Cats decline to match Port’s Motlop offer

Steven Motlop is officially a Port Adelaide AFL player after Geelong declined to match the Power’s offer to the restricted free agent.

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Motlop has signed a four-year deal at Alberton Oval, with the Power beating crosstown rivals Adelaide — who were thought to have offered a more lucrative deal — in the race for his services.

It continues a busy trade period for Port, who earlier this week secured former Brisbane skipper Tom Rockliff as a free agent and are frontrunners to sign Melbourne forward Jack Watts.

The AFL are yet to confirm the compensation Geelong will receive for Motlop but it is expected to be a late second-round draft pick.

Motlop, who played 135 games for the Cats and booted 175 goals, said he was impressed by the presentation made by Power coach Ken Hinkley and skipper Travis Boak.

“It was a difficult decision to leave Geelong,” he said.

“I spent nine great years there and they were fantastic for my footy and a great support for me and my family.

“I already have a connection to the Power where my older brother, Daniel, played for six seasons and my cousin, Marlon, still works in the community department.

“Port Adelaide is also an industry leader with its indigenous community work, which is an area that is really important to me.”

Geelong football boss Simon Lloyd said Motlop had been a strong contributor for the Cats.

“It is always a difficult day when a long-term player departs,” Lloyd said.

“He helped us reach the finals seven times and was a creative and dynamic player who was invested in our program.

“We thank him for his service to Geelong and wish him well in his new journey with the Power.”

Motlop’s decision to join the Power could result in Adelaide forcing wantaway speedster Charlie Cameron to play out the final year of his contract despite Brisbane offering a first-round draft pick.