DEFENDER Colin Garland has signed a three-year deal and will remain a Demon until at least the end of 2018.
Manager of football operations Josh Mahoney said Garland had become an integral member of the club’s backline.
“Col has become a stable member of our defence over the past few years,” he told melbournefc.com.au.
“His performance on the field and the mentoring role he plays with our young defenders has become very important.
“We look forward to him continuing to improve as a player and also helping our young defenders even further.”
Garland, who was a restricted free agent, said he never considered leaving Melbourne.
“My main consideration was that I had one more year to get life membership and I see a great future for the club,” he told melbournefc.com.au.
“Whether the ultimate success comes while I’m here at the club or whether I just miss out and I’m part of building something – I’m happy being a part of it.”
Garland said he always wanted to wait until the end of the season to finalise his contract.
“I just wanted to concentrate on my footy, after an injury-interrupted year [in 2014],” he said.
“The club’s been fantastic to me and my partner Jessie, who has been with me the whole time as well.
“I just didn’t want to play anywhere else. I knew at 27 [years old] and with a three-year deal, I’m all in now. I’ll do everything I can over the next three or four years to help bring the young guys on under Roosy (Paul Roos) and then Simon Goodwin.”
Garland said he was adamant he didn’t want to field any other offers.
“I told my manager I didn’t want to speak to any other club, but it’s funny after seeing one of my great mates [James Frawley] win a premiership on the weekend, because you have to be envious of success,” he said.
“I was watching the game and people said ‘wouldn’t you love success?’ and I said ‘it wouldn’t mean anything to me unless it was with Melbourne’.
“I’m so happy for guys who go on and win a premiership, but I truly believe that we can go on and make finals next year. So in the end, I just wanted to be a Melbourne player.”
Garland, who was drafted at No.46 in the 2006 NAB AFL Draft, has played 135 matches for Melbourne since making his AFL debut in round five, 2007 against the Sydney Swans at the SCG.
A NAB AFL Rising Star nominee in 2008, Garland also finished runner-up to Nathan Jones in the 2013 club best and fairest award.