DEPARTING Collingwood forward Travis Cloke has revealed Western Bulldogs as his destination of choice for 2017 as he hunts a second premiership.
The 29-year-old broke the news to Magpies coach Nathan Buckley on Tuesday that he would be seeking a trade to the Bulldogs, a club he will watch "as a keen supporter" in the upcoming finals series.
"I've enjoyed watching their (Bulldogs) footy I guess over the last two years to see how Bevo (coach Luke Beveridge) has changed their whole football club around," Cloke told Channel Nine.
"I actually haven't spoken to Bevo as such but I'm sure in the coming weeks I will.
"They've got their own finals campaign at the moment and obviously going to do very well.
"I'll watch them as a keen supporter as most will.
"If that's where I do end up, they play a very exciting brand of footy and I feel like I could improve their side but also they can get the best out of me and we can work something out there."
Beveridge was forced to contact Buckley earlier this season after Bulldog Lin Jong was caught meeting with the Magpies. Instead, the Bulldogs have taken a different approach as they chase the 2010 premiership star.
"Management with Paul (Connors) and Robbie (D'Orazio) have had conversations with the Western Bulldogs, obviously a few other clubs have communicated and had a chat as well," he said.
"I want to be involved in a winning culture, winning club. That's going to be pretty important in my decision going forward."
In a wide-ranging interview with The Footy Show, Cloke spoke about:
- Richmond making contact with his management in what would be a nostalgic family moment after his dad David made the same move across town more than 30 years ago;
- The preferred option of continuing his career in Melbourne but "would never say no" to a move interstate;
- Wanting to "reach out" to St Kilda champion Nick Riewoldt in coming weeks to try and learn to "reinvent" himself as a player;
- His training load of 98 per cent in 2016 the highest he'd ever completed in his career, still pushing 15kms in matches;
- Getting dropped ahead of round 20 "hurt a lot" prompting his decision to look for a future elsewhere.
"I'm a pretty loyal person and that was probably the hardest thing to remove myself from that 2017 contract," he said.
"I didn't want to be playing VFL football, they can't guarantee you're going to be playing senior footy all the time, depending on form, body, what the club's doing, where it's going as well.
"I thought I'd been playing some reasonably good football, helping with the success we actually had in the second half of the season."
Cloke played the first three years of his career under Buckley's captaincy before he replaced Mick Malthouse as coach in 2012.
"My friendship with Bucks is always going to be the same, our relationship as a coach and player obviously had its ups and downs this year as well," he said.
"Bucks is a great fella, we've always got along, we've always been very supportive. I guess I just didn't fit into the game structure of the game set-up for the Collingwood Footy Club. It's disappointing.
"Mick, I owe everything to Mick. I really loved playing under him. (I) understood the way he went about it, he's very different to Bucks, they're polar opposites in their coaching.
"But at the same time they both understood what they wanted to do. Both strong-minded individuals."
Should Cloke land at the Bulldogs, he would be reunited again with another link to the 2010 flag – Beveridge an assistant coach at the Magpies before moving to Hawthorn and assuming the job at Whitten Oval.