Daniel Cherney – The Age
Having re-signed Tom McDonald, Melbourne have opened contract talks another of their highly rated free agents.
Having toiled for years before establishing a regular spot in the Demons’ side, Neville Jetta has emerged as one of the AFL’s best small defenders over the past couple of seasons. Jetta, 28, is an unrestricted free agent, with Melbourne having moved to secure his signature beyond 2018.
His agent Ray Purcell of OMP Sports Management would not be drawn on the terms of a proposed deal, but confirmed talks had started.
“We’ve commenced discussions. Melbourne are respectful of Neville and what we’ve put forward, and we’re working with them,” Purcell told Fairfax Media on Tuesday.
West Australian Jetta was drafted from Swan Districts in 2008, but played just 41 games in five years before being delisted at the end of 2013. However, with Paul Roos joining the club as coach, Jetta was thrown a lifeline as a rookie and has thrived since, playing 16 games in both 2014 and 2015, 21 games in 2016 and 46 in a row to the end of round 11, the most of any current Melbourne player.
He was named in the All-Australian squad last year as well as winning the Dick Taylor Memorial Trophy for fifth place in Melbourne’s best and fairest.
Jetta told the AFL website before the season that he wanted to stay at Melbourne, who are on the precipice of a first finals appearance in 12 years.
“I would like to reap the benefits and have some success in my career with the club that I started with,” Jetta said.
“Ideally, I would like to stay a one-club player and have some success with the group that we’ve got now.”
Other Demons out-of-contract at the end of the season include McDonald’s younger brother Oscar, emerging midfielder Angus Brayshaw, pressure forward James Harmes, injury-riddled midfielder Aaron vandenBerg, stopper Tomas Bugg, forward Dean Kent and veteran Bernie Vince.