Young Gold Coast SUNS defender Connor Budarick has signed a three-year contract extension, tying him to the club until the end of the 2025 season.

Budarick is a product of the SUNS Academy and has played 17 games since making his AFL debut in Round 1, 2020.

The 20-year-old Gold Coaster said he was thrilled to lock in his future at the same club he grew up supporting.

“As a Gold Coast local, it’s a privilege to be able to play AFL football in my home town in front of friends and family,” Budarick said.

“I’ve loved the SUNS for many years having joined the Academy as a teenager, so to be able to continue my career here is really exciting.

“We’ve got a playing group which is really connected and striving for the ultimate success, and I’m keen to play my part in achieving that success for the Gold Coast community.”

GC SUNS General Manager of Player Talent and Strategy Craig Cameron said Budarick was one of a number of young players important to the club’s future.

“To secure Connor for a further three seasons is another significant commitment to this club after a number of key re-signings already this year,” Cameron said.

“Since joining us a few years ago, Connor has been very impressive and is still so early into his career, so we see him as an important long-term player for the SUNS.”

Budarick played just the first two AFL games of 2021 before an ACL injury cut his season short.

After extensive rehab, Budarick has returned to play in the VFL, recording 22 disposals on return in the Round 1 win against the Northern Bullants and 12 disposals and a goal in the Round 2 win against Sydney.

It’s Your Club. It’s My Club. It’s Connor Budarick’s Club.