Key defender Tom McDonald has signed a two-year contract extension, opting to stay with brother Oscar at AFL club Melbourne.
McDonald’s future became a subject of much conjecture this season as contract talks stalled.
But the Demons announced on Wednesday that Tom and Oscar McDonald had agreed on terms and would be at the club until at least the end of 2018.
“It’s not something you stress about every day, but it does play on your mind a little bit,” Tom McDonald told the club website.
“I really wanted to stay and get a deal done, but you’ve got to be realistic and aware that things can change.
“I wasn’t talking to any other clubs or assessing any other offers, but I was just looking to stay at Melbourne.
“It’s a really good feeling to have it all done close to the end of the season. There wasn’t much time left, but we snuck it in.”
Tom McDonald noted the club conducted separate contract talks with him and Oscar.
“But we’ve got the same manager and it was good timing, so it was pretty special to get them done at the same time,” the 23-year-old added.
“Once mine was almost done, I was told Oscar’s was almost done as well and then I was told that it’d be nice to announce them together.”
Demons football manager Josh Mahoney is full of praise for Tom McDonald, who has become one of the league’s best one-on-one defenders.
“Tom played his 100th game a couple of weeks ago and he’s played a really important role for us this year in leading a very young and developing backline,” Mahoney said.
“Tom has developed into a very good defender and continues to improve his leadership.
“Both of these signings are very important … we’re very happy that we’ve been able to come to an agreement on Oscar and Tom.”
Meanwhile, Richmond ruckman Shaun Hampson and forward Sam Lloyd have also signed two-year deals.
Hampson and Lloyd will stay at Punt Rd Oval until at least the end of 2018.
North Melbourne’s Kayne Turner, who was busted for drink-driving earlier this year, also recently penned a two-year contract extension.