Hurley turns away massive AFL pay hike - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hurley turns away massive AFL pay hike

By Robert Grant 04/05/2010 11:00:28 AM Comments (0)

Essendon coach Matthew Knights says young star Michael Hurley rejected a massive pay hike from the new Gold Coast AFL team because he believes in the Bombers' long-term vision.

Hurley was reportedly offered up to $600,000 a season - double his current salary - to move north.

However the 19-year-old key position player has turned his back on the money to remain with Essendon.

Knights said Hurley, who kicked four goals in the win against Hawthorn at the weekend, had rebounded well from an off-field incident last year.

He was suspended by the club for the first three games of this year after an alleged drunken attack on a taxi driver last September.

But Knights said Hurley had worked hard to turn around his approach and he was delighted the Bombers had enticed him to stay at Windy Hill.

"I'm confident that he's going to stay," Knights said.

"All looks fine. We've got a really great person on our hands in Michael Hurley.

"I think the progression he's made over the last two or three weeks to find a little bit of the ball the other night was fantastic.

"He obviously is a big believer in what we're doing here, along with a lot of our other key position players.

"He's really enjoying the culture and the program and the Essendon Football Club full stop, so it's great to have him on board long-term.

"We're glad that he's with us and I think that he's glad (the club) are with him."

Knights said Hurley received a lot of support from the club after his indiscretion.

"He's been through a difficult patch in the last three or four months but I think collectively everyone stuck together, everyone stayed really united on supporting Michael."

Hurley is expected to play against Port Adelaide on Sunday but has a query over an ankle injury.

"We are looking to play him this week. He has got a knee concern and he won't do much on the track today but we'll look to get him activated on Thursday and Friday," Knights said.

"All going according to plan, he'll play but he's certainly not out of the woods yet, along with Ricky Dyson who's going to miss between four to eight weeks with a knee injury, which is a blow.

"Ricky's been a very consistent player and structurally very sound for us - his career has really come on in the last couple of years," Knights said.

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