CARLTON Football Club is pleased to announce Patrick Kerr and Tom De Koning will remain at Ikon Park, after the pair put pen to paper on new deals.
A one-year extension will see the Kerr name continue at Carlton until the end of 2019, while De Koning will wear the navy blue until at least the end of 2021.
Kerr made his AFL debut in Round 9 against Melbourne at the MCG, before kicking his first AFL goal the following week against Geelong at GMHBA Stadium. The young forward is the grandson of Blues’ Hall of Fame Member Laurie Kerr, who played 149 games for Carlton between 1950 and 1959.
Pat Kerr celebrates his first AFL goal. (Photo: AFL Media)
Taken with the Club’s second-round selection in the 2017 national draft, De Koning has featured prominently in nine games for the Northern Blues this season as he works towards a senior debut. A standout performance in Round 5 against Frankston saw the 19-year-old boot two goals and transition between the forward line and ruck duties in the 39-point victory.
Both De Koning and Kerr said they were rapt to continue their playing careers at Carlton.
“Since I arrived at the Club in November, I’ve really loved being a part of it, learning about the game, preparation and being in an elite environment,” De Koning said.
“I think we’re a part of an exciting playing group here at Carlton and we’re on the right track. I want to continue to learn from the older players like Matthew Kreuzer and Marc Murphy, hopefully make my debut soon and contribute to the team’s success in the long-term.”
Tom De Koning has impressed in his nine VFL games so far this season. (Photo: AFL Media)
Kerr reiterated De Koning’s sentiments.
“I’m really thankful to the Club for giving me the opportunity to extend my contract. It’s a club I’ve clearly supported my whole life and I want to repay the faith they’ve shown in me over the past couple of years since I was drafted,” Kerr said.
“Running out for my first senior game was a dream come true and now it’s about building continuity in my game. Being at Carlton is an environment I want to be part of for the long-term, so I’m looking forward to seeing where the group can go under ‘Bolts’ and the coaching panel.”
Senior coach Brendon Bolton said he was pleased both young prospects wanted to remain at the Blues.
“Tom has shown some impressive signs early through his Northern Blues’ appearances this season and his contract extension is a sign of the belief he has in the direction of the Club,” Bolton said.
“Those ruck-forward roles take time to develop and Tom is continuing to learn that craft, but with his continued application and hard work, we’re confident he’ll work towards earning a senior call-up soon.
“Pat is very early in his career too. In his past four senior games, he has displayed strong leading patterns and a good presence up forward, alongside Charlie Curnow, Levi Casboult and Harry McKay so he will be keen to build upon that as a developing young forward.
“Both players are hungry to apply themselves and possess a real drive to learn. We hope they solidify their spot in the side for years to come amongst the talented young list we have.”
The duo joins Marc Murphy, Charlie Curnow, Zac Fisher, Paddy Dow and Lochie O’Brien in extending their contracts with the Club in recent weeks.