MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MAY 19: Jay Lockhart of the Casey Demons (R) looks to pass during the VFL round seven match between Frankston and Casey at Skybus Stadium on May 19, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Graham Denholm/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Melbourne has handed an AFL rookie contract to Casey Demons midfielder Jay Lockhart under the league’s Supplementary Selection Period (SSP) rules.

The signing finalises Melbourne’s squad for the 2019 season.

The Demons had ability to add one undrafted player to their list after they passed on their final selection at last year’s rookie draft.

“The AFL introduced a Supplementary Selection Period for the first time this year. This allowed teams to add players to their rookie list up until today’s date,” Demons General Manager of Football Operations Josh Mahoney told Melbourne Media.

“By passing on our last pick in the rookie draft, we had a spot available and today we have added Jay Lockhart to our rookie list for this season.

“Jay had a terrific season at the Casey Demons last year and was unlucky not to get drafted at the time.

“To Jay’s credit, he took the disappointment of not getting drafted to fuel a really strong pre-season at Casey Demons.

“He came back in terrific condition and we are really happy that we have been able to reward his attitude with this spot.”

When considering how to use the SSP selection, Lockhart said internal recruitment was the best strategy.

“When we were considering how to use this position on our list, it made sense to add a player who knew our system and had played under our coaches.”

The Demons begin their 2019 campaign by hosting Port Adelaide at the MCG on Saturday 23rd March.