O’Meara to draft if Hawks don’t lift offer

Gold Coast remain hopeful that Jaegar O’Meara will stay at the AFL club after the Suns refused Hawthorn’s “low-ball” offer for the young star midfielder.

Suns chairman Tony Cochrane says the AFL clubs are a long way from agreeing to terms and if no deal is done by 2pm Thursday O’Meara will go to the draft or they will try to convince him to stay.

Gold Coast refused the Hawks’ latest offer of picks 10 and 48 with the Suns wanting an experienced senior player included in the deal.

“It’s really not at anywhere exciting, I regret to say after a lot of posturing by Hawthorn over the last month about how exciting this young player is and what they were hoping to do and attract him across to their club,” Cochrane told SEN radio.

“Putting us to one side, just from O’Meara’s point of view, it’s a pretty low-ball offer for an exciting young star.”

Cochrane remained hopeful that the 22-year-old would reconsider his future and stay at the young Queensland club, who offered him a two-year deal after two seasons sidelined with knee injuries.

If a deal can’t be done, Essendon could snatch up O’Meara with the first pick in the pre-season draft.

The outspoken club boss said the Suns needed to make a stand so they weren’t viewed as a just training camp for young players before they joined other AFL sides.

“No-one’s fault, but Hawthorn’s picked an appalling year to try and grab somebody like an O’Meara off us,” he said.

“We’ve got an absolutely bottler of a group of (trade) picks.

“We’re blessed with an enormous trade pick selection and it will be further blessed today with (Dion) Prestia (leaving).

“If ever we were going to make a stand, this is the year to do it.”

Cochrane said he recently met with Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson, which he described as an “enlightening” conversation.

“On this occasion we, the Gold Coast footy club, are the seller and sellers only sell when you get to a price or situation when they’re prepared to say, ‘Yep, that will do it for us’.”

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