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Improved Kanga, veteran back ink new deals

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VASTLY improved midfielder Jed Anderson has finally re-signed with North Melbourne after drawn-out contract negotiations, while evergreen veteran Scott Thompson has also been given the green light to play on.

The Roos announced at their best and fairest count on Friday night that Anderson had re-signed until the end of 2020 and Thompson for 2019.

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Anderson enjoyed a breakthrough season in 2018 after indifferent form and injury restricted him to just 15 games in his first two seasons at Arden St.

After an intensive pre-season when he voluntarily took part in North's high-altitude camp in Utah, Anderson played a career-high 21 games – his previous season best was 10 – averaging 19.7 possessions and six clearances a game.

Anderson's new two-year deal was months in the making, with talks between the parties moving slowly at times. 

North football manager Cameron Joyce said Anderson's impressive season showed why the club was so keen to secure him in a trade with Hawthorn at the end of 2015.

"He had a tough run with injury when he joined us, but that's all behind him now and we can't wait to see what Jed can continue to produce going forward," Joyce said.

"It's been great to see him take his game to a new level this season and we know there's still plenty of room for improvement." 

Meanwhile, Thompson's re-signing will give North's defence invaluable experience in 2019. 

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The 32-year-old again shared the Kangaroos' key defensive duties with vice-captain Robbie Tarrant this season, with his strong form deservedly earning him a new one-year deal that will stretch his AFL career into a 12th season.

Thompson was ranked fifth in the league for intercept marks in 2018, while he also played a valuable mentoring role.

"Scott is an elite intercept marking player and a fierce competitor, but also plays a big part educating our younger players in the way we want them to play," Joyce said.

"He was back to his best this year and it's hard to find such reliable and durable players like Scott. We're delighted that he'll be going around again."