TWO clubs are in the mix for fringe Richmond midfielder Jacob Townsend this upcoming trade period after a frustrating 2018 campaign.
AFL Trade Radio reports that a meeting has been set up between St Kilda and Townsend’s management, while the Gold Coast Suns are also exploring the possibility of recruiting the inside ball-winner.
Journalist Damian Barrett said St Kilda led the race for Townsend at this stage but other clubs were interested in him.
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“Jacob Townsend … will be seeking a new footy home, as we’ve known for some time — and it’s St Kilda that I’m being told this week that is showing significant interest in him,” Barrett told AFL Trade Radio.
“There’s a meeting teed up for that to be thrashed out and potentially a move to the St Kilda Football Club from Jacob Townsend. But there are other clubs interested in him.”
Essendon legend Matthew Lloyd said the Suns, who have also been linked to Townsend’s Tiger teammates Corey Ellis and Anthony Miles as well as fringe Cat George Horlin-Smith, were also keen on Townsend.
“My understanding also is that the Gold Coast Suns will look to bolster their mid-range players and will also look to meet with Townsend, if they haven’t met with him already,” Lloyd said.
Townsend claimed the 2017 JJ Liston Trophy for the VFL’s best player before winning a spot in the Tigers’ best 22 for the drought-breaking premiership.
He played 10 games for the Tigers in 2018 but struggled to keep his place in the side.
Lloyd said Townsend had the potential to play 22 games at another club like the Suns or Saints.
“He was one of those players who, in the premiership year, didn’t get a lot of disposals but he just didn’t miss when he got the ball. He was kicking his two to three goals a game,” Lloyd said.
“Once he stopped doing that, he lost his placed in the team. Guys like Daniel Rioli and (Jason) Castagna and (Dan) Butler and those types, Jack Higgins, took his spot and he never recovered this year.
“He’s a player that’s got to be tough and capitalise on his chances because he’s not a huge ball-winner.”