K rock Football

Star Dee signs lengthy deal

Melbourne star Christian Petracca has signed a seven-year contract extension. (Sports Media Image/Marcel Berens)

MELBOURNE sensation Christian Petracca has shown his faith in the unbeaten AFL leaders’ future, signing a seven-year contract extension tying him to the Demons until the end of 2029.

The explosive midfielder/forward has played a crucial role in the Demons’ best start to an AFL season in 56 years, averaging 29 disposals, six clearances, 7.29 inside-50s and more than a goal a game.

Petracca, 25, was already contracted to Melbourne for 2022 but would have been a restricted free agent at the end of next season.

“No doubt whatsoever (I would re-sign) – it’s obviously very exciting,” Petracca told the club’s website.

“Obviously there was a lot of thought to go into it – it’s my whole career, pretty much.

“To map out a seven-year plan with the club is really exciting and I’m just really happy with the direction the club’s going.”

Petracca was pick No.2 in the 2014 AFL draft but tore his ACL in his first pre-season and had to wait until round six, 2016 to make his debut.

He has since gone on to boot 102 goals in 109 games.

Melbourne’s leading goalkicker in 2019, Petracca broke through for his first All-Australian guernsey in 2020 – a season where he also won Melbourne’s best and fairest award, before kicking on this year.

Petracca follows Max Gawn, Jake Lever, Clayton Oliver and Christian Salem in re-signing.

“Over the past couple of seasons, Christian has established himself as one of the competition’s elite players and we are confident his best is still to come,” Melbourne list manager Tim Lamb said.

“To turn his back on free agency, and what would have undoubtedly been significant offers from other clubs, is a testament to his character and shows how much he loves this club, his teammates, coaches and the environment we have worked so hard to create.

“It is an exciting time to be a part of the club and Christian has been unwavering in his commitment to being part of the journey we are on.”

(C) AAP 2021