MELBOURNE star Clayton Oliver has signed a bumper seven-year AFL contract extension with the reigning premiers until the end of the 2030 season.
One of the AFL’s best midfielders, who played a key role in last year’s breakthrough flag win, Oliver would have been eligible for free agency at the end of his contract next year.
Instead, the 24-year-old has followed midfield partner-in-crime Christian Petracca in backing the Demons to remain strong by penning a long-term deal.
“As one of the best players in the competition, we are delighted that Clayton has turned his back on free agency and chosen to commit to the club,” Melbourne list manager Tim Lamb told the Demons’ website.
“It shows the faith he has in our playing group and coaches and it is a huge endorsement of the culture we have built under Simon.
“Clayton is an elite midfielder who has shown incredible consistency over his career, highlighted by the three Bluey Truscott Trophies already to his name.
“He is loved and respected by his teammates and coaches and is a key pillar of our ambitions to achieve sustained success.
“At only 24 years of age, we are excited to see what Clayton can achieve in the future and we know our members and supporters will love watching him perform in the red and blue for the rest of his career.”
Oliver is already a three-time best and fairest winner at Melbourne and a two-time All-Australian.
He claimed last year’s AFL Coaches Association Champion Player of the Year award and is on top of this year’s leaderboard, averaging 34.5 disposals and 8.2 clearances.
Drafted in 2015 at pick No.4, Oliver has averaged 29 disposals and six clearances across his career.
Melbourne’s focus is now likely to home in on securing the signature of prized young ruckman Luke Jackson and free agent Angus Brayshaw.
(C) AAP 2022