MIDFIELDER Jack Viney has signed a new contract until the end of the 2020 season.
Viney, who is currently in career-best form, is currently averaging 28.4 disposals and 15 contested possessions per game.
Having previously signed until the end of 2017, the midfielder said extending his commitment to the club was “an easy decision.”
“Obviously I’m very passionate and excited about the direction that the club’s going and to know that I’ll be here for a few more years is very exciting as well,” Viney told Melbourne TV.
“It was a very simple decision, an easy decision for myself.
“I just believe the club is going in a terrific direction and the playing group and coaching group we have at the club is something I’m super excited about.”
Viney is currently equal-second in the AFLCA Award for most outstanding player and the statistics back up the coaches’ opinions of his performances to date.
The hard-nosed midfielder is ranked first in the competition for centre clearances, averaging 4.6 per game and equal-third for overall clearances, with 53 in total to date.
Viney is also ranked equal-third in total contested possessions (105) and equal-fourth in total handballs (114).
Having joined Melbourne’s leadership group this year, Viney said talk of captaining the club in the future was flattering but not a priority.
“It’s not something that is a burning ambition of mine – to become the club captain,” he said.
“I certainly want to be a leader amongst the group and have my peers vote me and see me as a leader of the football club in terms of driving standards and performing on the field and dragging other guys along for the journey.
“So if that day did come, where my peers did see me in that position, it’d certainly be very humbling and I’d be very grateful for the opportunity.”
Currently in his fourth season, Viney joined Melbourne as a father-son draft selection when the team was struggling.
The Demons won just two games in 2013 but doubled that effort in 2014, before winning seven games last year.
Having won four games already in 2016, Viney said it was exciting to see the team receive reward for effort.
“That was a really tough time to go through – seeing close friends go to other clubs and play finals and successful football was extremely challenging but I knew where I wanted to be,” he said.
“I wanted to know what it felt like to struggle because I knew that when the good times did come around – which I knew they would because I knew where the club wanted to go – that [they] would be all that much sweeter.”
“We’re starting to finally see the fruits of those foundations that have been planned over the years and it’s a really good time and exciting time to be at the footy club.”