ADELAIDE forward Kurt Tippett has revealed he knocked back an offer from the new Gold Coast franchise to continue his promising AFL career with the Crows.
Tippett, 22, was due to come out of contract at the end of next year but recently agreed to the terms of a new deal, which will see him remain at West Lakes until at least the end of 2012.
The Queenslander joined his teammates for the start of pre-season training on Thursday and said it was a relief to have his contract negotiations out of the way.
“It was great to sign up with the club for three years and I’m very excited that I know where my future is going to be,” Tippett said.
“There was a little bit of heat [on me to stay]. It was great to hear everyone’s support because they all wanted me to stay in Adelaide and so did I. My manager was keen for me to weigh up all the options, although my sole focus was always staying in Adelaide.
“I was kept out if it [the negotiations] but I think my manager had two offers in his head and he came to ask me [what I wanted to do]. He asked me my preference, I told him and he did the business.”
Tippett, who finished second in Adelaide’s goalkicking this year, will now turn his attention to improving his aerobic fitness over the pre-season.
In three years at the club, he is yet to complete a full pre-season, fracturing a vertebra in his neck shortly after arriving in Adelaide at the end of 2006 and battling knee tendonitis last summer.
Tippett said his first goal for pre-season was to set a personal best time in the club’s three-kilometre time trial on Saturday.
“I want to get better aerobically, so I can play in the ruck and also up forward better,” he said.
“I also want to work on my marking and goalkicking skills. I think I can kick a few more goals, so that’s something I’ll be looking to do.”
The Crows sweltered in Thursday’s two-hour training session, with the temperature hovering around 40 degrees.
Tippett said the players had started preparing for the extreme heat early in the week.
“It was pretty warm out there, but it was a good start to pre-season and it looks like it’s going to be a hot one [summer] so we’ll have to get used to that,” he said.
“The doctor had a chat to us, telling us to make sure we stayed hydrated and wore a hat and sunscreen.”