GREATER Western Sydney should play "hardball" with wantaway forward Cam McCarthy, departing Giants assistant coach Chad Cornes says.
McCarthy is contracted to GWS until the end of 2017, but has requested a trade back to his home state Western Australia.
The 20-year-old is one of the competition's brightest key forward talents and was nominated for the NAB AFL Rising Star award after his breakout season of 35 goals from 20 games this year.
On Sunday, McCarthy's manager Colin Young told AFL.com.au that the 193cm big man "does not want to represent Greater Western Sydney going forward".
But Cornes, who is moving back to his home state to coach Port Adelaide in the SANFL, believed the homesick youngster – who has been heavily linked to Fremantle – could still have a future at GWS.
"I worked pretty closely with Cam during the year and he's just a really great kid," Cornes told SEN.
"You could sort of see in the back half of the year he was homesick and things weren't going quite as well for him.
"But the way that the club has held on to most of the other players and the way that the young boys get treated now, I'm sure if he can just get over this little hump he's going through at the moment he'll have a great future.
"It's hard for young kids, they always want to get home to their family and he's got a girlfriend back in Perth too.
"So you can see both sides, but I would be playing hardball with him if I was the Giants, that's for sure."
Meanwhile, Cornes said he agonised over his decision to leave the Giants, with the expansion club seemingly on the cusp of an era of success.
His famous father, Graham, advised him to stay in Sydney but the lure of returning to work with the Magpies and under Power coach Ken Hinkley was too strong.
"First off, he (dad) was quite encouraging of me to stay at GWS because he knows just how good they've been to me the last four years, the opportunity the Giants have got in the next few years and he knew how much I was enjoying that," Cornes said.
"But deep down the love to come home and the opportunity to coach your own team, he understood, and now he's pretty happy to get me home."
After playing the final 16 of his 255 career games at the Giants, Cornes took up a full-time assistant coaching role with the club after retiring in 2013.
He's keen to learn from Hinkley and Power assistants Garry Hocking and Matthew Nicks next season as he considers whether senior AFL coaching might be a path he will follow in future.
"If I really sink my heels into this and put a lot of effort into it and learn from these guys you don't know where it can end up," Cornes said.