in the 2018 draft, Schultz played seven AFL games for the Dockers in his first season but has become a senior regular under Justin Longmuir, playing all bar one game for Freo since the start of last season.
The Hawks are interested in Docker Lachie Schultz.Credit:Getty
He has kicked 17 goals from 15 matches this season as well as laying 38 tackles.
While Schultz is only approaching the end of his third season as a Docker, he qualifies as an unrestricted free agent. This is because he was last year delisted by Fremantle under the AFL’s special provisions for clubs to move players from their senior list to their rookie list to help teams cope with list size reductions that followed the COVID-19 financial hit.
Fellow Docker Brett Bewley, another product of the VFL, also fits into that category.
As such the Hawks could nab Schultz without giving up a draft pick if he wanted to join the club. Sources familiar with the situation have confirmed to The Age that Schultz has attracted rival attention and that the Hawks have shown interest in the 178-centimetre goalsneak.
Having once boasted a small forward line-up that was the envy of the league, the Hawks have used various different players through that area of the ground in recent years following the premature retirement of Cyril Rioli and Paul Puopolo’s career coming to an end last year. Luke Breust has been a mainstay but is now 30, although Dylan Moore has established himself this year. Ollie Hanrahan has, however, been unable to cement a spot and is out-of-contract at season’s end. Tyler Brockman also got a taste of AFL action early in the season before returning against the Dockers on the weekend.
With Tom Scully and Jonathon Patton having both retired well before their contracts were due to expire, the Hawks have opened up salary cap space, not that Schultz would likely command a particularly hefty price tag.
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