Main content

Short contracts less risky, says McDonald

Eagle banned, Dees dreaming, Dons win Monday Footy Feed with the AFL.com.au team

MELBOURNE defender Tom McDonald kept his new contract to two years to give himself a chance to reassess how the Demons are sitting when it comes to negotiating his next deal.

The 23-year-old will have played for eight years when his deal ends, meaning he will be a restricted free agent if in the top 25 per cent of player salaries at the Demons in 2018.

Dees fans had been nervous McDonald would leave at the end of this season, with news of the new contract only announced last week.

"When you're dealing with longer contracts of four to five years, it's tougher to negotiate, because you're speculating on: my form, how the club's going to be looking, coaches at that time, players and recruiting," McDonald said at the club on Monday.

"It's a long way to forecast what the club's going to look like.

"Short-term makes it a little bit less risky for the club. The player can feel a little bit more comfortable about what they're worth in that time. There are a number of factors."

McDonald will be a critical part of his side's push towards finals.

The Demons sit in ninth spot but if they defeat Carlton and Geelong, and North Melbourne loses to the Sydney Swans and Greater Western Sydney, the Dees should overcome a small percentage deficit to make the top-eight.

Melbourne showed maturity to follow up its victory against reigning premiers Hawthorn with an interstate win over Port Adelaide last week.

It will enter the clash against the Blues on Sunday at the MCG as favourite, and McDonald believes his team can cope with the pressure.

"We're probably strong enough now to block that out and play a game of footy. The last three weeks we haven't talked about, 'We need to win this to even be a chance (for finals)'. I don't think it will be an issue," he said.