AFTER a breakout finals series last season, Sam Weideman has undoubtedly had a challenging start to 2019.
The 21-year-old has been under the microscope this year, with a contract hanging over his head.
But now that burden has finally been lifted, as Weideman signs on with the club he loves.
“It has been playing on my mind for a while and I’m very, very happy to have it off my back now,” he told Melbourne Media.
“I’ve been able to secure my future for the next two years and I’m stoked to be a part of the club for a further part of time.”
The two-year deal will see Weideman call the red and blue home until the end of the 2021 season, allowing him to refocus on his own game.
“It was a massive weight on my shoulders,” he said.
“It was a lot of pressure which I didn’t really enjoy too much. It affected me quite hard mentally and affected my footy as well.
“I think the early stages of the year the pressure was building, and it got a bit overwhelming at times.
“It’s a massive relief to have signed now and I’m very excited for what’s to come.”
The key forward is the first to admit he’s been struggling to recapture his best form this season, but that certainly isn’t due to a lack of effort.
“I’m trying to get the message across that I am trying – I’m trying to put my best foot forward and play the best footy I can,” Weideman said.
“It hasn’t really gone my way this year, but I’m stoked the club’s put two more years onto me and hopefully I can repay the faith they’ve put in me.”
While Weideman’s contract took some time to be finalised, he always knew what jumper he would be pulling on next season.
“I’m a Demon through and through now,” he said.
“I love the club, I love the players and I love the supporters, so it’s a team that I’m going to be barracking for the rest of my life, so I can’t wait for the years to come.”
On the back of this exciting announcement, Melbourne’s General Manager of Football Operations Josh Mahoney said Weideman’s signature was a major coup for the Demons.
“We’re really pleased as a club to have Sam re-sign for another two years,” Mahoney told Melbourne Media.
“He’s a great character and a developing player who we have high hopes for.
“There was a lot of external noise about his contract earlier in the season, which was unfair to Sam. This deal is very reasonable for both the club and for Sam, who is still a young developing player.
“He’s a great character who we believe in and he will be an integral part of our future, so it’s exciting to have him recommit to us.”
Weideman has played 27 games for Melbourne since being drafted to the club with pick No.9 in the 2015 National Draft.