Geelong legend Jimmy Bartel is considering making an AFL comeback.
The 33-year-old hung up the boots in 2016 following the Cats’ preliminary final loss to Sydney but admits he is looking at his options for a return in 2018.
The three-time premiership player juggled media duties this year in his first season out of the game.
“I am such a competitive person,” Bartel said on RSN927.
“A lot of people sit there and go ‘why would you do that and risk damaging your legacy?’, but footballers at the highest level are natural risk takers.
“It’s a bit of the conversation about, ‘why would you want to get to a grand final and lose?’.
“People would say, ‘I’d rather have lost in the prelim because then I don’t have to suffer the heartache’.
“I’d rather the chance of winning the premiership. I’d rather go six grand finals and lose them all than never make a grand final.
“I think if you ask a lot of footballers who have had a long career, they’d have the same mindset.
“So to take that across to another club, I don’t care what people think of me, but I’d rather have the opportunity and fail than not have the opportunity.”
Bartel said legendary Hawk Sam Mitchell’s decision to play a season in WA combined with Hawthorn’s Luke Hodge’s decision to backflip on his retirement had inspired him to seriously consider adding to his 305-game career.
“I think it’s changed everyone’s thinking and the landscape of it,” Bartel said.
“Previously, until these guys did it, I think everyone goes, ‘you ruin your legacy’ and all that. But I think people understand the bigger picture now and I still think of Sam Mitchell as a Hawthorn legend.
“I still think of Luke Hodge as a Hawthorn legend, (Jordan) Lewis as well.
“I’m a footballer first and competitive by nature and that’s probably been the toughest thing for me this year, to actually find something to get that competitive itch scratched,” he said.
“I think you have to have the conversation, don’t you? If you’re a footballer for 15 years, I think you do.
“And that doesn’t mean you’re going to say yes, but what’s the harm in talking to people?”