In-demand Cloke gets praise from Dogs

Key Western Bulldogs players have heaped praise on Travis Cloke as the Collingwood forward looks for a new AFL club following Tuesday’s trade request.

Tory Dickson, Matt Suckling and Jason Johannisen have all spoken highly of the veteran forward who has been linked with a move to the Dogs.

“Travis has obviously been a special player for a long time,” Suckling said.

“I’m sure the list managers will make that decision but he’s been a good player. I’m sure Trav could fit into most clubs and have an impact next year.”

Dickson, who has kicked 30 goals in 18 games this season, is also a fan of the 29-year-old’s work.

“He’s a wonderful player, he’s obviously had some indifferent form this year and has been sent back to the twos to work on a few things,” Dickson said.

“(But) he’s a great player … that comes down to a match committee/list management (decision).”

Cloke’s former coach, Mick Malthouse, on Wednesday backed a move to the Bulldogs as the best decision for the centre half-forward’s career.

He believed Cloke would work best in the Luke Beveridge coached team, given the pace at which they move the ball around.

“Travis is the sort of player that needs the ball moved in without everyone jumping all over the top of him,” he told RSN Breakfast.

“He’s not a big pack marker, he’s a very good mark on the lead.

“The Dogs could supply him that space, there’s no question about that.”

The club will contest their second finals series in succession under Beveridge but go into their campaign as the lowest-ranked scoring team in the top eight.

Jake Stringer, the club’s leading goal kicker with 37, has spent the past two weeks in the VFL but looms as a key inclusion when the Bulldogs take on West Coast in next week’s elimination final in Perth.

“I think he’s gone back (to the VFL) with the right mindset – he’s tackled hard and his defensive pressure has been great,” Dickson said.

“It’s a match committee thing but it would be great to have him back in because he’s a special player and he can win games of football.”

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