Fisher signs new Saints deal - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Fisher signs new Saints deal

By Guy Hand & Crystal Ja 08/05/2009 05:09:46 PM Comments (0)

Another quality player has been put out of reach of AFL newcomers Gold Coast with St Kilda defender Sam Fisher signing a contract to stay in Melbourne until the end of 2012.

Fisher joins teammate Sam Gilbert - a Gold Coast junior - as having recently pledged their long-term future to the Saints.

Importantly, it also ensures another of the AFL's best players is locked away from cashed-up Gold Coast, which is keen to secure quality mid-age players to complement its generous raft of high draft picks when it enters the competition in 2011.

Collingwood is understood to be close to signing midfielder and Gold Coast target Dale Thomas to an extended contract, while the Pies already have secured defender Heath Shaw and midfield gun Scott Pendlebury on long-term deals.

But Fisher's St Kilda teammate Nick Riewoldt, Geelong's Gary Ablett, Hawthorn's Lance Franklin and Fremantle star Matthew Pavlich are all currently uncontracted beyond 2010.

Fisher's contract was due to expire at the end of 2010 - making him ripe for a Gold Coast approach.

The signing comes as Fremantle coach Mark Harvey admitted all clubs were nervous about the Gold Coast's upcoming, and unwanted, advances.

But Harvey hinted his club was working on trying to secure Pavlich longer-term.

"We're pretty close, without giving too much away," he said on the Gold Coast ahead of his side's clash with Carlton on Saturday night.

"You'd probably like all your A-graders signed up for three years really, I guess all clubs are trying to do that."

Carlton coach Brett Ratten said losing players to their home state became an issue two decades ago when the AFL went national.

"That's the carrot that always hangs over players that come from that state," Ratten said.

"We've seen it if it's a South Australian boy, if it's a Western Australian boy, we'll maybe have the same situation with (Gold Coaster) Shaun Hampson wanting to come back at some stage.

"If a kid's not getting a game and it's hard, tough and he's not enjoying it, he might leave. But hopefully we can show them what we're all about and this (being) a good home for you and hopefully, they'll stay.

"That's a challenge for every club."

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