THERE are AFL footballers who already know they will be at another club next year. They can dodge it or deny it as much as they like.
The fact is players get spoken to at this time of the year by opposition clubs. Technically it is not allowed, but it happens. For sure.
Others might not have decided, but they are thinking about it. Either way, it has to effect them and the way they play. The amount of time and energy, and the stresses and consideration about who they should play with can have an impact. That's where the issue lies for the player in question.
Travis Cloke's form, as has been well publicized, isn't as good as it has been in the past. If he hasn't made his decision yet, I'd guess he is thinking about it. If we end up playing Collingwood in the preliminary final and Cloke is lining up, perhaps we might just ask him about.
The focus has been on Cloke, of course. Others I'm not sure about. Kurt Tippett, for example has been subject of talk but he hasn't played for about a month because of his concussion.
And sometimes it's harder to tell. I played alongside Campbell Brown and we don't know at what point he made his mind up. In regards to his form and demeanour around the club there was no sign his mind was elsewhere.
We had no idea when Gary Ablett was playing his last year at Geelong, either. His football did not drop off as far as we could tell from outside.
There are players who might also know their ticket is punched at a club and their careers are likely coming to a close. Cam Bruce, for example, has already retired but there are others out there not doubt. There is often a change in demeanour here as well but probably in the opposite way. If guys are on the outer they might actually play like it's their last game because it actually might be.
Besides that I don't know if there is anyone obvious at Hawthorn, unless someone has made a conscious decision themselves. As for myself, well, if anyone is in any question about what jumper I will be wearing next year, let's just say brown and gold brings out the colour in my eyes.