Former North Ballarat Rebel product David Astbury has re-signed with the Richmond Football Club Tuesday, committing him to the club until the end of 2021.
The two-year extension will see Astbury play his 11th and 12th seasons with the club.
He has played 119 games for Richmond, including all 25 of the drought-breaking 2017 campaign, and is renowned as one of the club's most reliable and disciplined defenders.
"I'm a free agent this year and there was a bit of speculation regarding my time at Punt Road, but it was always a priority for me to stay there," Astbury said.
"I feel like I get to play at the MCG more often than not, and in front of big crowds, and I feel like the playing group is pretty special.
"To be honest it was always a priority for me to stay, and just work through the details with my manager. I'm really happy."
The defender missed two weeks this season due to a hamstring injury, but is back on field.
"I've played two games since and it's been good," Astbury said.
Now he is looking towards what the team can achieve in the second half of the season.
"I feel we can go out every week and win," Astbury said.
"I feel like there's no question about that. I foresee sustained success.
"Whether that means I play in another premiership - that's obviously yet to be determined, but I feel like the Richmond Football Club is going to give me as good an opportunity as any to challenge for the premiership over my career."
Astbury has spent this particular season playing through the absence of vice-captain and lead defender Alex Rance after Rance ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament in the opening round of the season.
"It's presented different challenges," Astbury said.
"Obviously Alex and I have played quite a bit of football together.
"He's a five time All Australian so he's always going to be significantly missed - it's presented challenges in that way but he's doing a really good job of coaching, and attacking rehab like only he can, which is with the utmost intensity.
"He's still a special and significant part of our football club even though he's not playing."
Astbury said he still thinks of Tatyoon, where he first played football with the Tatyoon Football Club, as home.
"I've still got a lot of family there in Tatyoon and the community has always been amazing to me," he said.
"In 2017 I purchased a 50 acre block.
"It's a really good release from a somewhat stressful lifestyle that's brought about by football, and it's somewhere I love to be.
"The ongoing support from Tatyoon and the greater district of Ararat - it's quite special and there are a lot of people I enjoy catching up with when I'm back there.
"I'm always very humbled and appreciative of the support."
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