New Didak deal marks end of tough year - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

New Didak deal marks end of tough year

By Sam Lienert 17/07/2008 07:38:38 PM Comments (0)

Collingwood star Alan Didak says he is happy to have signed a new two-year deal with the AFL club free of off-field restrictions, after his career was at the "crossroads" a year ago.

The new contract dispenses with behavioural rules that were put in place following the classy midfielder's much-publicised encounter with confessed murderer Christopher Wayne Hudson in a Melbourne nightclub last June.

"I feel pretty good, probably this time last year I thought my career was at the crossroads, so it's good to finally get the deal done," Didak told the Magpies' website.

The 25-year-old had been ordered to undergo counselling, as well as being placed under an alcohol ban and a curfew, after the June 12 encounter, during which he accepted a lift home with Hudson.

"It's good to know that with a new contract there are no other conditions that I had implemented last year," he said.

"It's good that I'm going to be treated like any other individual in the team, and I'm looking forward to the challenge.

"I fully understand I have a responsibility to carry myself in a way that is acceptable to the Collingwood Football Club."

Didak admitted he had relied heavily on those close to him for emotional support since his encounter with Hudson, which came six days before Hudson killed one person and injured two others in a CBD shooting.

"The support's been fantastic through the club, my friends and family, just been enormous support," Didak said.

"The last six months have been pretty challenging, I definitely learned to know my friends a lot better."

On the field, Didak, the 2006 Copeland Trophy winner, is in career-best form, with a move from a predominantly forward line role to the midfield paying dividends.

"It's probably been the most enjoyable year to date, and the team's in a good position to play off in the finals, so we've just got to keep winning now and stay in there," he said.

Collingwood president Eddie McGuire said Didak had regained the trust of the club.

"Alan maintained all the restrictions on his private life that he committed to in order to remain part of the Collingwood Football Club," McGuire said.

"We believe he has earned our trust and has learned from the experience and shown great self discipline to give us the confidence that Alan can get on with his life free of restriction and be a positive force in all aspects of our club."

Collingwood chief of football Geoff Walsh said Didak was also doing the right thing on the field.

"We're delighted we were able to secure Alan for another two years," Walsh said.

"This signing coincides with Alan being in terrific form, which we're confident will carry through as we continue to strive for a top four position."

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