GUN midfielder Alik Magin will stay loyal to the Bendigo Gold next season if he isn’t picked-up in the AFL draft.
The ex-Gold Coast Sun increased his chances of being thrown an AFL lifeline by winning the VFL Coaches Player of the Year Award on Monday night.
“There’s always hope there, but then again I don’t want to get my hopes up too much because if nothing does happen I’ll be too disappointed,” he said.
“If something does come up I’ll be stoked, but I’ve just got to see how it goes from here on in.
“I’ve done everything I could this year and, hopefully, I do get a chance.”
Gold coach Aussie Jones said “at least one” AFL recruiter rates Magin the best player in the VFL.
“That was probably reinforced last night (Monday) by the coaches,” he said.
“There’s no guarantees (he’ll get drafted), but we’re pretty confident.”
But if the 22-year-old is not drafted, he has already agreed to return to play for the Gold – should the club remain in the VFL next season.
“They gave me an opportunity to come down and play for them, so I’ll do them a favour and stick with them for however long I’ll be around for – which is definitely going to be another three-to-five years in the VFL,” Magin said.
“I’m really looking forward to next year already.”
Daniel Toman – who was runner-up in the VFL Coaches Award and was named in the Team of the Year – is another of the Gold’s key players to verbally re-commit.
“He’s a great candidate for us,” Jones said. “He’s a guy from Woodend who was playing VFL development league at the Northern Blues and saw us as the best opportunity to play senior footy.
“Within 12 months to get runner-up in an award like that was huge.”
Jones wants to recruit at least six top-line players for next season to make the Gold competitive.
“We’re pretty honest that we need to add a bit at the top end,” Jones said.
“But we’re also going to get natural improvement from guys that played their first game in round one this season who will go into another pre-season and know what’s required.”
The Gold’s future remains in doubt, but Jones has full confidence in chairman Tim Dickson to pull the club through.
“The reason I’m confident we’ll survive is the work that Tim is putting in,” he said.