The Canberra Raiders have received a huge boost ahead of their final home match of the 2015 season, with Blake Austin re-signing with the club until the end of the 2018 season.
Austin has had a remarkable first season for the Green Machine, reinvigorating his NRL career and finding a home in the number six jersey for the Raiders.
His brilliant form in the first season of his contract has allowed his current contract to be upgraded and extended until the end of 2018 and he will look to continue to develop his game in the coming seasons in Canberra.
Austin said the new contract will allow him to better prepare for the next season, knowing his and his families future is secure in an environment he loves living and working in.
“It’s great to have it done leading into the last two games of the season and the pre-season. We’re all really excited about what’s going on here at the Raiders and to be a part of it for the next three years is going to be awesome,” Austin said. “There’s a great group of boys here which has made the transition feel really seamless and my partner loves Canberra too so it made it a really easy decision for me.”
Austin said he’d like other players in the club follow his lead and re-sign for the long term and said the team wanted to be successful in the future.
“We’ve been talking and a few of us want to put pen to paper and stay together for a long time,” he said. “It’s no secret what we’ve got building here. We’re in the thick of it and see good things happening and we want to be a part of it.”
His relationship with Coach Ricky Stuart was another reason for Austin’s commitment to the club and said he looked forward to continue working with him over the course of his new deal.
“Ricky and I have gotten on really well. I’ve had a couple of clubs now and this is the first time I’ve had a really positive relationship with the coach and he’s definitely someone I want to work with in the next few years and part of the reason while I have decided to re-sign,” he said.
Raiders CEO Don Furner said the club were thrilled to have Austin remain with the club for another three seasons and said he was a big part of the clubs future success.
“Blake took a risk coming down to Canberra and it has paid off for both parties. He has shown a commitment to this Club and we are very happy to return that commitment with an upgraded and extended contract. In a very short space of time Blake has become one of our members favourite players and a player who people love to come and watch, “Furner said. “We are thrilled that Blake will be with the Raiders for another three seasons. His professionalism both on and off the field have been of a very high standard and we see him as a big part of the clubs future.
“We’re at a stage now where we have a really exciting core group of players signed on for at least two more seasons and we hope to increase that list over the coming weeks.”