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Crows young gun scores mammoth contract extension

Football

Adelaide utility Wayne Milera says he’s thrilled to sign a five-year contract extension with the AFL club.

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The 22-year-old had no hesitation accepting the fresh deal, saying he’s bullish about Adelaide’s prospects under new coach Matthew Nicks.

“I’m pretty happy with where it’s all at – new coach, great vibe around the club, I’m really excited for the next couple of years,” Milera told reporters on Thursday.

Milera has played 60 AFL games for Adelaide since he was picked up as a first-round draft pick in 2015, debuting the following season.

Crows general manager of list and strategy Justin Reid said Milera had a big role to play over the next five years.

“He is an outstanding young footballer but most importantly a young man of high character,” Reid said.

“Wayne is an emerging leader who is eager to help others and he is determined to make a positive contribution, not just inside our club but in the broader community.

“We look forward to seeing him continuing to develop as both a player and person in the years to come, and we are committed to helping him realise his potential.”

Milera said his connection with teammates was a factor in agreeing to a long-term deal with the club.

“I am working on my leadership and want to improve in that area so I will keep building and setting a good example,” Milera said.

“We have a really talented bunch of guys and it’s an exciting time, and I definitely want to be part of the team success that is ahead of us if we keep working hard.”

Milera played 17 games for the Crows in the club’s unhappy 2019 season.

Champion Data assessed him as the second-highest rated defender at Adelaide – behind Rory Laird – for the season, despite him playing in a range of positions, including up forward and in the midfield.

However, it was mixed news for the Crows, with the club also confirming much-hyped Gaelic footballer Cathal McShane has opted against pursuing AFL and will remain in Ireland.

Skilled forward McShane, who trained with Adelaide on a 10-day trial last month and was reportedly weighing up a move to Australia, “determined it was in his best interests to stay in Ireland”, Crows List Manager Justin Reid said.

“It is a big decision to relocate to the other side of the world and pursue a professional career in a different sport,” Reid told the club’s website.

“Ultimately, this was not something that Cathal was ready for and we wish him the very best in his endeavours both on and off the field.”

– with AAP

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