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Bernie Vince well placed for new deal at Demons

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Bernie Vince is out of contract at the end of 2017 and seeking a new contract - ${keywords}
Bernie Vince is out of contract at the end of 2017 and seeking a new contract

MELBOURNE veteran Bernie Vince is keen to play on next season and appears well placed to do so. 

Vince, 31, is due to come out of contract at the end of 2017 but his manager, Michael Doughty of TLA Australia, and Melbourne have been in ongoing talks about the former Crow's future.

The parties have yet to start formal contract negotiations, but understands the Demons are receptive to Vince continuing in 2018 provided his form remains sound for the rest of the season.

Vince has one game left to serve of a two-match suspension for striking Crow Eddie Betts in round 17 – a ban that prompted Demons co-captain Nathan Jones to publicly criticise his teammate's lack of on-field discipline – and after that will be targeting an early senior recall so he can continue to press his claims for a new contract.

Vince has played 15 games this season, averaging 20.9 possessions (eighth at Melbourne) and 2.7 rebound 50s (sixth) playing predominantly across half-back. He has also spent time on the wing and in run-with roles, most memorably keeping Adelaide star Rory Sloane quiet in rounds eight (11 possessions) and 17 (eight possessions before a third-quarter concussion ended the Crow's game).

Vince said recently that he was not averse to playing in the VFL as his career drew to a close, preferring instead to prolong his contribution to the Demons.

"I've had really good chats with 'Goody' (Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin) ... he just said I'm not going to put a restriction on your age or how many games you can play," Vince told Fox Footy earlier this month.

"You just keep playing as you're performing. And whether that means I play on for another couple of years, that might mean play VFL if I'm not in the best 18 or 22, and I'm fully accepting of that."

The South Australian has a poor recent record with the MRP. In addition to his current suspension, he served one-match bans for striking St Kilda's Nathan Wright in round one this season and for striking North Melbourne's Jamie Macmillan in round three, 2016.

Vince crossed to Melbourne from Adelaide in the 2013 trade period in exchange for pick No.23, which the Crows used to draft Matt Crouch.

He has missed just four games since making his club debut in round one, 2014, and finished third in Melbourne's best and fairest count that year before winning the award in 2015. He finished seventh in last year's count.

Vince played 129 games at Adelaide from 2006-13 and won the Crows' best and fairest award in 2009.