Gun forward Jesse Hogan says he sees his long-term AFL future at Melbourne but the Demons have to keep winning to hang on to him.
A breakout debut season in which he won the Rising Star award has Hogan’s future in the spotlight despite having two years to run on an already-extended contract with the Demons.
The 21-year-old’s management has put contract talks off until season’s end.
Hogan called the speculation around his future “obscene” given he has only played one season and is already locked down for another two with Melbourne.
The West Australian forward said he would have to “block out” the chatter around his footy future while confirming he wanted to see progress from the up and coming Demons in 2016 to re-sign.
“If we’re playing good footy it’s going to be a factor,” he said.
“It’s not like it’s me versus the club. They’ve told me to focus on your footy and play good footy and at the end of the season we’ll restart that and go from there. No one’s really concerned.”
Hogan struggled in his final NAB Challenge hitout on Sunday, kicking 2.2 and shanking two set shots, drawing sharp criticism from ex-Demon David Schwarz on his goalkicking style.
Schwarz called his stutter-style run-up “a disgrace” but Hogan didn’t miss in his response.
“His accuracy was about 58 (per cent), mine’s 69 so I don’t think I’ll be going to him for any advice. He can keep his headlines on the radio and stay over there,” he said.
Hogan explained his off-colour day against St Kilda with a laugh.
“I didn’t have a touch in the first quarter and when I did I absolutely sprayed it and have been copping it since,” he said.
“You’re probably not going to believe me because it was at Etihad but there was actually a bit of wind.
“I’ve gone up for a bit of extra distance … I tried to kick it that hard and got absolutely none of it.
“Hopefully I can switch on for round one and kick a bit straighter.”
The Demons won all three NAB Challenge matches and Hogan said it had brightened spirits at the AFL strugglers.
“It’s just NAB Cup … but having three wins is good for a young team like us that needs a bit of confidence,” he said.
“We’ve shown enough that we’re starting to develop that we can compete against good sides.
“We’re not saying we’re going to go out and win a flag or anything.”