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Demons plead with Jackson for commitment

3 minute read

Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin says he's spoken to in-demand ruckman Luke Jackson about staying committed to the AFL side despite contract speculation.

SIMON GOODWIN.
SIMON GOODWIN. Picture: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin admits young ruck Luke Jackson has a monster decision facing him as speculation ramps up he'll leave the Demons and head to Fremantle at the end of the AFL season.

But the Demons boss implored the 20-year-old not to let his future plans distract him as they approach the finals in a great position to win back-to-back premierships.

Jackson is out of contract at the end of the campaign and the Dockers are believed to have tabled an offer worth around $5 million to bring him back to his home state.

Goodwin said he had maintained a dialogue with Jackson about his future.

"I've had some great chats with Luke and some were honest chats about we just want him to perform for the Melbourne footy club, however long that may be," he told Fox Footy.

"That's what our focus has been, whether that's 10 weeks, whether that's the next 10 years, and he's been really open ... he's fully committed to Melbourne.

"Our responsibility as a club is to be mature in our approach towards that end, and get the best out of the Luke for however long he's at our footy club ... those conversations have been held with Luke and he's embraced it.

"We've said to Luke all along, 'you take as much time as you need'.

"He's got the chance to go home at some stage throughout his career and he's got a footy club that he loves at the moment, so it's a big decision for him to make."

Jackson has played 47 games with the Demons since being picked No.3 in the 2019 draft, kicking a goal in their grand final win last year.

Brisbane coach Chris Fagan, who's facing a similar situation with rumours swirling around Lion Dan McStay leaving, was asked if AFL players and clubs should announce future moves ahead of time.

That would create an NRL scenario where players often play entire seasons for a side despite having publicly announced they'll be turning out for another club the following year.

"That probably seems the mature way to do it, I just don't know whether we're ready for that and whether all clubs will be comfortable," Fagan said.

"Some players might feel like if they say they're going, that would endanger their chances perhaps for selection for the rest of the year or the club might turn in a different direction.

"I don't know whether we've arrived at that level of maturity with football yet, I'd like to think so."

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