Mountford awaits contract decision

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Cameron NewboldAlbany Advertiser

Emerging midfielder Declan Mountford’s future at North Melbourne remains unclear, with the former North Albany junior still out of contract heading into next month’s NAB AFL trade period.

Mountford has returned home to Albany following his end-of-season exit interview and was helping out on his family farm in Manypeaks after watching his former side win their fourth-straight Great Southern Football League premiership on Sunday.

The 20-year-old played 12 AFL games with the Kangaroos this season after being drafted from Claremont in 2015, and was used as a small defender and also in the midfield.

Mountford made his senior debut in round 1 against the West Coast Eagles and was dropped the following week before forcing his way back into the team in round 13, playing 11 consecutive games at the back end of the season.

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Enjoying some downtime at home, Mountford reflected on a strong second season on the Kangaroos list.

“I’ve got about a month off and it was awesome to come back and see the boys win,” he said.

“It was a good experience to play a few consecutive AFL games and gives me confidence heading into next year.

“I played a few different roles and also had a few new challenges I’ve had to face, like getting dropped.

“With some of the injuries to our small defenders they tried me down back but I want to crack into the midfield group because I think that’s where I play my best foo-ty.”

Mountford was no clearer on his future at the Kangaroos but said he was hopeful of being re-contracted. “I’m still unsure at the moment,” he said. “We have about 10 uncontracted guys.

“We will see what happens, but I hope (to stay at the club).”

It has been widely reported that the Kangaroos have told a number of their uncontracted players they will be informed about possible extensions once the trade period is completed on October 19.

He said having fellow North Albany product Marley Williams at the club had been fantastic for his development.

After a terrific start for his new club Williams was an equal leader of the Syd Barker Medal for the Kangaroos’ fairest and best after 10 rounds before injury derailed his season.

Mountford has already begun running and doing weights sessions and will return to Melbourne in late October.

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