The Gold Coast SUNS are pleased to announce young gun Charlie Ballard has signed a four-year contract extension which will see him remain at the club until the end of the 2025 season.

Ballard played 16 games in 2020 and has developed into one of the league’s best young tall defenders since being selected with pick 42 in the 2017 NAB AFL Draft.

The 21-year-old finished seventh overall in the competition for intercept marks and was recognised for his outstanding season with a nomination in the AFL Players’ Association’s 22 Under 22 squad.

“It’s awesome to be able to secure my future at the SUNS and sign on long-term,” Ballard said. 

“I love living on the Gold Coast and playing for the SUNS. We’ve got an exciting future ahead so it was a pretty easy decision in the end.

“We have such a great young core group of committed players here, but now it’s up to us to make sure we achieve success and make our supporters proud.”

Gold Coast SUNS General Manager – Football Operations Jon Haines said the club was excited to watch Ballard develop further over the next four years.

“Charlie is a young man of tremendous character who has quickly become an integral part of the fabric of our club. His commitment is another sign of the belief within the playing group as we enter the 2021 pre-season,” Haines said. 

Ballard’s long-term extension follows those of fellow young stars Matt Rowell, Noah Anderson and Connor Budarick, and Senior Coach Stuart Dew in 2020.