Mitch Clark, who retired in April due to depression, has selected Geelong as the AFL club at which he wants to restart his career.
A pow wow with a handful of Geelong players helped convince the AFL club that Mitch Clark was worth taking a risk on.
Clark on Tuesday nominated Geelong as the club at which he will aim to restart a promising career cut down by injury and mental illness.
The 26-year-old retired in April due to depression, but made a major impression when he recently met some of the Cats.
“They … got to the bottom of what motivates him. They were pretty impressed,” Geelong football manager Neil Balme told AFL Trade Radio.
“There’s a fair bit of risk around him but we’re reasonably confident that we can mitigate that.
“If we can get the thing done, we think he’d be an important player for us.”
Clark is still part of Melbourne’s squad, meaning he will have to enter the draft if the Cats and Demons are unable to agree on a suitable trade.
Balme tipped Melbourne will be cooperative, given Clark’s medical advice suggested a change of scenery would be helpful.
“They’re a good club in that they are mindful of his future and what he should do,” he said.
“He’s worth a lot more than probably what will go over the table.”
Clark played his 97th AFL game in round four of the 2013 season, when he was sidelined with another foot problem.
The ruck-forward suffered a series of injuries in a promising career that started in 2005 when he was drafted by Brisbane and played alongside Geelong coach Chris Scott.
“We’ve got our own people who we’ve spoken to (regarding Clark’s foot troubles) … they’re very confident he’ll be able to manage and it won’t be a long-term problem,” Balme said.
Balme added that it was unlikely, but not impossible, the Cats would exchange a player instead of handing over a draft pick for Clark.
Taylor Hunt could be one of few players offloaded by Geelong next month, with Balme confirming the midfielder was considering his options.
“He didn’t get many opportunities (in 2014),” he said.
“He may not have to go, but he may well find somewhere to go that better suits him.”
The Cats are also in the race for Melbourne’s wantaway free agent James Frawley.