AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou believes Karmichael Hunt can regain his place in Gold Coast’s team and he’ll help the Suns keep him in the code.
Rugby league clubs are already contemplating his availability but Karmichael Hunt is still an AFL player and the code’s chief executive hopes it stays that way.
The code-hopper’s future at Gold Coast has come under increased speculation in recent months with the former NRL star losing his place in the Suns’ starting line-up during an injury-hit 2013.
With the Suns’ crop of young midfielders such as Rising Star Jaeger O’Meara and Dion Prestia seemingly moving past Hunt, he faces an uphill battle to justify a contract extension beyond the end of next season.
But long-time admirer, AFL CEO Andrew Demetriou, thinks the 27-year-old can prove his critics wrong once more and says the league will continue providing financial support if Gold Coast decide to offer him a new deal.
“I’ve got a lot of time for Karmichael. He’s an incredible athlete,” Demetriou said.
“He had some setbacks with injury this year. He’s a great person around the club – a mentor to some of the younger players. We’ll do everything we can to keep him.
“It’s a Gold Coast Suns football decision at the end of the day but I know they rate him highly.
“I hope he runs around next year, gets a lot of kicks.”
Demetriou is in Queensland ahead of Thursday’s National Draft and says the future of the international rules series has been discussed during meetings of the AFL Commission.
An Indigenous All Stars team was thumped 2-0 by Ireland in the 17th series last month, raising questions over the competition’s viability.
Demetriou says a return to playing the All Australian selection might be on the cards.
“I hope we don’t finish the international rules series on that note,” he said.
“We discussed this at the commission the last couple of days … we know that if the series is to proceed, we’ve got to look at the timing of the event. We’ve got to look at the composition of the team.
“We may have to go back to rewarding the All-Australian team.
“We haven’t made a decision yet.”