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Daisy blooms again: Another season for veteran

Dream 'looked over' for re-signed Daisy Carlton midfielder Dale Thomas believes his career was almost finished before an exciting new role

CARLTON veteran Dale Thomas has signed for another year, extending his AFL career into a 14th season.

The Blues and Thomas agreed to the extension this week after the 31-year-old averaged 22.5 disposals and seven marks per game in a new role in defence in 2018.

Thomas, who arrived at Ikon Park at the end of 2013 via free agency from Collingwood, said the shift to the backline had given him a new perspective on his career.

"Earlier this year, I sat back and realised that footy was the one thing I really loved to do and realised it was a privilege to play week in and week out, so I tried to make the most of that mindset and I found this year really refreshing on field despite the results not going our way," Thomas told the club's website.

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"I feel my body has finally caught up with what my mind knew it could do, I've really enjoyed challenging myself in the new defensive role at half-back and I have relished working closely with the younger boys in our backline this year."

Coach Brendon Bolton said Thomas' increased focus on helping to develop the young players at the club had been refreshing.

"It's really pleasing to see 'Daisy' go around again. He finished the year strongly in that new-found defensive role and it was clear to see that he still has plenty to offer," Bolton said. 

"He is a real character and is a great person to have around the football club, he lifts others and contributes strongly to our program.

"This season 'Daisy' has particularly grown off the field and has taken to mentoring a number of our young players, so he is invested in them as people and players which as a coach, has been terrific to see.

"We look forward to welcoming him back for a strong pre-season campaign so he can get the most out of himself in 2019."

Carlton's first-to-fourth-year players will return to pre-season training on November 5.