Suns, Blues among six in race to cash out Betts
Gold Coast has joined the race of clubs trying to lure Eddie Betts away from Adelaide with a multi-year playing/mentor role similar to Luke Hodge at Brisbane and Jordan Lewis at Melbourne.
Betts, 32, is contracted to the Crows for next year and his preference is to see it through but rival clubs are tempting him with a move if Adelaide says it will prioritise youth at selection next year and would entertain a trade for him.
Lachlan Murphy (20) has played every game this season, Tyson Stengle (20) has kicked five goals in two games, first-round draft pick Jordan Gallucci (21) is trying to get back into the senior side and Shane McAdam (24) will be in contention next season.
Up to six clubs contacted Betts' management company W Sports and Media when he was dropped from Adelaide's senior side three weeks ago but his agent Garry Winter would not confirm which.
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The Advertiser has been told that both Gold Coast and his former club Carlton, where Betts is friends with interim coach David Teague who was his old forwardline coach at the Crows, have made contact.
"There has been interest," Winter said.
"We received calls from a number of clubs who are interested in Eddie, some in a playing and mentoring role, but right now his priority is to stay at the Crows.
"He's contracted for next year and other than taking calls we haven't spoken to other clubs."
Gold Coast last month confirmed it was looking at ways to bolster its list for next year and had targeted indigenous games record holder Shaun Burgoyne but he is now likely to stay at Hawthorn.
The Suns declined to comment on Betts or rival players on Monday but list manager Craig Cameron last month told The Herald Sun: "We're looking at (a) range of options to improve our playing list and we need experienced players with good character."
Carlton football director Chris Judd last month said the Blues were looking for small forwards but he expected Betts to remain at Adelaide next year.
It comes as the AFL is reportedly considering giving Gold Coast access to Darwin as a recruiting zone under its Next Generation Academy system and the Crows recently ended their AFLW partnership with the NT Government.
Betts will not make a decision on his future until after the season as the Crows stay in the hunt for finals.
He had nine disposals and kicked one goal in Sunday's loss to West Coast which leaves Adelaide outside the top eight by percentage with two games to go.
The goal took Betts' tally to 599 goals from 314 games at both Adelaide and Carlton and despite a Fox Footy report last month suggesting the Crows would broach retirement with him, he has no plans to stop playing at the top level.
A move to Gold Coast would likely see Betts play for two more seasons and have him mentor the likes of Izak Rankine who he previously helped before Rankine was drafted from West Adelaide to the Suns with Pick No.3 last year.
Rankine is yet to make his AFL debut after battling hamstring injuries this season but could play in the last two weeks, and last month signed a two-year contract extension tying him to the Suns until 2022.
The Suns are crying out for experience, leadership and x-factor as they struggle to remain competitive while the AFL needs a player of Betts' popularity to help bring fans through the gates.
Gold Coast would also be relieved not to have to play against Betts anymore after the small forward booted two bags of six goals against them this season.