Veteran North Melbourne ruckman Todd Goldstein is understood to be weighing his options for next season as ‘at least one’ club reportedly registers its interest in the 35-year-old.
Goldstein, whose contract situation has been hushed for the majority of the year, remains without a contract for next season despite having previously indicated a desire to continue as a Shinboner in 2024. He is slated to enter unrestricted free agency in October.
Despite participating in his 16th AFL season this year, the ruckman managed to play in 20 of North Melbourne’s 2023 outings, showcasing impressive durability and substantiating his belief he can continue playing.
According to a News Corp report on Wednesday, ‘Goldy’ has attracted rival attention ahead of an intriguing off-season for the Arden Street stalwart, with a mystery rival team understood to be examining his situation closely in the lead-up to October.
Despite being overlooked at the AFL level on multiple occasions this year, including in Round 1, Goldstein persevered to play in the vast majority of the Roos’ senior contests.
While not mentioned as teams specifically interested in the 315-game servant, the report also states Geelong and Sydney are sides that are expressing a desire for ‘ready-made’ ruckmen this year, following respective retirements.
Geelong’s Rhys Stanley will be 33 years old by the time the 2024 season commences, while stalwart Jonathon Ceglar recently hung up the boots. Aside from promising youngster Toby Conway, the Cats don’t possess a heap of depth in the way of ruckmen.
Further, Geelong was tied to a potential trade for Goldstein at the conclusion of the 2019 season, however, he remained committed to North Melbourne. Could the Cats come calling again this year as Chris Scott’s men look to return to the top eight in 2024?
As for the Swans, veteran Tom Hickey will retire once Sydney’s finals campaign comes to an end, while there are questions about ex-Power ruck-forward Peter Ladhams’ fit in John Longmire’s squad going forward.
The Roos are expected to be fairly busy on the off-contract players front, with free-agency-eligible defender Ben McKay seemingly likely to depart Arden Street this year in addition to the intrigue surrounding Goldstein.
This year’s free agency period is scheduled to get underway on October 6.