Geelong coach Chris Scott won’t shy away from having an uncomfortable conversation with Jimmy Bartel, an icon at the AFL club.
Bartel, who celebrated his 300th game with a victory over Western Bulldogs last Friday night, is yet to declare whether he wants to play on in 2017.
The Cats are yet to reveal whether the 2007 Brownlow medallist will be part of their plans for next year.
Scott was typically frank when asked if Bartel had been warned about the danger of playing on and of playing a lot of VFL games in 2017.
“We have worst-case scenario discussions with players right across the list,” Scott told Fox Footy.
“I remember in my first year in 2011 I had a discussion with Cameron Ling in the pre-season around what would we do if this season doesn’t work out well for him.
“That’s just prudent planning and it’s a good conversation to have up front.
“It’s not to say we expect it to happen or it’s likely, but we need to be prepared as much as possible for that situation that might be a little bit uncomfortable.”
Scott added Bartel had a “very, very big say on what’s going to happen over the next 15 months”.
The Cats opted against offering new contracts to three-time premiership winners Steve Johnson and James Kelly last year.
Bartel, who is 32, and 34-year-old Corey Enright are both in the final phase of their careers.
But both Bartel and Enright, who broke the club’s games record in round 19, are in strong form and every chance of pulling on the boots again in 2017.
“Jimmy has a decision to make. Corey Enright has a decision to make,” Scott said.
“And the club has a part to play in that as well.
“No matter how good you’ve been … no player has the right to dictate (they will play on).”