AFL: Demons happy  to wait  for Frawley

Paul Roos says James Frawley should not be held to a tongue-in- -cheek promise to stay at Melbourne now he’s signed on for a third year.

James Frawley of the Demons evades a tackle during the round 15 AFL match between the Western Bulldogs and the Melbourne Demons at Etihad Stadium last month. PICTURE: GETTY IMAGES

James Frawley of the Demons evades a tackle during the round 15 AFL match between the Western Bulldogs and the Melbourne Demons at Etihad Stadium last month. PICTURE: GETTY IMAGES

Frawley’s future has been a hot potato for the Demons under Roos, with the out-of-contract Frawley understood to be exploring his options.

While retaining the 25-year-old would be a boost for Melbourne, Roos is not holding the former East Ballarat and North Ballarat Rebels player to a pledge made at Luna Park in February.

“People have probably taken James’ comment a bit too literally,” Roos said. “It was more tongue-in-cheek ... he probably knew I wasn’t going to make a decision for a while.”

Roos said the club was playing out both scenarios in preparation for the club’s planning for next year, but he was prepared to wait for Frawley’s answer.

While Frawley’s departure would leave the team short of talls, Roos’ recruitment focus is for “a really high-quality class midfielder or midfielders”.

On the coaching front, signing on at Melbourne for a third year gives the Demons a chance to be flexible in recruiting Roos’ successor.

While chief executive Peter Jackson said the club was sticking to a plan to recruit a successor and have Roos mentor them, Roos said there may be wiggle room.

“If we found someone we thought suited the club, suited the direction, I think we’d be comfortable making the decision (this season),” Roos said.

• Richmond’s Tyrone Vickery expressed relief after the AFL tribunal gave him a four-week ban for clocking Dean Cox.

Vickery’s striking charge was referred directly to the tribunal, whose members retired for six minutes on Tuesday night before agreeing on the penalty.

Both AFL legal counsel Andrew Woods and player advocate Michael Tovey QC had agreed a ban of five weeks, reduced to four with a guilty plea, was correct.

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