Collingwood are adamant they want Travis Cloke next season, saying the only way he might switch AFL clubs is if he requests a trade.
The Magpies sensationally dropped Cloke for Monday’s Queens Birthday clash against Melbourne.
Cloke only lasted back in the AFL for just one week after his lengthy spell in the VFL, which started when he was dropped for the Anzac Day win over Essendon.
The key forward is contracted to Collingwood until the end of next season, but his troubles this year have prompted speculation that the `Pies might want to trade him once this season is over.
“We’ve got half the season to play and both he has committed to us and we’re committed to him for next year,” Collingwood football manager Neil Balme told SEN.
“I don’t know why everyone is saying `where is he going to go next year?’.
“He’s not going to go anywhere next year.
“He might want to. There might be things that happen later on. But right now none of that is in contention.”
Cloke’s father and manager, former AFL star David Cloke, also said on Friday it was business as usual.
David Cloke told the AFL website that he has no talks scheduled with the Magpies about his son’s future.
“Trav’s just getting himself ready to play tomorrow … and we’ll see what happens over the rest of the season,” David Cloke said.
“And he’s contracted for next year.
“He’ll go out there and play tomorrow and put his hand up whenever Collingwood play in the seniors next time.”
But AFL commentator and former Brisbane captain Jonathon Brown is among those pessimistic about Cloke’s future at Collingwood.
Brown said Cloke “struggled mightily” in last week’s loss to Port Adelaide.
Magpies coach Nathan Buckley said Cloke’s 13 disposals and six marks were “serviceable”, but the key forward did not kick any goals and Buckley admitted he wanted more from him.
“I think this might be it. I don’t think you will see him in a Collingwood jumper next year,” Brown said.