FORMER Bendigo Pioneer and St Kilda captain Jarryn Geary will be a Saint until at least the end of 2019, after signing a contract extension on Tuesday.
The 29-year-old, who is in his first season as Saints skipper, has played 161 games for the club since being selected with pick 57 in the 2007 AFL rookie draft.
A former best and fairest winner with the Pioneers, Geary played his BFNL football with Eaglehawk.
In a club statement, Geary said he was committed to helping accelerate the development in the playing group and leading the club’s return to finals action.
“We have shown at different stages this season that our best stacks up against any side but we haven’t been able to produce the level of consistency that we are working so hard to achieve,” Geary said.
“No one is content with the position we find ourselves in and we are desperate to finish the year off strongly.”
“It’s been an unpredictable season to date and all we can do is get to work this week and perform strongly in our remaining games.”
“I see a huge amount of upside in this group and I’m thrilled to be extending my contract by a further year to contribute to our continued development.”
Geary replaced Nick Riewoldt as captain at the start of the 2017 season, after the six-time club best and fairest stepped down following 11 years in the role.
The Saints are currently in 10th place with a 10-10 win-loss record.
Geary said he was pleased to get the contract extension out of the way before the end of the season.
I see a huge amount of upside in this (St Kilda) group and I’m thrilled to be extending my contract by a further year to contribute to our continued development.Jarryn Geary
“It is really exciting to commit to the club for another couple of years and get that out of the way and be able to focus on the improvement of the team over the next couple of weeks,” he said.
“It hasn’t been really in the front of my mind, I’ve had other things that I’ve been focused on.
“Obviously the next two weeks is something that I’m really focused on and not looking too far into the future.”
St Kilda chief operating officer Ameet Bains said Geary’s influence on the group was significant.
“Jarryn has been an important leader at the club for many years but has really grown in the captaincy role this year,” Bains said.
“He is enormously respected by his teammates and coaches alike for his selfless attitude, and someone who really sets the benchmark for professionalism on and off the field.
“He has continued to perform at a really high level this season and is an integral part of our defensive unit. We are really pleased to have secured his services until the end of 2019.”