Western Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge has revealed that the club is hoping to retain off-contract midfielder Mitch Wallis and that a contract has been tabled to him.
The 25-year old had been out of favour at Whitten Oval earlier earlier in the season after spending several stints in the VFL amongst numerous reports that rival clubs were interested in acquiring him.
Wallis told AFL.com.au that he wants to remain a Bulldog beyond 2018, but a deal was unlikely to be reached until the end of the season.
And Beveridge has stated that the feeling is mutual and that the club is now working through a new contract with Wallis’ management.
“There is (an offer in front of Wallis), so we’re just working through that with his management,” Beveridge told AFL.com.au.
“The free-agency status entitles players to explore what the market is going to tell them in as far as their worth, but how that transpires, I couldn’t tell you.
“We’re working with his management to try and secure Mitch’s services for the future.”
The Bulldogs coach said that the club has challenged Wallis to go to another level in the past, something that the father-son prospect has delivered upon in back half of the season.
“Mitch Wallis is a prime example of a player we’ve had some conversations around what’s going to improve him as a player, and we know how capable he can be,” Beveridge said.
“That can be quite confronting and a little bit uncomfortable for players, but he’s done a great job of focusing on some of those areas that he knew he could bring into his game and to enhance his game.
“In general terms, he’s shown he can be a pretty dangerous offensive player and he’s always had that midfield craft, and he’s had a good combination of both in recent times. No doubt that helps Mitch and his endeavours to secure his immediate future.
“I think he’s playing some really good footy now, and we’re really happy with the way he’s going.”
Wallis headlines 16 Bulldogs out of contact at the end of the season, a list that includes premiership players Luke Dahlhaus, Tom Liberatore, Jordan Roughead, Shane Biggs and Tory Dickson.
And Beveridge admitted there was some uncertainty surrounding some of their futures at the club.
“There are quite a few (players) out of contract with varying situations,” Beveridge said.
“I think we’ve got to this point in the year where there’s a handful of players that have been great workhorses and done a fair bit as far their performances go over the journey, but probably haven’t been at their best.
“The boys will do the upmost to show us what they’re capable of, and that’s always going to help with their future.
“But whether their form in these last handful of games is decisive in regard to whether or not they’ve still got AFL futures or not, I wouldn’t say that.”