AFL news 2021, Harry McKay contract, re-signatures, extension, Carlton Blues, free agency, business news
Carlton star striker Harry McKay has re-signed with the club on a new two-year contract, the club confirmed on Tuesday morning.
McKay extended his contract with the Blues until the end of 2023, leading him to free agency.
The management of medal leader Coleman had crucial contract talks with Carlton during the midseason break as rival Bears went around in circles ready to launch big money offers.
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People like Collingwood, Essendon, Hawthorn and North Melbourne have all been linked with McKay in recent months, but the forward is now off the table giving the Blues a boost.
McKay, who turns 24 in December, has had a career best season in 2021 – currently leading the Coleman medal race with 38 goals in 12 games.
The former Pick 10 has scored 109 goals in 60 AFL games since making his debut in 2017.
“I was always a Blue,” McKay said. carltonfc.com.au.
“This group of players has been through a lot together since I arrived at the club. Many of us have been a part of what we are building from day one I am committed to being here and helping us achieve our ultimate goal of winning our 17th Prime Minister.
“To the members and supporters who are supporting us at this time, it is an honor to play for you, to wear our club’s Guernsey and we will do all we can over the next few years to make you proud to be Carlton.
“I can’t wait for the second half of the year to begin and for us to be at the level that we know this group is capable of.”
This follows the recent re-signing of his twin brother Ben McKay with the Kangaroos also until the end of 2023.
The Blues will now focus on locking in co-captain Patrick Cripps – who may become a restricted free agent at the end of the season – while Sam Walsh leaves his contract at the end of 2022 as another re- priority signature.
Blues roster boss Nick Austin has said that in addition to the big leap McKay made on the pitch in 2021, he has also become a key club leader.
“Throughout this process Harry has always stated his intention to remain a Carlton player and at no point has he deviated from it,” said Austin.
“As we have all seen, Harry has become an outstanding footballer. To lead the Coleman Medal at this point of the year is a credit for the dedication he has shown to his profession – he is the quintessential professional.
“What people might not see are the steps forward Harry has taken as the leader of the football club. He cares a lot about his teammates and knows how to get the best out of himself, this comes in helping his teammates to improve.
“We couldn’t be happier to have extended Harry and are delighted that our members and supporters can continue to see his qualities as a Carlton player and leader in the years to come.”
McKay suffered a concussion in Carlton’s 13th-round loss to the West Coast, but is expected to be fit to face the Giants in Saturday night’s clash at Giants Stadium.
In what has been another failed season for the 14th-ranked Blues with finals seemingly out of reach, senior coach David Teague faces increasing pressure.
The club announced last week that it would conduct an external review of the football departmentdirected by Graham Lowe, Geoff Walsh and Matthew Pavlich.