Melbourne’s new senior coach Simon Goodwin says he has a strong relationship with gun forward Jesse Hogan and is confident he’ll stay despite the multi-million dollar lure from rivals.
Hogan is out of contract at the end of next year and has been linked to a move back to his home state of Western Australia, with Fremantle particularly eager to secure his services.
However Goodwin, who was officially unveiled as the Demons’ new coach on Wednesday after serving as an assistant under Paul Roos, says he believes 21-year-old Hogan will extend his deal with the club.
“I think Jesse’s management and the club said they’d look at it at the end of the year and we’re now at the end of the year,” Goodwin said
“One thing I do know about Jesse is he loves his teammates, he loves playing for this club and I’ve got a really strong relationship with Jesse.
“Our focus is to make Jesse the best player (he can be).
“We’re going to work really hard to retain Jesse and we’re really confident that he wants to be a part of the Melbourne footy club.”
One of the most hyped draftees of recent times, Hogan booted 44 goals in his debut season last year and became the first key forward since Nick Riewoldt in 2002 to win the Rising Star award.
He followed that up with 41 goals from 21 games this season, averaging 15 disposals and seven marks per outing.
Melbourne are desperate to retain Hogan, who has said he won’t be rushed into making a decision and will weigh up the Demons’ prospects for achieving on-field success.