GREATER Western Sydney faces the prospect of having star forward Jeremy Cameron play well into next season with his future undecided, but the club remains confident it will lock away the Coleman medallist and fellow gun Lachie Whitfield next year.
Cameron and Whitfield are contracted to the Giants until the end of the 2020 season, and if they're not extended over summer, will attract plenty of attention from a host of opposition clubs, especially those in their home state of Victoria.
Teammates Stephen Coniglio and Josh Kelly (twice) copped intense media scrutiny over their futures recently, and Cameron and Whitfield (who shares the same management as Coniglio) would face the same sort of frenzy should they not sign a new deal with the Giants before next season.
Gun forward Jeremy Cameron celebrates a goal during the Grand Final. AFL Photos
Speaking to Telstra AFL Trade Radio on Wednesday, Cameron's manager Alex McDonald said Cameron would ideally love to avoid a media circus surrounding his career but admitted he won't rush his decision.
"He's matured a lot over the last few years and understands that that's what comes with the game," he said.
"The most important part of it for Jeremy is getting the decision right.
"If it means he has to wade through some (media) speculation and intense focus on what his future looks like, (then so be it).
"Jeremy has traditionally always taken a long time to do his (new) contracts, don't read anything into it.
"He loves it up at the Giants and his partner is really settled, but having said all that, and this is not to try and balance the discussion, he is big on family, and so is his partner who is from Victoria as well."
Earlier on Wednesday, GWS list boss McCartney was bullish in his assessment of Cameron's contract situation and the club's ability to keep him in Sydney.
The 26-year-old, who signed a five-year deal with the Giants in 2015, booted a career-high 76.50 from 24 games this season.
"We made a conscience decision that we really did want to leave Jeremy alone this year," McCartney said.
"The indications since the Grand Final are that we're ready to progress, and once the boys are back in town in November and December we'll really look to ramp things up there."
McCartney said he doesn't expect Whitfield to delay his decision, like Coniglio and Kelly, while he weighs up offers from other clubs.
"We've had some really good dialogue with both Lachie and his manager Tom Petroro throughout the back-half of this season, when we were obviously negotiating with Stephen Coniglio," he said.
Lachie Whitfield and Stephen Coniglio after the Grand Final. Picture: AFL Photos
"That’s positive and we'll push on with those discussions now that the season is over.
"Until people sign you never know but we've had no indication from Lachie or his management that he wouldn't be signing on to continue what has been a wonderful career at the Giants thus far."
McCartney said the Giants are keen to secure a decent deal with Hawthorn in exchange for contracted power forward Jonathon Patton, but they won't be paying any of his salary next season.
Patton is expected to receive a three-year contract from the Hawks.
GWS is likely to add former Adelaide ruckman Sam Jacobs via a trade in the coming days, according to McCartney, rather than risk diluting the compensation pick they received for losing free agent Adam Tomlinson to Melbourne this week.
The Giants were handed a second-round selection (currently pick No.40) for Tomlinson.
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