DUSTIN Martin has refused to address the hot topic of his contract.
Martin appeared at a Sherrin event at the MCG this morning and fronted media soon after testing the ball manufacturer’s new products, but when talk turned to his deal with Richmond — which expires at the end of this season — he shut down questioning.
“That’s just between (my manager) Ralph (Carr) and the club to sort out,” Martin said.
“I’m here to talk about the Sherrin today.”
Former Richmond assistant coach and Martin’s mentor Mark Williams then jumped in to affirm that the midfielder wouldn’t be speaking on the issue.
“He’s not talking about contracts,” Williams declared.
“The fact is he’s been playing really well.
“Even though Dustin and I are not at the same club now, we talk. He’s had great success and third in the Brownlow (medal count) wasn’t bad, but we’re looking even better. Dustin — for the four years that I worked with him — continually wanted to lift the bar.
“He’s come seventh, then he’s come third, well mathematics would say something good (this year), so get on him.”
When asked whether he thought ongoing negotiations will be a distraction this season, Martin said “I’m not talking about it”, before leaving the press conference.
The reigning best and fairest winner will become a restricted free agent at the end of the year, with coach Damien Hardwick saying last week that the club is putting “a truckload of work” into securing his services beyond this year.
Williams said he is confident the 25-year-old “will make the right decision”.
“I’m sure that Dustin will make the right decision and he’s very much a loyal man,” he said.
“He loves Richmond, he loves the players there and in time, he’ll make the right decision.”
Martin also said he “can’t wait” for the season proper to begin in just over a fortnight.
“Obviously we’ve got one more game to go this week but looking forward for the real stuff to start,” he said.
“(My goals for this year are) just to play consistently good footy and improve. Like every year.”