CARLTON co-captain Sam Docherty said the decision to re-sign at Ikon Park was a “formality”.
The injured skipper put pen to paper on a one-year extension, despite having an additional year to run already on his contract.
Extending his stay at the Blues until at least the end of 2021, Docherty - who spoke to the media on Monday - said committing his future to Carlton was the easiest of decisions.
“I’ve looked at locking into the Club for a while now,” Docherty said.
“I’m pretty excited by what this group is going to do… it’s great to sign on, I’m rapt to be here at the Club and I’m rapt that they want me here to be leading it.”
Despite the injury troubles of the last two seasons, Docherty’s belief in getting back to the elite level and contribute in Navy Blue has never wavered.
The 25-year-old said he was intent on repaying a playing group and wider club which had shown him the faith.
“I’m feeling really confident in what I’m doing, I’m feeling really confident in my knee and the Club has shown the support to still sign me on even though I haven’t played in 18 months,” he said.
“There’s an amazing group of boys at this footy club that have helped me through the last 18 months and they’ll continue to do that.”
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With a John Nicholls Medal in 2016 and All Australian selection in 2017, Docherty hadn’t lost hope that he could make his return to action come the end of the year.
Conceding that it was “more unlikely than likely”, Docherty said he had decided to overlook the frustration for motivation in helping develop the group.
“If I get lucky enough when I complete all the training and we feel it’s a safe decision to play, then we might. It’s probably more unlikely at this stage,” he said.
“It is what it is — I can’t push any harder than I am. I’ve got to keep my long-term future in order and signing on is obviously an important part.
“I’ve been trying to focus as much as I can on helping our list and our group to get better as a football club… [it has] been able to keep me really close to the group and well-connected.”