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Lyon said that the club cannot take it for granted that the reigning Brownlow Medalist will simply re-sign with the club when his current contract expires at the end of next season.
“There’s no doubt Nathan’s coming through. He’s really exerting his leadership and influence around the club,” Lyon said on Fox Footy on Monday night.
“How he spoke when he won the Brownlow — he loves the Fremantle football club but in saying that, he wants to build to success.
“You’ve got to bring everyone along for the journey like when the Hawks did it — board members, fans, members and your best players and leaders because they’ve got to buy into the plan. When we’ve got to finalise it and make decisions, you’ve got to bring Nathan along.
“If Nathan believes in that plan and he sees success coming his way, he’ll be here, I’ve got no doubt.
“But if he doesn’t believe in the plan and we don’t bring him along he’d be a chance to leave, I think it’s as simple as that.”
Lyon said that he hopes his side can return to finals footy as early as next season, but also admitted that it may take time.
“How long is a piece of string? I don’t think anyone can put a timeline on how quickly you can play finals,” he said.
“You want to do it as quickly as you can.
“There’s no doubt we need to go to the draft table. We could load up and go and attract free agents and uncontracted players but if that failed then you’d be in a real hole.
“We’ve got to take care of the present and the future at the same time. We’re currently playing all of our young players.
“We’ll go to the draft table … and we’d like to get as many draft picks as we can but not sell the farm either.
“We’d still like to play finals next year, there’s no doubt it’s possible. Anything’s possible.”