Senior Richmond advisor Neil Balme has provided updates on out-of-contract Tigers Callum Coleman-Jones and Mabior Chol and hinted at the club’s free agency prospects.
Coleman-Jones and Chol are both yet to commit beyond 2021 and are reportedly considering their options, with the former thought to be considering a move to North Melbourne.
Balme said the Tigers believe they have “looked after” Coleman-Jones enough to warrant the 22-year-old’s signature on a new contract and are eager for him to remain at the club.
“We’re very keen for him to stay, we thought we gave him enough opportunities last year so that he’d want to play for us,” he told SEN Afternoons.
“But we’ve got to recognise what the system is, the system says they’ve got the right to make some decisions and other clubs will be keen to get a hold of him.
“We’re obviously telling him the story from the Richmond point of view, but he’ll be thinking of the story from a slightly more selfish point of view.
“We’re keen for him to stay, and we think we’ve looked after him and we’d like him to have another year with us.”
The Tigers are expecting a decision from Coleman-Jones in the coming days.
“I think (the decision) will come reasonably soon,” Balme said.
“You’re never quite sure what’s going on in the background, but that’s why we need to respect his decision.
“We’re not going to shoot him if he doesn’t stay.”
The revered football figure believes Chol is in a similar boat to his teammate and admitted the 24-year-old deserves more opportunity than he’s had.
“I think so (that he’s a chance to stay),” he said.
“He’s in the same position where he’ll say, ‘am I going to get enough opportunities?’
“He’s been around long enough for us to have perhaps thought that he should have had more opportunities, he’s played some good footy with us, probably not quite as much as we’d like, but we’d be happy for him to stay.”
The 2020 premiers have been strongly linked to Daniel Talia to replace the retiring David Astbury, with Balme admitting they were “considering” the delisted Crow.
“There are quite a few blokes we’re looking at, and (Talia’s) certainly one we’re considering,” he said.
However, he denied any knowledge of interest in out of favour Cat Quinton Narkle.
“We haven’t got much room to move, we’re not going to be very aggressive,” Balme said.
The Tigers faded to miss the eight this season after being the dominant team since 2017, that period culminating in three premierships.