‘The gap was too big’: Blues AFLW coach confirms pay dispute at centre of star’s exit
AFLW trailblazer Tayla Harris will need to find a third club after talks between her management and Carlton broke down.
Blues AFLW coach Daniel Harford confirmed on Friday morning that Harris’ management and the club couldn’t agree to terms for a new deal.
The 24-year-old’s manager Alex Saundry has now begun holding preliminary talks with other clubs ahead of the AFLW sign and trade period, slated to commence on May 31.
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The Herald Sun reported Harris was asking for $150,000 to play in 2022, despite an underwhelming 2021 season that saw her kick just four goals from eight games and finish outside the top 15 of Carlton’s best and fairest count.
Speaking on RSN Breakfast Club, Harford said it had become too difficult to bridge the gap between Harris’ requests and what Carlton was willing to offer.
“It’s been a bit of a difficult negotiation clearly for this one for us and for Tay, because you’ve got to put it all together and make sure you’ve got your reward for all your players who deserve it through the journey and Tay’s had certainly some reward for her efforts through her campaign so far,” he said.
“But as played out in the story last week, I think the gap was too big. We haven’t been able to find common ground for the contract for Tay at the moment. So it’s in the interest of both parties to just see what you can get outside.”
Tayla Harris will continue her footy career at a new club. Picture: Michael KleinSource:News Corp Australia
Harford said Harris’ ability was unquestionable, but her inconsistency on-field in recent times had made it hard to justify her contract requests.
“Tayla’s skill set is unique. What she can do, very few if any other players can do. Now, the challenge for Tayla was to be able to do that consistently week in, week out,” he said.
“From a list management perspective … you’ve got to put all that together and put a monetary value on that and make sure that’s consistent with your philosophies and themes for other players as well.
“Clearly what we’ve been unable to do in the last little while is make that work.”
Speaking with The Age, Saundry said Harris’ credentials spoke for themselves despite a poor season.
“Tayla is a three-time All-Australian and was Carlton’s leading goalkicker in three out of her four seasons at the club,” she said.
“She was forthcoming with the club about her disappointing season and was proactive in providing solutions to help her return to top form.
“While we are disappointed we haven’t reached a resolution with the club, Tayla’s future remains our priority and we will work through the appropriate next steps with consideration to her upcoming boxing bout in July.”
Harris began her career with the Brisbane Lions in 2017 before a move to Carlton at the end of the season.
She was earlier this month eyeing off at least two boxing events, including a world title bout, according to Footy Classified host Eddie McGuire.
Originally published asAFW star leaves club over pay dispute
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