Demons sign young star, name leaders

By Jason Phelan, Jason Phelan is a Roar Guru

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    Melbourne have signed in-demand midfielder Christian Petracca to a two-year contract extension that ties him to the club until the end of the 2020 AFL season.

    The 22-year-old had expressed his desire to be a one-club player.

    The new deal comes just months after Adelaide had made an audacious bid to include Petracca in a deal for wantaway Crows defender Jake Lever.

    “I was always going to sign here as I love the club and I’m pretty passionate about what we’re striving for and where we want to get to,” Petracca said.

    “There wasn’t any pressure at all – I was out of contract this year and I wanted a bit of security.

    “I thought before the season would probably be the best time to do it.

    “It wasn’t really a stress but it’s just good to get it off my shoulders and really start to focus on the season.”

    The club have also announced Nathan Jones and Jack Viney will lead a streamlined leadership group this season.

    The pair have been named as co-captains for the second season running, with ruckman Max Gawn and former Hawthorn premiership star Jordan Lewis vice-captains.

    “We believe this leadership model is the best model for the club, as it allows for streamlined communication and accountability,” Demons football chief Josh Mahoney said.

    “The growth of Nathan and Jack last year was significant.

    “They formed a strong partnership and worked incredibly well together in leading the club.”

    Key defender Tom McDonald and veteran midfielder Bernie Vince have dropped out of the leadership group.

    © AAP 2018
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