AAP AFL

Sloane signs long-term AFL deal with Crows

By AAP Newswire

The lure of family back in home state Victoria was strong for Rory Sloane but his ties to his AFL home at Adelaide were stronger.

Well, for the next five years, at least.

Sloane ended months of intense speculation over his future on Wednesday when he turned his back on offers from rival clubs to sign a new five-year deal with the Crows.

The 28-year-old, a restricted free agent at the end of the season, will now likely play out his career at the South Australian club.

Sloane and wife Belinda are expecting their first child toward the end of the year and he admitted getting the balance of family and career right was behind his drawn-out decision-making process.

"There was a lot to think about, a lot to process, especially from a personal point of view ... but I'm absolutely pumped," Sloane said.

"I'm pretty excited about what's to come because I've loved this footy club the whole way along.

"I've grown up here since I was 18, they've helped me mature in a lot of ways, and really define myself as a footballer."

Sloane's signing is a massive win for a club that hasn't had many victories to celebrate since last year's grand final loss to Richmond.

Adelaide, 11th after 16 rounds and with only a faint chance of making the finals, have endured a horror run with injuries and copped stinging criticism for their ill-fated pre-season training camp that some players found psychologically distressing.

But coach Don Pyke's stewardship was part of the reason Sloane signed on.

"The last few years here have been unbelievable ... I love the direction this club is heading in," he said.

"This year has obviously been tough for a few different reasons, but my confidence in what we're capable of achieving in the next few years never wavered."

The Crows have struggled to keep star players in the past.

Jake Lever and Charlie Cameron left West Lakes last year, joining departed stars like Patrick Dangerfield, Kurt Tippett, Phil Davis and Jack Gunston.

Sloane revealed he had mulled what was on offer elsewhere before deciding to stay - much to the delight of his coach.

"I never questioned his passion and love for the footy club and for the playing group ... but it was just working through the process," Pyke said.

"I know the quality of the guy and that's why he's such an important part of our footy club."

RORY SLOANE'S AFL CAREER

AGE: 28

* Taken with the No.44 pick in the 2008 AFL draft.

GAMES: 171

DEBUT: 2009, round 20 (vs Hawthorn at the MCG)

GOALS: 108

HONOURS: 2 x Adelaide best-and-fairest winner (2013, 2016), All-Australian (2016).