New deal for key Docker: Clarke signs on
After plenty of thought, Zac Clarke signs a contract extension
FREMANTLE ruckman Zac Clarke has put pen to paper on a new deal but admits he gave the decision plenty of thought after flying to Melbourne during the club's bye to discuss his future with his family.
The 23-year-old has signed a contract extension that will see him remain at the club until to the end of 2015.
Drafted from the Oakleigh Chargers in Victoria, he was taken by the Dockers at pick No.37 in the 2008 NAB AFL Draft, making his debut in round 13, 2009.
He has played a key role for Freo this year after the club's tall stocks were decimated by injury.
Clarke said he had to discuss his future with his family before signing on.
"They (my family) were just happy to back me in and they’re really rapt for me," he said.
"I had to discuss it with them first, but in the end, the way the team is going, and the coaches and playing group we have, it really wasn’t a tough decision."
He said Ross Lyon was a major selling point in his decision.
"To get to play another two years under Ross and with the boys, I’m stoked," he said.
Lyon was ecstatic that Clarke had committed long term to the club.
"We're absolutely thrilled," Lyon said on 6PR's Sports Today.
"He's so important to our list. He's really grown. I just think the way he has assumed the ruck mantle has been exceptional.
"It's a great vindication of his belief in the club, his mates at the club, and how the club can give him the opportunities that he's seeking.
"All round it's a tick for the direction of the whole club," he said.
Fremantle's general manager of player management, Brad Lloyd, said the club saw Clarke as a valuable squad member and an important part of Freo’s future.
"We’ve been very pleased with Zac’s development," Lloyd said.
"He's been very solid since returning to the team this season and he has performed well in the ruck in the absence of Aaron Sandilands and Jon Griffin. We're very happy to have him stay at Fremantle."