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Prolific Crows star signs for three more years

Crows' new recruits tearing up the track Adelaide assistant coach Josh Francou provides AFL.com.au with a pre-season update
Matt Crouch will remain a Crow until the end of 2021 - AFL,Adelaide Crows,Matt Crouch
Matt Crouch will remain a Crow until the end of 2021

ADELAIDE'S reigning club champion Matt Crouch has signed a three-year contract extension with the Crows until the end of 2021.

The 22-year-old won his first Malcolm Blight Medal last year in a season in which the prolific ball-winning midfielder earned All Australian honours for the first time.

"I'm really pleased to be able to wear the Crows colours for the next four years at least," Crouch told afc.com.au.

"The club is a fantastic place to be with a committed playing and coaching group who are determined to achieve success.

"I'm excited for what the future holds and look forward to the start of season 2018 already."

Crouch became one of the competition's elite on-ballers last year and played a major role in the Crows reaching the Grand Final.

He averaged 33 disposals per game, but it was his consistency that was astounding. His 27 touches in the round 11 loss to Geelong was his lowest possession total of the season.

Crouch has played 72 games for the Crows since making his debut in round three, 2014.

He was selected with the 23rd overall pick of the 2013 NAB AFL Draft, a pick the Crows obtained from Melbourne in exchange for experienced midfielder Bernie Vince.

"Matt has developed into one of the premier midfielders in the competition and to have him around until at least 2021 is a great result for the club," the Crows' general manager list management and strategy Justin Reid said.

"He has not only bought into, but led the way with the club's team-first culture and helped create a really positive environment.

"At only 22 years of age, his best football is still ahead of him and we are excited to continue to see him grow as a player and a leader."

With Crouch locked away, joining older brother Brad, who is signed until 2020, the Crows will now turn their attentions to highly prized free agent Rory Sloane.

The future of the Crows vice-captain and dual club champion beyond the end of this season will be talked about more the longer a new deal takes to eventuate, with Victorian clubs ready to pounce if he decides to move interstate.

All Australian defender Rory Laird, star half-forward Tom Lynch, winger Rory Atkins and half-back flanker Brodie Smith – who is set to miss most of the season recovering from a torn ACL – are among those also coming off-contract at the end of this year.