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Rhyce lightning: Coach call speeds up Roo big man's big deal

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RHYCE Shaw's appointment as senior coach of North Melbourne was a catalyst in Todd Goldstein's decision to sign a three-year deal.

Goldstein, one of the most prized unrestricted free agents still on the market, had long been courted by minor premiers Geelong and had previously garnered significant interest from St Kilda. 

However, the 31-year-old has opted to remain with North Melbourne, signing a new deal with the club that will ensure his future at Arden Street until the end of 2022.

After taking the caretaker role following the departure of Brad Scott, Shaw was promoted to the permanent role at the start of August.

"The club putting Rhyce in quite early definitely helped the conversations, because we could start those conversations a lot earlier," Goldstein told reporters. 

"Rhyce has shown a lot of confidence in me and that he did really want me as a player.

"The relationships he's built with the whole group and the whole staff has been unbelievable, that definitely plays a big part in it, and I'm really excited about the young guys that are coming through and where this group could go." 

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Goldstein said the lure of possible finals success wasn't a crucial factor in his decision to stay at North. 

"There was interest from a number of clubs and the beauty of the AFL at the moment is you never quite know where a team is going to be year in, year out," Goldstein said. 

"You see teams like Richmond and the Bulldogs seem to come from nowhere to win a premiership. It's so close, every team feels like they have a chance each year to make finals and do some damage in finals.

"I don't think any team can guarantee you a premiership, and I think I've got just a good chance here as I do anywhere else."

Goldstein was named the All Australian ruckman in 2015, the same season in which he was crowned North Melbourne's best and fairest, and has returned to his best form over the last 12 months with the club.

The veteran averaged 16.8 disposals and 33.4 hitouts per game this season to reaffirm his position as one of the game's most influential rucks behind Brodie Grundy and Max Gawn.

He doesn't see his career finishing at the end of this new three-year deal, either, despite the fact he will be 34 when his contract expires. 

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"My focus was always wanting to be a 300-game player for this club (he has played 234) and this allows me to get closer to that goal.

"As I've said many times this year, I'm feeling the best I ever have mentally. Physically, I've got through the season really well and I've got an understanding now – and I think the club has as well – of how to manage me through pre-season and in the season to play my best footy.

"At this stage, I definitely think I've got more left in me."