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Demons "supportive, respectful" as Rising Star suspends contract talks

Football

AFL Rising Star winner Jesse Hogan has ominously postponed contract talks with Melbourne until this season is over.

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While Hogan already has a contract until the end of the 2017 season, he and the Demons had been having preliminary discussions about a potential extension.

The 21-year-old key forward’s outstanding debut season last year confirmed the hype that he was at the centre of Melbourne’s future.

He kicked 44 goals in 20 games and beat Carlton’s Patrick Cripps – another youngster destined for stardom – to win the Rising Star.

Hogan signed a three-year deal the year before making his senior debut.

“We just felt that he has played one year of good footy and he is only young so he needs time to just focus on his footy and worry about contracts later,” his manager Jason Dover told The Age.

Dover added they wanted to wait until the players’ new collective bargaining agreement was negotiated with the AFL this year.

In a statement on the club website, the Demons said they were supportive and respectful of Hogan’s decision.

They said the call was made at a Tuesday meeting with the player’s management.

In discussions with Jesse’s management, we have mutually agreed that in the best interests of Jesse, we support the decision to continue contract discussions at the end of the year,” said Demons football operations manager Josh Mahoney.

Hogan, a once-in-a-generation talent, would attract monster offers if he wanted to change clubs.

But it is understood he is happy at the Demons and is comfortable with their senior coach succession plan, under which Paul Roos will hand over to Simon Goodwin after this season.

-AAP

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