“ONCE YOU hit the magic 30, contracts get pretty short, so I was pretty pumped to get a couple of years.”
Nic Newman has been in this position a fair few times.
Ever since he was rookie drafted to Sydney for the start of 2015, he’s only ever had contracts spanning either one or two years. He’s been out of contract six times in his career so far.
But for somebody who has fought and scrapped for everything in his AFL tenure to date, he doesn’t mind.
He’s just happy to be sticking around in the Navy Blue, where he has emerged as a much-loved member and leader of the playing group.
“I was pretty comfortable with it,” Newman said on SEN Drive.
“I’ve been on one- or two-year deals for most of my career, so I’ve learnt from experience. Everyone goes through it at some stage of their career, and I’ve been out of contract most years.
“It wasn’t too stressful.”
There wasn’t really any ever doubt over where Newman would be playing his football beyond this season, with the defender - who recently celebrated his 100th career game - in the midst of what has been a career-best season.
Tellingly, the player himself agrees.
“I’d say so. I think it’s my most consistent year, being able to do a couple of different roles, whether that’s being a lockdown but also recently being able to play a little bit higher.
“I feel like I’m in a different groove.”
Overcoming knee and elbow injuries in recent years, Newman wears his heart on his sleeve. He’s never been one to hide his emotions - whether positive or negative - all that well.
You just need to look at his celebration after his final-quarter goal against Port Adelaide, which a few of his teammates labelled “a bit of carry on” earlier in the week, to show how much he’s enjoying his football at IKON Park.
A key cog in Carlton’s current winning run, Newman said the Blues could afford no slip-ups, and the group was challenging one another to continue that run going against West Coast this weekend.
“We’d be crazy to have any complacency, particularly given the position we’re in. We need to win every game, and we’ll be looking to do that this weekend,” he said.
For Junior 'Baggers Round, it really is a kids takeover.— Carlton FC (@CarltonFC) July 20, 2023
We've turned to some emerging youngsters in the forced absence of some key Blues for Round 19.
“Even though [the Eagles] haven’t won many games, they’ve been competitive in the last few weeks. They had St Kilda on the ropes and apart from a 10-minute patch against Richmond, they were almost even.
“They’ve got quality players like Oscar Allen and Tom Barrass, and last time we played them, they didn’t have premiership players like Luke Shuey, Tom Cole and Dom Sheed.
“We need to win every game, and we’ll be looking to do that on the weekend.”
As Newman’s career continues at Carlton, with a century of Navy Blue games (he’s currently on 70) hopefully in the pipeline, who does he have to thank for his career so far?
Among others, the answer may surprise you.
“He claims he got me drafted” is the answer from Newman about Andrew Gaze, when talking to . . . Andrew Gaze.
“[Gaze] used to mention my name in draft talks when I was playing at Frankston. I probably owe him a little bit of my career — that’s probably fair enough.
“We have a connection from a little while back (through Newman’s dad) and it’s nice to have some support, because you don’t always get it in the media. I’ll take it!”