Player Name: Travis Cloke
Current Club: Collingwood Magpies
Potential Club: Cloke has openly stated that he’d like to head to the Western Bulldogs, and the club is keen to include him on their list to cover the loss of Jack Redpath and assist in the development of Tom Boyd. With all parties on the same page, there’s no reason why this won’t come to fruition.
The original price: Travis Cloke was drafted as a father-son selection – his father David played 114 games for Collingwood and 219 games for Richmond – with pick 39 in 2004, three years prior to the introduction of the bidding system.
The Good: Cloke’s contested marking has been his strength throughout his career, although even that has suffered this year with the emergence of Darcy Moore. However, if he gets the chance to once again be the big man inside 50 he could well hit the highs of 2011. As a premiership player, Cloke will bring leadership to any young forward line and could well have just as big of an impact off the field as on it.
The Bad: Put simply, Cloke’s kicking has been well below standard for a number of years now. In 2016 his disposal efficiency was 59.5%, well below that of previous years. With a goal:behind ratio of near 1:1 this year, this aspect of his game clearly needs work. The upside is, if he gets it right, he’ll be a dangerous power forward once again.
What his club wants: Above all else, Collingwood wants to clear room in the salary cap. In 2016, Cloke is earning up around the $800,000 mark. Although his salary, should he remain at Collingwood, is expected to be almost half that in 2017, the Pies would certainly like that off their books as well. Although the club would likely be happy with packaging up Cloke and a pick to snare a fringe player, it’s more likely they’ll accept a fourth-round selection – they don’t have a third-round selection – from the Bulldogs.
What he’s worth: His age combined with his dubious kicking and the fact that Collingwood are not interested in retaining him, lower his value significantly. The appeal lies in his big body and leadership in the forward line. For a young club chasing a flag that is in need of some size inside forward 50, Cloke provides significant value, just not significant enough to give up more than a third-round draft pick or fringe player.
What we’d pay: An early third-round selection, around pick 37-42
Possible trade scenarios:
- Collingwood trades Travis Cloke to Bulldogs for Pick 69.
- Collingwood trades Pick 44 and Travis Cloke to Bulldogs for Lin Jong.
The Verdict: Both Travis Cloke and the Collingwood Football Club have come to terms with the fact that the power forward won’t be at the club next year. With Collingwood looking to clear some room in their salary cap, expect them to amicably facilitate a trade to Cloke’s club of choice, there won’t be any smoke and shadows behind the window.
Star Rating: 3/5
While his best is clearly behind him, Cloke is not over the hill yet. If the 29-year-old fixes his radar, he’ll hit the scoreboard.