JINDERA has conceded star midfielder Matt McDonald is contracted to North Albury but remains optimistic about getting the two-time best and fairest winner cleared in time for its first match of the season.
The Hume league club will face the Hoppers in front of an appeals committee tonight after the Ovens and Murray club rejected three clearance attempts by McDonald to join the Bulldogs.
The Hoppers are standing firm, with coach Jason Akermanis recently labelling his former assistant coach a required player for the season.
McDonald is seeking greener pastures after being caught up in North Albury’s recent financial crisis.
Although McDonald signed a deal to stay at Bunton Park last September, Jindera president Trevor Freeman said his club believed several factors would test the validity of that contract.
“We believe we have got a case that’s worth presenting,” Freeman said.
“Yes, Matt does have a contract with North Albury but we believe there is grounds for having that overturned.
“We will just have to wait and see.”
The Bulldogs had the bye in round 1 of the Hume league season and are fast running out of time to get McDonald cleared for the club’s clash with Holbrook on Saturday.
Lavington and North Albury recently came to an “undisclosed agreement” for Adam Prior.
Freeman said the Bulldogs weren’t able to pay out McDonald’s contract, should the tribunal find in North Albury’s favour.
“Jindera is not in a position to pay out any large sums of compensation money,” he said.
“It will come back to what Matt wants to do.
“We are always prepared to negotiate with North Albury but it all comes back to how much money they want to how much we are prepared to pay I suppose.
“That’s the sticking point.”
Tonight’s hearing starts at 7pm.