ST KILDA has at last made Brendon Goddard a formal contract offer but coach Scott Watters says he respects the gifted footballer’s right to test his worth in the free agency market.
Three weeks ago The Saturday Age revealed that the Saints had not made an official offer to Goddard as both parties kept their options open, and the offer Watters referred to yesterday is believed to be recent.
But Watters was adamant that the St Kilda captaincy would not be used as bait to keep Goddard at the club.
”What I think is really important for our members and supporters to know is that we have put a contract in front of Brendon and we certainly want him staying at this footy club,” Watters said.
He said St Kilda was in a ”sound” salary cap position but the new free agency rules empowered Goddard to field an offer from a rival club. The Saints can either match that or receive a first-round draft pick as compensation.
Goddard has said he wants to finish his career at St Kilda.
”Do we want Brendon here? Absolutely. But Brendon has a right through that agreement to test the market, that’s his choice, and I support that.
”He also has an opportunity … we’ve had three 300-game players at this club in 139 years of history. I’d like Brendon to be the fourth, so it’s a tough position to be in as a player,” Watters said.
”We will support him and keep dialogue open with his management but that is where it sits. We are comfortable with what we’ve put in front of Brendon.”
Captain Nick Riewoldt, whose season is over because of a knee tendon injury, last week said it would be best for the club’s development if he handed over the leadership next season and nominated Goddard as his ideal successor.
If Goddard does stay and becomes captain, it won’t be because the role is bundled into a contract offer as a sweetener.
”At no stage would captaincy be offered as cream on the cake for a contract. That would be disrespecting the privilege of being captain. Captaincy is earned and to me it shouldn’t be an incentive,” Watters said.
”Brendon has really strong leadership potential, he’s shown that internally this year, and he would be in strong contention for that type of role going forward. But it wouldn’t be a gift on top of a contract, not while I’m here.”
Meantime, Justin Koschitzke will have scans on his shoulder and hip to determine whether he’ll be booked in for season-ending surgery or play the last game. Watters said Koschitzke’s season had suffered from having to spend significant stints in the ruck because of injuries to other talls.
”People underestimate the impact that has on a player who really shouldn’t be rucking at all. But he has had some patches where his form also hasn’t been up to standard, so he needs to challenge to hold his place in the side again next year, as all players do.”
The Saints made five changes for today’s game against Greater Western Sydney at Etihad Stadium. Seb Ross, a ball-winning midfielder and cousin of Essendon captain Jobe Watson, will make his debut.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.