Melbourne defender Jake Lever has signed a four-year contract extension that will now see the premiership Demon locked to the red and blue until the end of the 2028 season.
Lever was already signed with the Demons until the end of next year, with the club confirming on Monday morning that the 27-year-old has added a further four years to that deal to likely see out the remainder of his career with Melbourne.
An All-Australian in 2021, Lever has developed into one of the competition's premier defenders across his nine-year career, which commenced with Adelaide in 2015.
After three seasons with the Crows, Lever departed South Australia in favour of a return to his home state of Victoria, linking up with the Demons before helping steer the club to its drought-breaking flag win two years ago.
The 27-year-old has played 102 games for Melbourne and will add to his tally this week when the Demons take on Collingwood to open the 2023 AFL Finals series.
Speaking on Lever's re-signing, Melbourne list manager Tim Lamb said it was a pleasure to have the senior backman further extend his tenure with the club.
“To have Jake commit for a further four seasons is a great outcome for the club,” Lamb said.
“He is an outstanding player and a crucial cog in our defence, as well as an influential leader and mentor to our young players.
“Jake's passion and commitment to our club is second to none. He works tirelessly on his game, is always striving to improve and is driven to helping us achieve our goals.
“We look forward to the role he can play for us this AFL Finals Series, and in the years to come.”
Lever's signing adds to a busy year of retention for the Demons, who have locked away as many as 15 players this year alone.
Kade Chandler (2026), Kyah Farris-White (2024), Blake Howes (2025), Matthew Jefferson (2026), Steven May (2025), Judd McVee (2025), Alex Neal-Bullen (2026), Kysaiah Pickett (2027), Trent Rivers (2027), Josh Schache (2024), Oliver Sestan (2024), Jacob Van Rooyen (2025), Will Verrall (2024), Taj Woewodin (2025) and now Lever (2028) have recommitted to Melbourne in recent months.
Melbourne will face Collingwood at the MCG on Thursday at 7:20pm (AEST).