PORT Adelaide is using premiership hero Gavin Wanganeen to help lure Essendon ruckman Patrick Ryder to Alberton.
The Power have reportedly leapt in front of the Brisbane Lions in the race to secure Ryder's services, who has requested a trade from the Bombers following the fallout from the supplements saga.
Wanganeen crossed from Essendon to Port ahead of the 1997 season.
However, when the 1993 Brownlow medallist spoke to Ryder on the phone more than a week ago, he wanted to make sure the star Bomber was sure about leaving.
"I said that to Paddy out of my respect for Essendon,” Wanganeen told the Adelaide Advertiser.
"My first reaction to Paddy was to say, 'Stay at Essendon'. But if he is gone (from Essendon) mentally - and there is no turning back, I want him to know about Port Adelaide."
With the Lions also making a desperate bid to recruit Ryder, Wanganeen's role was to sell the benefits of going to the Power.
"If Paddy was thinking of Brisbane, I wanted him to give Port Adelaide the opportunity to chat to him," Wanganeen said.
"That's where I came in with my telephone call to Paddy.
"I wanted Paddy to at least give Port Adelaide a go. I wanted him to know how Port Adelaide is placed - and how he would be a valuable player to the Power. Also, he should know how great the indigenous culture is at Port Adelaide.
"My message was the Port Adelaide Football Club is going places. If Paddy values a premiership, Port Adelaide is the club to be at.
"But my first advice to Paddy was not to walk away from Essendon unless he was 100 per cent sure there is no turning back."
It has been reported the Power are prepared to offer Ryder a five-year contract worth up to $750,000 a season.
However, it is understood the Lions could offer significantly more – given their salary cap space – and up to $1.3 million a season.
The Power have offered pick No.16 in exchange for Ryder, although the Bombers are not satisfied with just a pick and are said to be asking for star Power forward Chad Wingard in return.
The Lions are in a tricky position because of their desire to land star Pie Dayne Beams, who has asked to be traded home to Queensland, and their unwillingness to part with pick No. 4.