‘The scary part is, he’s not even near his best yet’

Sturt legend Colin Casey isn’t surprised there’s speculation around a Brodie Grundy trade given the quality player he is, but can’t imagine Collingwood giving up their superstar ruckman.

SANFL legend Colin Casey — the man who signed a 15-year-old basketballer called Brodie Grundy to Sturt’s junior development squad setting him on the path to AFL super-stardom — says the Collingwood ruckman will make a decision on his future based only on his best interests.

As speculation continues to swirl around the future of Grundy at Collingwood, Casey, who played 251 games in defence for Sturt over a decorated 13-year career, said he couldn’t imagine the Magpies giving up their matchwinner.

“I’m sure Collingwood wouldn’t trade him,” Casey said. “Brodie is a very level-headed young man, he studies outside of footy and he wants to know other people rather than be in the bubble.

“So he’s got his feet firmly on the ground and he’ll make a decision that is in his best interests and I don’t have a problem with that.”

As Grundy prepares to return to his SA hometown for Collingwood’s clash with the Crows at Adelaide Oval on Saturday, it’s amid continuing speculation about his future and whether the Crows will try to lure Grundy back home — and whether he’ll say yes.

Grundy is contracted to the Magpies until the end of the 2020 season, but the 25-year-old has reportedly put contract negotiations with his club on hold as seeks a lucrative six- or seven-year deal.

And with Grundy widely considered one of the AFL’s most influential players — and in contention for this year’s Brownlow Medal — he should be able to command a blockbuster deal in excess of $1 million a season.

Sturt legend and two-time premiership player Colin Casey at the club’s Unley headquarters. Picture: Mark Brake
Sturt legend and two-time premiership player Colin Casey at the club’s Unley headquarters.

Former Adelaide captain Mark Bickley is among those who’ve encouraged the Crows to break their unwritten financial rule of not paying players more than $1 million a year and “open up the cheque book” to secure the 203cm former state basketballer.

With Crows ruckman Sam Jacobs reportedly coming under the interest of interstate clubs including Greater Western Sydney, the possibility is that a ruck position will be opened up on Adelaide’s list.

But no matter which team Grundy plays for, Casey said he would continue to “thoroughly enjoy” watching his former recruit play.

“I don’t get to see him too often, but when a Collingwood game is on (television) I just love watching him run, the way he attacks the footy,” he said.

A young Brodie Grundy working out in the Double Blues gym ahead of the 2012 AFL draft. He was taken by Collingwood with pick No. 18.
A young Brodie Grundy working out in the Double Blues gym ahead of the 2012 AFL draft. He was taken by Collingwood with pick No. 18.

“I always go back and think: ‘Cor blimey, he’s come a fair way’. I did run into him at the gym at Unley (about four years ago) and had a chat to him and he was going: ‘Oh, Case, I can’t do this, I can’t do that, I’ve got to better’. I said: ‘Mate, take a deep breath, you’ve been playing for five years’. He said: ‘Oh, yeah, I’d never thought of that’.

“So the scary part is, he’s not even near his best yet.

“Your best is when you’re aged 28, 29, 30, that’s when you’re smart enough to know what you’re doing as a footballer, that’s when your maturity kicks in.

“And a ruckman your best would be closer to 30 because your maturity takes longer … so I reckon in another four years it’s frightening how good this kid could be.”

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