Cats hold firm on Steven deal

Geelong has reiterated its interest in St Kilda’s Jack Steven but not at any cost.

The Cats and Saints are at a stalemate over a suitable trade for the veteran, with St Kilda rebuffing Geelong’s offer of pick 37.

Geelong chief executive Brian Cook said the club was still eager to negotiate a deal for Steven, who played just seven games in 2019 after struggling with mental health issues, but ruled out parting with a high draft pick.

The Cats secured picks 14, 24 and 37 after yesterday’s bumper trade with West Coast for Tim Kelly. They also hold pick 17.

“We are very enthusiastic about Jack Steven coming but I don’t think there is a willingness to give a very high pick for him,” Cook said.

“This is a bit unique, this trade. We understand St Kilda have reasons for letting him go and we’re very happy to pick those up.

“But we’re not willing to provide a high draft pick for that swap.”

Cook said the Cats won’t target other mature-aged midfielder should talks with the Saints collapse, and instead back in their youngsters to fill the void left by Kelly.

Cook added the club couldn’t do much more to convince Kelly to stay but said there was some regret the Cats weren’t able to convince the AFL to allow them to provide more financial support to his family outside the salary cap.

“We tried to get assistance outside of the cap for the family,” Cook told SEN.

“Unfortunately the Kelly’s have two children who are autistic and need unbelievable support and assistance, and we tried to work with around the AFL and get some compensation.

“And we eventually couldn’t get that, the AFL wouldn’t allow us that.

“The only thing I felt we could have done better was to have got more dollars to do more things to help them in so many more ways but we couldn’t get to that stage.”

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