Adelaide star forward Josh Jenkins says the death of former coach Phil Walsh influenced his decision to extend his AFL contract.
Jenkins ended months of speculation about his future on Thursday, signing a five-year contract extension to keep him with the Crows until at least the end of 2021.
The 27-year-old has been in career-best form this year, leading the Crows’ goal-kicking with 44 majors and averaging 5.7 marks per game.
His contract had been due to expire at the end of the year, with Brisbane reported to be among the clubs pitching lucrative offers for his services.
Jenkins said the decision to stay with the second-placed Crows had been helped by the side’s strong performance this season.
He also highlighted the tight bond formed between teammates following last year’s shock death of Walsh.
“I mentioned from the very start that I was keen to stay in Adelaide. I always had that intention,” Jenkins told the Crows’ website.
“We’re all here for success. The reason I’ve been more than happy to commit for so long is because I don’t think we’re far away from that.
“With the demographic of the group, what we’ve been through and how we’ve become so close, and with the team playing such good football, I think we can sustain that.”
Coach Don Pyke said Jenkins had developed into a strong leader on and off the field with an exemplary work ethic.
“We are rapt Josh has decided to stay as his form and progress this season has been fantastic,” Pyke said.
“He provides real flexibility and balance to our line-up, can play minutes in the ruck and is always keen to learn and improve his game.”
Jenkins, a late bloomer who made his AFL debut aged 23, was drafted by Essendon but traded to Adelaide in 2011 before playing a game.
The Victorian native said he was happily settled with his long-term partner in Adelaide and confident of playing well into his 30s.