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Max going nowhere: Star Demon inks new deal

Marc McGowan  October 27, 2017 4:57 PM

AFL 2017 Training - Melbourne 010817

Max Gawn has signed a new deal

I will be a Melbourne player for life

MELBOURNE'S 2016 All Australian ruckman Max Gawn has signed a three-year contract extension to remain at the Demons through the 2021 season.

The 25-year-old was due to come out of contract next year and would have been a prominent figure in a prospective free agency pool that includes Gold Coast's Tom Lynch and Eagles midfielder Andrew Gaff.

Gawn was a priority signing for Melbourne, which has only untried big men Mitch King and Lochie Filipovic behind him on the ruck depth chart.

A serious hamstring injury suffered in a round three loss to Geelong sidelined him for nine matches this year and required an operation.

The Demons turned to makeshift options Cam Pedersen and Tom McDonald in Gawn's absence with varying success, and the Ormond product said he "rode the ups and downs" with the fans in that period.

"I can't imagine enjoying myself having success at another club," Gawn told melbournefc.com.au.

"I love this club, and for the first time in a long time, we are heading in the right direction and I want to be a part of that and bring our supporters the success they are craving 

"I will be a Melbourne player for life, which means a lot to me, so there was no point dancing around and trying to string out my contract negotiations.

"I didn't want a media circus going into my final year. I wanted to put that to bed and show my commitment to the Dees, which is why I signed on at this time."

Gawn said he was "excited" about the potential of a starting midfield next year of 2017 best and fairest Clayton Oliver, co-captain Jack Viney and 2014 NAB AFL Draft No.2 pick Christian Petracca.

He has played 74 games since Melbourne recruited him with the No.34 selection in the 2009 draft and overcame two knee reconstructions to become one of the game's premier ruckmen.

The club's general manager of football operations Josh Mahoney was thrilled to complete the Gawn negotiations well before next season.

"Max is a very important player and person around the club, and we're delighted that he's extended his contract for a further three years," Mahoney said.

"We look forward to him having an injury-free season next year and returning to playing the footy that he has shown over a period of time."