One of the buys of the season, very few teams have been able to stop Blake Austin in his tracks, as he runs rampant in every aspect.
His form this year has been of the utmost quality and in a boost for both he and Canberra Raiders fans, the five-eighth has signed a new 3-year deal with the club that will keep him there until the completion of the 2018 season.
The extension to his current deal is a welcome boost for all concerned and the new deal will allow Austin to prepare better for next season, especially with his and his families future sorted.
â€œItâ€™s great to have it done leading into the last two games of the season and the pre-season,” said Austin.
“Weâ€™re all really excited about whatâ€™s going on here at the Raiders and to be a part of it for the next three years is going to be awesome.
â€œThereâ€™s a great group of boys here which has made the transition feel really seamless and my partner loves Canberra too so it made it a really easy decision for me.â€
With several other Raiders stars also in contract negotiation talks, Austin hopes the core group of players can stick together.
â€œWeâ€™ve been talking and a few of us want to put pen to paper and stay together for a long time,â€ he said.
â€œItâ€™s no secret what weâ€™ve got building here. Weâ€™re in the thick of it and see good things happening and we want to be a part of it.â€
The relationship with a coach is a crucial one and Austin believes the role that Ricky Stuart has played both for the Raiders and his own form has helped him as a player.
â€œRicky and I have gotten on really well,” said Austin.
“Iâ€™ve had a couple of clubs now and this is the first time Iâ€™ve had a really positive relationship with the coach and heâ€™s definitely someone I want to work with in the next few years and part of the reason while I have decided to re-sign.”
Although the Raiders will not make the finals, there have been individual successes as they build towards potential glory, with club CEO Don Furner pleased to keep the live-wire half.
â€œBlake took a risk coming down to Canberra and it has paid off for both parties,” said Furner.
“He has shown a commitment to this Club and we are very happy to return that commitment with an upgraded and extended contract. In a very short space of time Blake has become one of our members favourite players and a player who people love to come and watch.
â€œWe are thrilled that Blake will be with the Raiders for another three seasons. His professionalism both on and off the field have been of a very high standard and we see him as a big part of the clubs future.
â€œWeâ€™re at a stage now where we have a really exciting core group of players signed on for at least two more seasons and we hope to increase that list over the coming weeks.â€