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Decision looms for Gold Coast’s Jack Martin

The 24-year-old has attracted interest from Carlton and the Western Bulldogs, but the extent of his options remains uncertain as clubs wait for key trade targets such as Giants midfielder Stephen Coniglio to make decisions.

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The Blues, who are yet to appoint a coach for 2020, are understood to have Coniglio at the top of their wish list – as do the Giants and Hawthorn – but they are one of many clubs with several balls in the air and Martin is one of the key players on their radar.

The Western Bulldogs are also keen to attract ground-level players and their interest in Martin is understood to be genuine, after the club missed out on Port Adelaide’s Chad Wingard last season, when he moved to Hawthorn.

Despite his omission, Gold Coast want to retain Martin but understand competition is hot for his services as he comes out of contract and the player is in no rush to make a call. He and several others are awaiting decisions of big names such as Coniglio and Geelong’s Tim Kelly before assessing their options.

The Suns are determined to take a long-range position on their players to ensure their total player payments reflects the true value of their list rather than awarding inflated contracts in an attempt to retain players, as they have done in the past.

The Suns understand their concerted effort to build their list will take time and the club is in the market for senior players such as Hawthorn’s Shaun Burgoyne and Docker Stephen Hill.

They are also set to present their strategy to the AFL Commission at the end of the home and away season and ask for support to break the cycle and improve retention of key players with the club having made inroads in the past 18 months appointing quality people to key positions and having improved facilities in operation.

If Martin chose to leave he would be expected to command a first round draft pick as he has performed reasonably well in tough circumstances and would be expected to flourish in a stronger line-up.

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