K rock Football

New deal for Houli

Bachar Houli has signed a new one-year contract with Richmond. (Sports Media Image/Marcel Berens)

RICHMOND defender Bachar Houli has been rewarded for the best season of his AFL career with a one-year contract extension.

The 31-year-old earned his first All Australian selection in 2019, fitting recognition for the key role he has played in a Richmond defensive unit which has had to cover for the season-long absence of Alex Rance.

Houli had expressed his frustration last month that the Tigers had taken so long to offer him a new deal.

But the matter was settled this week, guaranteeing that Houli’s decorated stint at Richmond would extend to a 10th season, having started his AFL career at Essendon.

“Bachar is an outstanding person and player, and we love having him at our football club,” said Richmond list manager Blair Hartley.

“He’s having an exceptional season, and we’re looking forward to him continuing to have an impact next year both on and off the field.”

The rebounding defender has dominated several key statistical categories in 2019, averaging 27.7 disposals (equal first at the club), 4.3 score involvements and 491.6 metres gained (eighth in the league) per game.

© AAP 2019