MELBOURNE’S Michael Hibberd and Jake Melksham have been rewarded for their 2022 efforts, each earning a one-year contract extension with the club.
The new deals will see the duo, who both joined the Demons ahead of the 2017 season, pull on the red and blue for a seventh year. It will mark their 12th and 13th AFL seasons, respectively.
Melbourne List Manager Tim Lamb said the re-signings reflected the pair’s work ethic and hunger to improve.
“We are really pleased to be able to reward Michael and Jake for their work this season and extend their time at Melbourne,” he said.
“They have both had significant impact since arriving at the club and continue to push themselves to be the best players and teammates they can be.
“Michael and Jake played important roles for us last season and are as hungry as ever to be part of our journey moving forward. We look forward to what they can bring over the coming season.”
Hibberd tallied 12 matches in 2022, returning from injury in Round 13 to go on and play the remainder of Melbourne’s campaign. He averaged 14 disposals and six intercept possessions down back, having similar impact to his premiership-winning season with the Demons in 2021.
The 32-year-old, who was originally taken by Essendon with pick No.4 in the 2011 pre-season draft, now has 185 games to this name – 101 of which are in red and blue.
For Melksham, last season saw the achievement of a special milestone, running out for game No.200 in Round 11. He went on to make a further eight AFL appearances for Melbourne and add 12 majors to his 160-goal tally.
The former Bomber was drafted with pick No.10 in the 2009 National Draft and played 114 senior games before becoming a Demon.