Stephen Coniglio has said that his delay in signing a new contract was due to the quality of options available to him and working out what was right for him.
As the season progressed both Carlton and Hawthorn thought they were in with a shout at luring away the star.
Coniglio admits that he was tempted to switch clubs.
“The longer it went on it wasn’t that I was more likely to leave, I just hadn’t figured out what I wanted to do yet,” he said on the Dyl and Friends podcast, run by teammate Dylan Buckley.
“I had options, that’s what I kept reminding myself. I’m not a kid in Africa here that doesn’t have food or someone that doesn’t actually have a club for next year, I’ve got some really good clubs interested, some big clubs, (and) I like it where I am, so it’s just about figuring out the right answer or the one that felt best for me.
“When people ask, ‘Why did it take so long?’ it’s because I didn’t have that answer at times, I think throughout the year I was questioning myself and what I wanted to do … I’ve been in Sydney for eight years now so do I want to go to Melbourne or Perth and try something different and be closer to my family or start a new network, live in a new city — not just footy but life in general.
“Because I didn’t have a clear answer that was the hardest thing.”
At the end of the saga, Coniglio turned down the interstate offers to agree the longest deal in Giants history, a massive seven years. He expects more players to face similar decisions as acceptance for player movements increases.
On the podcast, he talked about receiving a phone call from Alastair Clarkson and described it as “like cheating on your girlfriend.”
“I don’t have a girlfriend so I don’t know what it would be like to do that, but that’s what I referenced, you try to do it in a way so that the club doesn’t know but ultimately in the AFL everyone finds out,” he said.
“It’s just where AFL is getting to and you look at a lot of sports around the world, with NBA and soccer being the most notable in terms of players moving around having conversations with clubs, but I was glad that I actually did that and was able to make a decision on the back of that.”