GAWN in name, not in nature.
Melbourne’s skipper, Max Gawn, won’t be utilising Free Agency in 2021, opting to sign a four-year contract extension with the club he leads.
The Demons’ skipper has secured his future until the end of 2025, as a show of confidence in the direction of the playing group.
“I’ve got a fair bit of faith in where the club’s going,” Gawn told Melbourne Media.
“We’ve got some really good, elite players now in the competition, and that, mirrored with some really good young talent … it’s a really good mix.
Gawn has been a loyal Melbourne person since being drafted with pick No.34 in 2009 and didn’t take much convincing to re-sign with the team he has represented on 134 occasions.
“Free Agency – I don’t even know what it is really, I wouldn’t even know how it works,” Gawn said.
“Melbourne showed a fair bit of faith in me from the get-go and I’ve been on a little journey.
“I’ve been out of contract thinking I wasn’t going to get one, to being well and truly comfortably in contract, and I think that makes me a well-rounded leader now – that I’ve been involved in almost every little thing you could be involved in on a football list.
“There wasn’t really an option for me to leave in my own mental state.
"I love the line of ‘one-club player’, but it’s more the team we have right now.
“You’d be a very, very stupid person to leave at 29 after doing all that hard work, to miss the exciting part that we have in front of us.”
And of course, the club was thrilled to lock in the four-time All-Australian ruckman, getting the contract sorted prior to Round 1.
“In a great sign of his leadership, Max has turned his back on Free Agency and did not even consider exploring other options,” list manager Tim Lamb told Melbourne Media.
“As one of the premier players in the game he would have been able to attract significant offers from other clubs.
“Instead he showed he is fully committed to Melbourne and understands what we are trying to achieve in retaining our talent – this deal reflects that.
“Max and his manager, Anthony McConville of Macs Sports, have been fantastic and totally professional throughout the whole process and we’re rapt to come to an agreement before the start of the season.
“Along with Jack Viney re-signing at the end of last year, and Jake Lever earlier in the week, we are seeing our leaders re-commit which is a fantastic sign for our club.”
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