Dustin Martin will not play for Gold Coast Suns despite Damien Hardwick meeting, James Harmes contract, Buku Khamis

Dustin Martin won’t be at the Gold Coast Suns next year … but 2025 remains a possibility.

Plus fringe players at Melbourne and the Bulldogs are attracting rival interest.

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Gold Coast coach Damien Hardwick has emphatically quashed speculation Richmond superstar Dustin Martin will be a Suns player next year.

Hardwick and Martin last week were spotted having a casual catch-up at a Gold Coast bar during the latter’s off-season holiday, with the meeting only fuelling speculation about Martin joining the Suns despite having a year left to run on his contract.

Speaking on Channel 7’s Talking Finals, Hardwick joked he was “naive” for thinking he and Martin would’ve been able to enjoy a quiet drink at a pub, which ultimately was as “busy as Bourke Street”.

But Hardwick indicated Martin — who was considered unlucky by many pundits to miss All-Australian selection this year — would remain at Punt Road in 2024, despite wrestling with his future for several months following Hardwick’s departure, as well as the retirements of fellow triple premiership players Trent Cotchin and Jack Riewoldt.

“Dustin is going to stay at Richmond,” Hardwick told Channel 7.

AFL 360 panel talks contentious misses | 02:51

“Personally, my opinion is that is absolutely the right thing for him to do – and he’s going to stay at Richmond, which is an enormous positive for that footy club.

“Me, like 17 other coaches, would love to have him on my side. But the fact of the matter is it’s great he’s going to play his 300th game at the Richmond Football Club next year.”

However The Age reported Martin – a triple Norm Smith Medallist and Brownlow Medallist – hadn’t ruled out moving at the end of next season when he’s officially out of contract.

Hardwick added he also caught up with former Tigers star Alex Rance and inquired about the possibility of him helping the Suns’ backline and leadership program.


Premiership Demon James Harmes has highly likely played his last game for Melbourne, reports The Age, despite being contracted to the club for another season.

After gathering 14 disposals in Melbourne’s 2021 premiership triumph and playing 21 games last year, Harmes has managed just nine matches this year, with three of them being as the starting sub. He spent some time away from the club at the start of this season due to personal reasons.

Harmes, 27, last played for Melbourne in Round 21, but appears unlikely to force his way back into the team this week, especially after a recent hamstring setback in a scratch match.

‘Repetitious to point of boring!’ | 01:32

The Age reported Richmond, Sydney and Geelong had shown interest in Harmes, who’s played 152 games in 10 seasons at the Demons.

Melbourne is also set to lose ruck Brodie Grundy at season’s end to the Swans, who are set to take on the Demons’ contribution to Grundy’s wage.

The Demons, who in recent years have been aggressive in trying to move up the draft order, are also in the mix to acquire Pick 4 from the Gold Coast Suns. They already hold Pick 5 due to the Lack Jackson-Fremantle deal struck nearly 12 months ago.


Several clubs are circling Buku Khamis, reports AFL Media, as the fringe Western Bulldogs utility weighs up his footy future.

Khamis, 23, has played 10 games for the Bulldogs since being plucked out of the club’s Next Generation Academy program.

Despite kicking 41.21 from 18 VFL matches for Footscray, Khamis this year has only played one game for the Bulldogs’ AFL side, which featured fellow key forwards Jamarra Ugle-Hagan, Rory Lobb and Aaron Naughton inside 50.

Dogs list ‘assessment’ needed | 02:40

AFL Media reported “multiple clubs” had inquired about Khamis, who’ll weigh up his options in the coming weeks.

Khamis in 2022 signed a one-year contract extension – but that deal has now expired.

It comes as the Bulldogs prepare to work with Port Adelaide to facilitate a suitable trade for ruck Jordon Sweet, who on Wednesday requested a move to the Power after playing 11 games for the Dogs.

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