YOUNG GUN: Suns player Jaeger O'Meara lines up a kick.
YOUNG GUN: Suns player Jaeger O'Meara lines up a kick. DAVE HUNT

Chase for Jaeger all part of post-season fun and games

FORGET Greg Williams. Forget Chris Judd. Forget Gary Ablett.

"Jaeger O'Meara could quite well go down in history as the greatest midfielder that's ever played the game,” was how Tim Watson described the young Sun back in 2013 ... on July 1 and not April 1.

O'Meara had played just 13 senior games, but had been averaging 23 disposals on his way to becoming a clear winner of that year's Rising Star award.

"You've got to keep reminding yourself that here is a kid in his first season of AFL football at 18 years of age. He is unbelievable. He has it all.

"I'll stand corrected if that doesn't eventuate.”

The Essendon champion may yet have to eat his words. O'Meara becoming the greatest ever ... highly unlikely.

While he may "have it all” in terms of playing ability, he has been far from impervious to injury, which may diminish his "greatness”.

However, despite O'Meara having only added another 31 games since Watson's statement due to a serious knee injury, he has a huge upside - one that can still see him become among the premier onballers in the game.

Now that he's turned his back on the Gold Coast, Suns chairman Tony Cochrane will probably hope he doesn't reach his potential.

But while he comes with an obvious risk, Melbourne-based clubs will be falling over themselves to firstly try and entice him to look their way, and secondly, formulate a deal that will appease the Suns.

Essendon could be in the box seat as holder of the No.1 pick in both the national or pre-season drafts. He could choose the Bombers and the Suns get nothing.

"We would love to have him at Essendon, absolutely,” Essendon coach John Worsfold said yesterday. "Players that are around that 22-23-year age bracket are perfect fits for us, especially ones as talented as an O'Meara.”

While Cochrane has threatened sending O'Meara to the draft, senior coach Rodney Eade clearly wants something pretty substantial into return for both O'Meara and fellow wantaway Dion Prestia.

Preferably ready-made onballers with the Suns already flush with high drafts picks - six selections in the first 28 as a result of previous deals involving the moving on of Charlie Dixon and Harley Bennell.

With O'Meara and Prestia gone, and Ablett, Michael Rischitelli and David Swallow battling injury, Eade made it clear "If we're getting players in from other clubs, we need to get players who can play in the midfield,” he said. "That will be a priority in our trading.”

The chase for Jaeger will be just be one of the many post-season fun and games that will be had.

While the AFL runs the risk of losing momentum with the introduction of its first ever bye weekend ahead of the finals, there will be no shortage of discussion points over the next couple of weeks, and beyond.

The free agency window and trade period won't officially begin until October 7 and October 10, respectively.

But there will player delistings, and just as many rumours and innuendo about others who may or may not be involved in the annual meat market.

It is going be on for young and old - from 22-year-old O'Meara to (possibly) 38-year-old Brent Harvey.

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