It’s very possible that West Coast will lose one of it’s free agents due to the pay rise they’ll be seeking, but Nic Naitanui hopes the club have done enough to make them want to stick around.
Defender Jeremy McGovern has made it clear he doesn’t want to talk about his contract until after season’s end and midfielder Andrew Gaff is keeping quiet on his situation.
Natnui’s partner in the ruck however is well into his contract negotiations.
Both McGovern and Gaff have sparked a lot of interest from Melbourne clubs. For McGovern, who just had his first son, he says lifestyle will play a major role in his decision. Also, the fact that his father had a short stint with Fremantle may lead the All-Australian defender down the road.
Gaff has stated that the possibility of playing in a premiership will weigh heavily on his decision and where he chooses to play.
“I’ve got the same management group as ‘Gaffy’; I think it’s pretty positive signs that he’ll stay,” Naitanui told afl.com.au.
“‘Gov’ (McGovern) as well, I know there’s a lot of speculation about him going here and there. I think his old man played at Freo, but that’s the only thing that could make him want to go there.
“It would be hard moving down the road. I’m confident that he will stay with us.
“The club is pretty good, they always look after players. The biggest thing they tell us is it’s not only about your playing career but post-footy as well.
“‘Nizzy’ (CEO Trevor Nisbett) is a pretty loyal guy and will look after you post your career as well, which he tells a lot of players.
“If you stick around you might get a little bit less money than what you could probably get elsewhere, but in the longer journey you’ll get looked after by the footy club.
“Those guys know that and they’ll make the right choice when it’s time.”
While the discussions about player contracts get heated amongst media and the fans, Nic Nat revealed they are prominent in player conversations too.
“The boys give a heap of banter about how much someone is on, or who signed for what,” he said with a laugh.
“It’s funny, we’re a pretty close group like that. I don’t know if many footy clubs talk about contracts so openly, but we talk about contracts all the time.
“We were giving them (McGovern, Gaff and Lycett) heaps the other day (saying) ‘Hurry up and sign and stop holding off’.
“In all seriousness, I hope they do decide to stay.
“I guess having success (so far this season) helps as well.”
Natinui is set to be a restricted free agent at the end of next year, but it’s unlikely the Western Australian would be on his way out of the club.
“I haven’t spoken about my contract yet – hopefully they’ve still got room for me,” Naitanui joked.
“I’ll deal with mine once those (three) guys are signed up and take whatever’s left.”