Josh Dunkley Port Adelaide, Liam Jones Western Bulldogs, Jason Johannisen free agency, contract, Brodie Grundy

Collingwood’s CEO hasn’t quelled speculation about the future of a couple of stars.

Plus two premiership Bulldogs are weighing up their footy futures, with one “assessing the free agency market”.

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PIES BOSS STOPS SHORT OF GUARANTEEING GRUNDY’S FUTURE

Collingwood CEO Mark Anderson has stopped short of categorically confirming Brodie Grundy will be at the club next year, fueling speculation about the star ruckman’s future.

Grundy’s availability has been part of discussions with multiple clubs, despite the 28-year-old being contracted to the club until the end of 2027 on a deal worth roughly $1 million per season.

Anderson was asked on 3AW Sportsday why the club – including coach Craig McRae – was yet to categorically declare Grundy would be at the club in 2023.

“We don’t need to,” he said.

“We understand there’s going to be a lot of speculation around and there is for a whole range of players … there’s speculation, it’s not our job to respond to speculation.”

Asked directly if Grundy would be at the club next year, Anderson replied: “Yeah well as you know he’s got a contract and committed to that. Clearly, anything that is changed would be his decision.

“We’ll have all of those conversations at the backend of the year in terms of what our list looks like and what our needs are. Now’s not the time for doing that.”

Anderson added the Pies were “a better team with Brodie in it”.

On Jordan De Goey, who remains uncontracted beyond this year, Anderson added: “We were really clear with Jordy at the time that we’d leave those conversations until the end of the year and we will.

“What I will say is he’s doing everything right, he’s prepared right, we’re looking forward to getting him back into the team.”

PREMIERSHIP STAR ‘ASSESSING FREE AGENCY MARKET’

Western Bulldogs Norm Smith Medalist Jason Johannisen is weighing up his footy future, reports 7NewsMelbourne.

Johannisen, who played every game for the Dogs in their 2021 Grand Final season, had an interrupted start to his 2022 campaign due to a calf injury but has featured in the past six straight games for the club.

7NewsMelbourne reported on Wednesday night that Johannisen had “parked contract talks” that’d begun earlier this year until season’s end.

Dog goes from ‘party animal’ to star | 04:12

Journalist Mitch Cleary reports Johannisen was now “assessing the free agency market”.

Johannisen in 2017 shunned rival offers and signed a five-year contract extension that tied him to the Dogs until the end of 2022.

The 29-year-old has played 174 games across the past 12 seasons for the Bulldogs after being selected as a rookie in late 2010.

DUNKLEY LINKED TO SA CLUB

Western Bulldogs midfielder Josh Dunkley has attracted interest from Port Adelaide, reports AFL Media.

The Bulldogs have recently turned their attention to re-signing Dunkley, who’s out of contract at season’s end. He said in May there was “no real rush” to re-sign.

The Dogs are keen to retain Dunkley, who’s been sitting on a contract offer from the club throughout his 2022 campaign.

but AFL Media reported on Thursday morning the Power were among the rival clubs circling Dunkley.

Jamarra starting to believe he belongs | 01:01

Adding to the South Australian connection intrigue is the fact Dunkley is the partner of Tippah Dwan, who’s a shooter with the Adelaide Thunderbirds in the Suncorp Super Netball competition.

Dunkley two years ago requested a trade to Essendon mid-Bulldogs contract, but the deal fell over as the Bombers weren’t willing to offer two first-round picks to grab him.

A 2016 premiership player, the 25-year-old has played 111 games for the Bulldogs since being selected with Pick 25 in the 2015 draft.

BEST SIGN YET JONES IS AFL BOUND

Liam Jones has farewelled Palm Beach Currumbin teammates, reports the Gold Coast Bulletinin a further sign the key defender is set to return to the AFL.

Jones refused to meet the AFL’s vaccine mandate last year and subsequently retired, despite still having a year to run on his Carlton contract. But the key defender, who’s been a star for Palm Beach Currumbin in the QAFL this year, has previously declared he hasn’t given up hope of playing in the AFL again – a hope that was boosted earlier this month after the league lifted its vaccination requirements for players and staff.

Palm Beach Currumbin coach Russell Maloney confirmed to the Gold Coast Bulletin that Jones addressed the playing group on Tuesday night, informing them he wouldn’t see out the QAFL season with the club due to a link to an AFL club.

“He has got to get ready for pre-season and they said if he gets injured between now and then the contract will be invalid,” Maloney told the Gold Coast Bulletin.

Tom Hawkins set to play on in 2023 | 00:54

While Jones didn’t reveal the team, he has met with Essendon and, reportedly, the Western Bulldogs this month amid growing interest in the key defender. the Herald Sun also reported this week that Gold Coast Suns recruiters had been planning to watch Jones play in the QAFL.

7NewsMelbourne reporter Mitch Cleary on Wednesday night said the Dogs were “leading the race” for Jones, who played 66 games for the Bulldogs before being traded to Carton in 2014. Former Hawks sharpshooter Ben Dixon said earlier this month the Bulldogs should prioritize Jones, who would be “an unbelievable acquisition to that football team”.

Carlton is keen for the AFL to make Jones an unrestricted free agent, meaning the Blues could then receive a compensation draft pick if a rival club picked him up. Where that selection would be in the draft order would be determined by the length and size of the rival club’s offer.

Moloney said Jones had been “exceptional” for Palm Beach Currumbin.

“His attitude is tremendous. Not only his effort on the field, off the field his work is fantastic,” Moloney told the Gold Coast Bulletin.

“We couldn’t ask for anyone better. It is not ideal for us what happens now but we can’t hold him back.

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