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Demons yet to open contract talks with former co-captain

Boyd back, Bucks' glove work, Jack's plan Nat Edwards and Matt Thompson with all the latest footy news
DARWIN, AUSTRALIA - JULY 09: Jack Grimes of the Demons in action during the 2016 AFL Round 16 match between the Melbourne Demons and the Fremantle Dockers at TIO Stadium on July 9, 2016 in Darwin, Australia. (Photo by Justine Walker/AFL Media)
Will Jack Grimes remain at Melbourne in 2017?

JACK Grimes concedes his future at Melbourne is clouded, but the former co-captain is hopeful he will be offered a new contract to remain with the club for 2017.

The Demons are yet to open formal discussions with Grimes, who will play his long-awaited 100th game against St Kilda at Etihad Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

If things don't work out at Melbourne, Grimes, 27, said he would be keen to continue his career at another club.

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"As much as players love loyalty, we see a lot of movement these days and guys seeking opportunities elsewhere," Grimes told AFL.com.au.

"I don't want to think about it too much but, if the time came, then I would definitely like to pursue my career, because I feel like I've got a bit to give."

Grimes said ideally he would love to remain at the club he supported as a kid, but he understands the position Melbourne is moving towards.

"I'd love to stay at the club. They've given me a lot of opportunities and I've played all my footy here," Grimes said.

"But that's the footy world these days, decisions aren’t made until the end of the season and I understand the position I'm in and it's tricky for them, so I've just got to try to play the best footy I can at the moment."

The midfielder played his first game of the season against Fremantle in Darwin last weekend, returning to the senior team in fine style to collect 32 disposals and lay eight tackles in the Demons' 32-point win.

It was great reward for Grimes who has endured a frustrating 18 months. After establishing himself as a permanent fixture in Melbourne's team over the past few seasons, Grimes played just 12 games in 2015.

Despite averaging more than 25 disposals for the Casey Scorpions in the VFL this season, he was constantly overlooked at selection and was listed as an emergency 10 times before eventually breaking into the side.

Grimes never dropped his bundle and set about adjusting to a wing role, after spending the majority of his career as a dashing defender, as the Demons and coach Paul Roos sought to add improved versatility to his game.

"He (Roos) wanted me to play really consistent footy and hopefully when I did win my spot back I'd be able to keep it, so that was really the goal," Grimes said.

"The message from 'Roosy' was to be really consistent throughout the year and he really tried to challenge me to take my game to the next level."

Although it has taken him more time than he would have liked to reach the 100-game milestone, Grimes said it was worth the wait.

His family members, including younger brother and Richmond defender Dylan, will be in attendance at Etihad Stadium as the Demons look to snap a 13-game losing streak against the Saints.

"I was a bit nervous I wouldn't get there this year, but I'm really looking forward to it," Grimes said.

"I've been a bit disappointed with how this year's gone, but I'm really happy to reach the milestone."