Gold Coast key defender Caleb Graham will be a Sun until 2026 after penning a four-year contract extension with the club on Thursday.

The 21-year-old has managed to nail down a spot in Stuart Dew's best-22 with a run of eight consecutive games and has impressed throughout.

Covering for the injured trio of Charlie Ballard, Wil Powell and Connor Budarick, Graham has filled a lockdown role in the Suns' back-six and is looking ominous for the future.

Speaking to the club's website, the key defender expressed his pleasure at being able to be part of the project and culture that coach Dew is building.

“I’ve absolutely loved my time at the club so far and was really keen to stay and continue the hard work we’ve started,” Graham said to SUNS Media.

“We’ve got a great group of boys who are committed to each other and the club, and are focussed on the same goal.

“We’re building something really exciting here and it was a no-brainer to want to be a part of that in the future.

Brownlow fancy named captain, star Dog snubbed: Zero Hanger’s 22under22 side for 2022

Embed from Getty Images

Graham's ability to keep opposition key forwards quiet is exemplified through his spoil average of 10.2 per game and his ranking of second in the competition for one-percenters per game - elite numbers in their own rights.

At 21 years of age, the Queensland native has his best years ahead of him with Suns General Manager of Player Talent and Strategy Craig Cameron recognising this.

“Caleb has shown a great work ethic over the last few seasons to develop into a reliable key defender for the team,” he said.

“His hard work has seen him rewarded with regular game time this season and we see him as an important long-term player for the Gold Coast SUNS.”

Although this is good news out of the Suns camp, it comes amidst a tough week for the club with their push for a maiden finals berth mathematically over following a narrow loss to the Hawks in Tasmania on Saturday.

AFL News: Tiger cub trio put pen-to-paper on multi-year deals

Embed from Getty Images

However, all is not lost on the Gold Coast, with the club taking a big step towards realising their dream of playing September football.

2022 could arguably be their best year yet along with 2014, re-signing some big names in the form of Ben King, Jack Lukosius, Touk Miller and coach Stuart Dew.

Add in Graham penning a new deal, and now the prospect of the Suns taking the next step does not seem unattainable by any stretch of the imagination.