Lions to stand up to high pay demands

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AFL: Gold Coast Suns midfielder Jaeger O’Meara could make his return to AFL from injury in as little as two weeks.

Jaeger O’Meara will decide on his comeback on Friday. Picture: David Clark

BRISBANE are holding their nerve in negotiations with out-of-contract stars and remain confident there will be no mini-exodus from the Gabba.

Talks with captain Tom Rockliff, Josh Green and Lewis Taylor have stalled but Lions officials are not panicking.

Rockliff, contracted until the end of next season, wanted a $4 million deal over five years; Taylor’s management are believed to have originally asked for $500,000 a season while Green’s demands are believed to be about $400,000 a year.

Brisbane have baulked at numbers which no club in the AFL would pay for those players and are happy to play a waiting game.

Rockliff has battled hamstring injuries in recent years while Green and Taylor have spent time in the NEAFL this season after form slumps.

Brisbane Lions skipper Tom Rockliff is asking for $4 million over five years. Picture: Colleen Petch

Brisbane Lions skipper Tom Rockliff is asking for $4 million over five years. Picture: Colleen PetchSource:News Corp Australia

The club has offered three-year deals to Taylor and Green which remained unsigned.

The Lions have been in the unenviable position for years of player managers asking well above market rate, especially after the departure of the “Go Home Five’’ at the end of 2013.

The Lions cannot spend all of their salary cap and need to keep some powder dry to retain key forward Josh Schache and other promising cubs.

PLAYER manager Colin Young has denied putting a $750,000-a-year tag on Suns midfielder Jaeger O’Meara.

Reports on Tuesday indicated other clubs had been told they would need “elite midfield wages’’ to snare O’Meara.

“We have said all along Jaeger would not be speaking to any club, whether it be his own club Gold Coast or any other club in the AFL, until he has played a substantial amount of football in 2016,” Young told the AFL website.

“To think that management would be speaking to any club and seeking any price at this stage is absolutely ridiculous.’’

O’Meara will decide on Friday whether to make his comeback from a serious knee injury in the NEAFL on Saturday. The WA product has not played a senior game since Round 23, 2014.

SUNS vice-captain Dion Prestia will meet his manager Marty Pask next week when he is on the Coast for the national under-16 championship.

Prestia has been linked to a return to Melbourne, with Richmond a contender but the Suns remain confident both he and O’Meara will stay.

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