St George Illawarra Dragons fullback Matthew Dufty has extended his stay with the club for a further season.
Dufty, who was off-contract in 2018, will now remain at the Dragons until at least the end of the 2019 season.
The 22-year-old made his NRL debut in Round 20 and went on to play in the Dragons’ final seven games of the season.
“It’s great to be here for another year. I thought being at the Dragons was the best opportunity for me moving forward in my rugby league career,” Dufty said.
“Last season was a big milestone in my life and moving forward to 2018 I’m very excited with the position I currently find myself in.
“It means the world to be where I’m at now. Coming through the St George ranks and being a local junior, it’s great to be able to remind kids that you can play for the team you dreamed of playing for.”
Director of Rugby League Pathways Ian Millward was pleased to retain yet another local junior in the Dragons’ top squad.
“It’s always good news when a local junior re-signs. To lock him in for another 12 months is really good considering the amount of young kids we have in our squad,” Millward said.
“Anyone who is a Dragons fan would know that Matt is one of the most exciting Under-20s players we’ve ever had. Last year he made the step up to the NRL and he’s had a fantastic pre-season so far.
“There is now an opportunity for Matt to establish himself as a fullback with the other outstanding members of our spine in Gareth Widdop, Ben Hunt and Cameron McInnes.
“It’s exciting for us because if he does step up to the mark as we expect him to then we could have a spine that plays together for a very long time.”
Dufty’s extension follows the likes of Gareth Widdop, Euan Aitken, Jack de Belin, Paul Vaughan, Tim Lafai, Kurt Mann, Jason Nightingale, Blake Lawrie, Luciano Leilua and Cameron McInnes to have re-signed with the Dragons over the past 12 months.