EMERGING ruckman Tom De Koning has committed his future to the Blues, signing a two-year extension.
Today’s announcement ensures the Carlton faithful will see De Koning’s career continue to flourish until at least the end of 2023.
The 21-year-old still had a year remaining on his contract, yet he was keen to extend for another two seasons and be part of the football club’s pursuit of success.
At 203cm and with elite athletic ability, this year showed why De Koning is considered one of the most exciting young ruckmen in the competition.
He played seven of the last eight games this season, more than holding his own against established opponents including Nic Naitanui and Brodie Grundy.
This stretch of games showed a glimpse of the potential De Koning has been working tirelessly to fulfil from the moment he walked through the doors of Ikon Park.
Selected at No.30 overall in the 2017 NAB AFL Draft, he played two games in his debut season and while not making a senior appearance in 2019, he showcased to his teammates and his coaches the dedication to his craft.
It was that impressive workrate which saw De Koning’s development continue to be enhanced with strong performances at VFL level.
That momentum continued into 2020 with De Koning’s strong and sustained form during this year’s scratch matches leaving the Club’s match committee with no choice but to select him in the Blues’ 22 during the second half of the season.
Blues Head of List Management Nick Austin said that securing De Koning’s signature was another boost to a playing group determined to take the next step.
“Tom has a lot of talent but what we love is his commitment to make the most out of that talent through his workrate and dedication to becoming the best ruckman he can be for the Carlton Football Club,” Austin said.
“He has completed the perfect apprenticeship under Matthew Kreuzer and we have full confidence that Tom is ready to take the next step in his career. We believe Tom not only has the ability but the determination to be a great player for our football club for a long time to come.
“On the back of already having 13 players re-sign since the season ended, to also have Tom keen to sign a two-year extension despite still having another year to run on his current deal, is another sign of the strong belief our playing group has in the direction we are heading.”