Jason Johannisen is stalling on his contract.
Jason Johannisen is stalling on his contract. JULIAN SMITH

Bulldogs coach has concern over contracts

WESTERN Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge has admitted he is a little worried by players putting off contract talks.

Star Dog Jason Johannisen has put off negotiations until season's end with the coach sitting down with him in recent days to remind him of the risk of doing so.

"Yeah, (it worries me) a little bit," Beveridge said.

"It's a first time for me. JJ's situation is quite unique.

"I've had some good conversations with him over the last couple of days and I think the simple way to look at it is JJ has backed himself to have a great year and leverage a contract for the future.

"We've got to support him in what he's doing to play his absolute best and help him get there.

"Ultimately the relationship between the players and the club is a partnership and we want our players within the scheme of our list management to be rewarded as much as they can.

"If JJ establishes himself as that player that can demand what he's after, then full credit to him.

"Although he probably takes on a little bit of risk in doing that, all that I can do and we can do is just support him."

He hopes it doesn't mean the Norm Smith Medallist is leaving.

"I hope not. It doesn't appear that the lure of his home state has anything to do with it," he said.

"He wants to be a Bulldogs player and that's encouraging. "

The Bulldogs take on Sydney tomorrow night in a rematch of last year's grand final but will be without key defender Dale Morris, with Marcus Adams considered a likely inclusion when teams are announced.

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