Melbourne won’t gamble their AFL premiership aspirations on one player – even one as good as spearhead Jesse Hogan.
The Demons announced they had secured another hot talent, captain-in-waiting Jack Viney until 2020, with fans hoping that Hogan’s next to be locked away.
Former Brisbane Lions champion Jonathan Brown has called for ailing Fremantle to open the chequebook for Hogan and attempt to lure him back to Perth, saying it could require an offer in the realms of $15 million over 10 years.
Coach Paul Roos said a mega-deal, similar to Lance Franklin’s Sydney contract, put too much pressure on the rest of the club’s list.
“Obviously, not many teams could afford $15 million over 10 years, because you’ve got to actually build a team around players; I’ve never seen one player beat 22,” Roos said.
We believe if we can keep the group together, then you’ve got a really good chance to be a successful footy team.
“If you pay over the odds to one player – as this club’s done before when we were under pressure – then it becomes really hard to assemble a good list.”
Signed until the end of 2017, Hogan and the club have put off contract extension discussions until the end of the year.
Roos said a focus solely on football had contributed to the 21-year-old’s impressive form, which included 17 goals in seven matches, including a seven-goal haul in a losing effort against St Kilda.
“We’ve seen the benefits already. His form’s been really good this year,” Roos said.
“We’re really comfortable with Jesse and where he’s at.
“He seems really happy with his footy and happy in Melbourne, but that will play out over the course of time.”
The coach, who will hand the reins over to Simon Goodwin at season’s end, said the re-signing of on-baller Viney was really important to the club.
The son of Melbourne great Todd Viney, Jack has been touted as a future Demons captain.
The 22-year-old has been in scintillating form this season, averaging 28 disposals and 15 contested possessions a game.
“The real turning point for Jack was … once he calmed down a little bit and realised the coaches where there to help guide him and incremental improvements were fine with us,” Roos said.
“He made the decision to really listen and become a student of the game and we’ve seen his footy go through the roof over the last 18 months.”
After thrashing Gold Coast last round, Melbourne will have to step up against the in-form Western Bulldogs at the MCG on Sunday.