Player Name: Nathan Vardy
Current Club: Geelong Cats
Potential Club: Port Adelaide, who are looking to sure up their tall forward stocks after delisting Jay Schulz and John Butcher, are the club most recently linked with Vardy; He’s reportedly undergone a medical at the club. Essendon enquired about Vardy’s availability at the end of 2015 and the Western Bulldogs, Brisbane and GWS have all been linked with him as well.
The Original Price: Vardy was selected with pick 42 in the 2009 National Draft. That pick came to Geelong via a four-way trade which saw Shaun Burgoyne head to Hawthorn and Mark Williams head to Essendon.
The Good: He’s an agile genuine tall. At only 25 years of age, he’s still young in terms of the development of a key position player. He has a good leap and a knack for getting himself into the right position to make a play on the ball. His greatest appeal is his ability to play a genuine centre-half-forward role and compete well in the ruck.
The Bad: Injuries have plagued the 25-year-old’s career. In his seven years of football, he has only managed to play 25 games. A potentially career-ending hip injury saw Vardy miss most of the 2012 season and much of 2013, while a ruptured ACL in the 2014 pre-season and a number of setbacks during recovery resulted in Vardy playing just three games across the 2014 and 2015 seasons.
What His Club Wants: It’s been a big two-year period for Geelong at the trade table and what the club really needs now is some continuity and consistency. While they rate Vardy quite highly, his inability to stay fit has been a concern. Geelong desperately needs a key forward alongside Tom Hawkins and if Vardy can’t be that, they’ll have to figure out a way to bring one in.
What He’s Worth: His value at this stage is still based on his potential. It’s well known that key forwards and ruckmen take a lot longer to develop and the glimpses we’ve seen of Vardy up until this point have been positive. Rival clubs will be willing to pay for Vardy, but will be wary of the risk associated with his medical history.
What We’d Pay: A mid third-round selection, around pick 40-45.
Possible Trade Scenarios:
- Geelong trade Vardy to Port Adelaide for pick 45.
- Geelong trade Vardy to Port Adelaide. Port Adelaide trade Hamish Hartlett to Essendon. Essendon trade pick 37 to Geelong and pick 19 to Port Adelaide.
- Geelong trade Vardy to Port Adelaide for Cam O’Shea.
The Verdict: It is likely that Vardy will request a trade away from Geelong, what isn’t known at this point is whether he’ll request a particular destination club. He’ll be looking to play senior football in next year. It will be fascinating to see if he can get some continuity in his body and play in a consistent manner.
Star Rating: 2.5/5
A trade could come back to bite Geelong if Vardy can get his body right and live up to his potential.