STAR forward Justin Maddern is confident he can come to a resolution with the Bendigo Gold Football Club that will allow him to play full-time with South Bendigo next year.
Maddern is contracted to Bendigo’s VFL side, the Gold, for 2013.
However, with work not allowing him to commit to the pre-season training required to play at VFL level, Maddern has been in talks with the Gold for several weeks about his playing future next year.
While Maddern has told the Gold he wants to play with South Bendigo next year, the Gold have also made it clear that the 28-year-old is a contracted player to the club.
“I’m busy with work and building my own house, which basically means I don’t have time to fit in a VFL pre-season,” Maddern said yesterday.
“If you can’t do the work during the pre-season then it’s pointless trying to play at that VFL level because your fitness is going to be nowhere near up to scratch to make it worthwhile.
“Basically, if I wasn’t building my own house and work wasn’t as busy as it is then I’d be playing VFL, but unfortunately, it hasn’t worked out that way.”
While wanting to join South Bendigo full-time in the Bendigo Football League, Maddern acknowledges the predicament he has put the Gold in with his contract.
“I understand their position and Aussie (Jones, Gold coach) has been great in trying to help me work through it,” said Maddern, who kicked 27 goals for the Gold this year.
“He understands where I’m coming from and has also made it clear where he and the club are coming from.
“I want to see the club go well and believe they are great for Bendigo, but at this point in time, I don’t have the time to do it anymore.”
Jones said the Maddern contract issue was an awkward situation for the stand-alone club to deal with.
“Justin can pick a home club wherever he wants, and have any role there, as long as that club is happy, but our position is he’s contracted to us,” Jones said.
“From the information we have received from Justin, he wants to play at South Bendigo.
“But from our end, we need quality VFL footballers, of which he is one, and he’s contracted to us.
“While our position is he’s a contracted player to us, we’re not going to stop anyone playing football, either.
“We’re about people getting out there and playing every week.”
Having previously dominated in the BFL with Kangaroo Flat, Maddern was an aligned player with South Bendigo this year.
He played one game for the Bloods, kicking five goals in a round six win over Maryborough.