AFL star pours fuel on bombshell rumours

Dustin Martin has poured fuel on the rumour mill fire as he heads off on a post-season holiday with his future up in the air.

AFL: Kangaroos coach Alastair Clarkson has made his pitch for the club receiving adequate draft compensation if his side lose key defender Ben McKay.

Plus the Bombers are making another player for a Kangaroos player.

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After his side’s 2023 campaign ended in Round 24, Richmond superstar Dustin Martin has ventured to the Gold Coast … for a holiday.

And Trent Cotchin – the man who captained Martin and the Tigers to three premierships in four years – said it would be awesome to see the triple Norm Smith Medallist finish his career in yellow and black.

Martin remains contracted until the end of 2024, but Gold Coast’s appointment of Martin’s former coach Damien Hardwick, as well as the retirements of Cotchin and Jack Riewoldt, has done little to douse trade speculation Martin could join the Suns.

Veteran journalist Caroline Wilson reported on Channel 9’s Footy Classified on Monday night that Richmond sources believe Martin still wants to reach the 300-game milestone at the Tigers and no one else.

Dusty’s future has the rumour mill fired up. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

But she added Martin was “a bit disenchanted” at the moment considering Cotchin and Riewoldt’s retirements, as well as the fact he still doesn’t know who Richmond’s coach will be in 2024.

Wilson added: “He hasn’t quite made up his mind … other clubs believe there is a conversation to be had.”

Asked on Channel 7’s Talking Finals program if there was any chance Martin could reunite with Hardwick at the Suns, Cotchin said: “(Martin is) up on the Gold Coast at the moment having a little holiday. I don’t think there’s anything more to it than that,” Cotchin said on Channel 7.

“It’d be great to see him as a 300-plus game player for the Tigers in the yellow and black. Is it some pre-retirement fun to go up there (to the Gold Coast) and enjoy the sunshine at the very end of his career? I’m not sure (but) I know that one of his values is loyalty.”


North Melbourne ruck Todd Goldstein is set to play on in 2024 — but whether his 315-game career continues at the Kangaroos remains uncertain.

Despite Goldstein’s solid 2023 campaign, the Kangaroos are in the midst of a heavy rebuild under Alastair Clarkson — and Goldstein, who turned 35 in July, remains out of contract.

The Herald Sun, AFL Media and 7 News Melbourne all reported on Wednesday that Goldstein was weighing up his options, with the latter two outlets stating Essendon had shown interest in Goldstein, who was an All-Australian and North best and fairest winner in 2015.

Goldy is weighing up his future. (Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

7 News Melbourne reporter Tom Browne indicated Bombers coach Brad Scott — who used to coach Goldstein at North Melbourne — had “sounded out” Goldstein about the possibility of joining Essendon to provide ruck depth for Sam Draper and Nick Bryan.

It comes after the Bombers also tried to lure Tarryn Thomas out of Arden St, only for the top-10 draftee to inform North last weekend he was keen to honour the final year of his contract.

Meanwhile senior AFL reporter Damien Barrett said he could see clubs like Port Adelaide and Sydney making a play for Goldstein short-term.

“I raise that because he’s 35, going to be 36 during the 2024 season and he’ll be on an AFL list next year,” Barrett told AFL Daily.

“In my eyes, it (Goldstein) won’t be at North Melbourne, and it could be one of those two teams I mentioned. But more likely the Sydney Swans if they don’t get Brodie Grundy.

“That would be my early trade type of conversation at this stage of September.”

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