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Recommitted Roberton in for the long haul

Josh Gabelich  September 6, 2017 6:50 PM

Roberton re-signs Dylan Roberton spoke to after announcing he has re-signed for four years.
AFL 2017 Round 16 - St Kilda v Richmond

Dylan Roberton is one of the main contenders for next months Trevor Barker Award.

I think to know that I’m going to be here for another four years and will most likely be a part of that is exciting.

Five years after moving home from Fremantle, Dylan Roberton isn’t moving anywhere else after he committed his long term future to St Kilda by inking a four-year contract extension.

The 26-year-old produced a career-best season in 2017 to earn selection in the All-Australian squad after he established himself as one of the best rebounding defenders in the game this winter.

After signing the most important deal of his career on Wednesday, Roberton is determined to be part of a successful era at the Saints, after experiencing the slow climb off the bottom rungs of the ladder since he arrived at the club at the end of 2012.

“I think with the age that I’m at, it was good to get that reassurance that I’ll be here for a while because we’re looking for that success and hopefully I’ll be a part of driving that,” Roberton told after putting pen to paper on Wednesday.

“I think to know that I’m going to be here for another four years and will most likely be a part of that is exciting.

“(The deal provides) a little bit of peace of mind for the family just to know I’ve got a job for the next four years is always nice as well.”

After a breakout season in 2015 where he finished 6th in the best and fairest, Roberton took a significant leap forward in 2017 and is expected to feature prominently in next month’s Trevor Barker Award.

The Dandenong Stingrays product averaged 23.1 disposals, 464.2 metres gained, 6.5 intercept possessions, 6.2 marks and 5.6 rebound 50s across 22 appearances this season.

Roberton said the injection of key defenders Nathan Brown and Jake Carlisle, plus the benefit of his most complete pre-season yet were the catalysts behind his improvement.

“The fitness staff have been really good, obviously I had a few injuries a few years back, so they’ve been really good with me in getting my body right and I had my first full pre-season,” he said.

“Then having Jake and Nathan Brown come down and help us out back has been massive for myself and Jimmy and a few of the other guys.

“We can trust them to get the job done on the big boys and we know that Jake is going to be supporting everyone so it just allows us to play our natural game.”

After four years at Linen House Centre, Roberton was one of three additions to the Saints’ leadership group at the start of the year, as the winds of change swept through the club at the beginning of Jarryn Geary’s time as skipper.

The former Docker said his inclusion in the leadership group drove him to perform to a higher standard to ensure he felt comfortable demanding higher standards of others.

“It was good to get the vote from the boys and then they pretty much said to me they didn’t want me to change anything,” he said.

“So that put pressure on my performance because I wanted to be able to lead and demand others to play well as well. So helping younger guys with my voice as well has been a good step forward.”