MELBOURNE has ensured one of its best players will be a Demon for life, moving early to secure gun midfielder Clayton Oliver to a monster seven-year contract extension on Thursday.
The deal, which is tipped to be worth around $7 million, will ensure Oliver will remain at Melbourne until at least 2030.
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Oliver's current contract wasn't due to expire until the end of next season, but the reigning premier began negotiations to lock away one of its most important players before he entered his free agency year.
The Demons took a similar route when negotiating fellow star Christian Petracca's latest deal 12 months ago, where the reigning Norm Smith Medal winner signed for seven more seasons despite still being contracted for another year.
It means Oliver is the first player in the AFL to sign into the 2030 season, with Petracca and Greater Western Sydney's Josh Kelly becoming the first players to sign until 2029 last year.
Oliver will now be at Melbourne until the age of 33, having already emerged as one of the club's most valuable players on his way to three best and fairests, two All-Australian blazers and a premiership last season.
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Oliver is again enjoying a dominant season for the ladder-leading Demons, with the 24-year-old among the red-hot Brownlow Medal favourites having averaged 34.5 disposals and 8.4 clearances per game.
"As one of the best players in the competition, we are delighted that Clayton has turned his back on free agency and chosen to commit to the club. It shows the faith he has in our playing group and coaches and it is huge endorsement of the culture we have built under Simon," Melbourne list boss Tim Lamb said.
"Clayton is an elite midfielder who has shown incredible consistency over his career, highlighted by the three Bluey Truscott Trophies already to his name. He is loved and respected by his teammates and coaches and is a key pillar of our ambitions to achieve sustained success.
"Clarry’s ability to perform at an extremely high level week after week is a direct reflection of the amount of work and effort he puts into his training. His training standards are reflected in his performance come game time.
"At only 24 years of age, we are excited to see what Clayton can achieve in the future and we know our members and supporters will love watching him perform in the red and blue for the rest of his career."