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Tough Demon resists Sydney lure to stay put

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MELBOURNE tough nut Aaron vandenBerg has resisted the lure of a move to Sydney, instead re-signing with the Demons until the end of 2021.

The 26-year-old considered returning home to NSW but on Wednesday, signed for another three seasons.

vandenBerg's father died suddenly in May, and the tenacious midfielder had to take over the running of his dad's business from afar.

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Together with the challenge of building towards his own long-awaited return from injury and continuing his university studies, the Demon had plenty of cause to consider a return closer to his family on the NSW south coast when the season ended.

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Demons football manager Josh Mahoney admitted vandenBerg had been seriously tempted by the prospect of moving.

"We are very happy that Aaron has decided to remain a Melbourne player and agreed to a new deal," Mahoney told melbournefc.com.au.

"The last two years have been very challenging personally and we understand that this was a tough decision for Aaron, given his family situation and the attraction of moving to Sydney.

"It is a positive reflection of our club and the environment that has been created for the players, and the connection they have together."

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vandenBerg finally returned to the senior side in round 20 this year after an absence of almost two years as he dealt with a heel stress fracture.

His intensity at the football was important during the Dees' run to a preliminary final.

"Returning from an extended time on the sidelines, Aaron showed his ability at AFL level at the end of the year and finals," Mahoney said.

"We look forward to watching Aaron have a good run with injuries and supporting him in the future."

He has played 35 career games since being recruited at No.2 in the 2014 rookie draft.