FORWARD Tim Smith has secured a one-year contract and will remain with Melbourne until at least the end of the 2018 season.
General manager of football operations Josh Mahoney said Smith had demonstrated “the qualities to be an AFL player”.
“After working hard to get his opportunity at AFL level, Tim has had an injury-interrupted season. We feel that Tim deserves another opportunity to show that,” he told melbournefc.com.au.
“He has been rewarded with another one-year extension to his rookie contract. This gives Tim the assurance that he’ll be on our list next year and he can focus his attention on rehabilitating his current foot injury and prepare himself for a strong season, leading into 2018.”
The 26-year-old rookie has had a bittersweet start to his AFL career, having made his debut against Geelong in round three at Etihad Stadium, before being relegated to an emergency the following week.
He was recalled for Melbourne’s ANZAC Day Eve clash against Richmond at the MCG in round five, before suffering a punctured lung/broken ribs in his second match.
Affectionately known as ‘Bull’, Smith missed four matches and returned to play with Casey, where he played two games, before suffering a stress fracture in his navicular bone.
The incident happened in mid-June and he is sidelined for the rest of the season.
But the hard-at-it and strong marking tall showed some promising signs and has been given another opportunity to show his wares as a rookie in 2018.
Given he is a category A rookie, Smith will be eligible for AFL selection from round one next year, under the new CBA.