MELBOURNE veteran Jordan Lewis is approaching the 2019 AFL season like it could be his last but will do everything in his power to ensure it’s not.
The 32-year-old is entering the final season of the three-year deal he signed when he crossed from Hawthorn and is hopeful he can prove he is worthy of a contract extension.
“The way I’m training and the way I’m preparing for next year … I certainly want to give it everything (because) it could be my last year,” Lewis told reporters on Wednesday.
“I’d be kidding myself if I didn’t approach it that way.
“… I think you have to be realistic, you have open conversations with the coach – we’re both mature about it and understanding of where I’m at in my career – I think that’s the best way to deal with it.
“If you play well you stay in the side, if you don’t you find yourself in the reserves.”
The four-time premiership Hawk is in good physical shape as he attempts to extend his 307-game career.
He played 24 games last year and is taking part in all pre-season training drills having avoided surgery after the 2018 campaign that ended with a 66-point preliminary final drubbing at the hands of West Coast.
Lewis had a shocker against the Eagles, leading some to question if he would see out his contract.
The veteran wasn’t alone in having a bad day at Optus Stadium, but he and his teammates have moved on.
“I think as a player you understand that if you don’t perform then criticism will come,” he said.
“If you perform people pat you on the back and if you don’t they’ll criticise you and dissect your game – that’s just part of it.
“From an individual point-of-view, from a team point-of-view all the players were disappointed but we need to understand that we had two really good (finals) games leading up to that.
“I think on the whole it was a really good season.”
Meanwhile, Jake Lever’s frustrating run continued after he underwent a minor procedure to alleviate pain associated with scar tissue in his reconstructed left knee.
The defender has struggled to overcome soreness in the joint but is expected to return to training on Monday.
© AAP 2018