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Big Swan Pyke re-signs despite COLA hiccup

Mike Pyke of the Swans celebrates after a win in the 2012 Toyota Grand Final match between the Hawthorn Hawks and the Sydney Swans at the MCG, Melbourne. (Photo: Lachlan Cunningham/AFL Media)
Mike Pyke calls Canada home but won't be going anywhere for another couple of years
To be part of this group and play with these players, it's pretty special
Mike Pyke
THE LOSS of the Cost of Living Allowance "threw a spanner in the works", but ruckman Mike Pyke is still thrilled to have quietly negotiated a two-year contract extension to remain with the Sydney Swans.

Along with Nick Malceski and Craig Bird, Pyke had been one of the key Swans still yet to extend their contracts beyond this year.

Bird penned a new two-year deal earlier this season and now Pyke has joined him, with the Swans' first-choice ruckman agreeing to terms to stay in Sydney until the end of 2016.

Malceski is the last big name yet to put pen to paper, but Pyke – who played a key role in the Grand Final victory over Hawthorn two years ago – can now focus on another showdown with the Hawks.

The club decided to put talks with all players on hold earlier in the year while the future of the contentious Cost of Living Allowance was determined, with the AFL Commission making the call to phase it out.

But the big Canadian said he never contemplated playing with another team.

"It was never a possibility of going elsewhere," Pyke told AFL.com.au on Tuesday.

"It's just a matter sometimes of a negotiation really.

"Sometimes it takes time. I think losing COLA threw a big spanner in the works, so that changed a lot of things in terms of planning for the club.

"That was the biggest element, things got stalled because of that."

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This time two years ago, Pyke put contract talks on hold to concentrate on the 2012 finals, before agreeing to terms following the Swans' premiership victory.

He had a similar thought in mind this year before the deal was quietly completed.

"It's all done," he said.

"It's just something that hasn’t been thrown out there because of finals.

"For the same reason I didn't want to talk about it last time around, I didn't want to talk about it this time around.

"But it's all done, it's going to be another two years, which is super.

"It's something that we're really happy about."

The 30-year-old is thrilled to have his future sorted for the next two years, having made a home in Sydney with his wife and young son.

Ahead of another Grand Final clash with the Hawks, Pyke still pinches himself at the calibre of talent that surrounds him at the Swans.

"It's great," he said. "I would never have gone anywhere else.

"That wasn't an option.

"To be part of this group and play with these players that we get to play with, it's pretty special.

"Just to socialise with someone like Adam Goodes and now to be able to watch someone like Buddy on the field, to be under the leadership of Kieren Jack and Jarrad McVeigh – it's a pretty special place to play football.

"I feel like I'm very fortunate to be here."

Twitter: @AFL_JD