HE may be on the wrong side of 30 but Stefan Martin is feeling like a kid again on the back of Brisbane’s rise back to AFL relevance.
On Tuesday Martin announced that he has put pen to paper on a one-year contract extension that will take him into the 2020 season as a 33-year-old.
In 11 prior years at Melbourne and Brisbane, Martin had never experienced September action with 12th being the highest either team has finished during his time.
With the Lions entrenched inside the top four with four rounds left in the home-and-away season, that’s about to change.
“I’ve said to a few people, this feels like what footy should be,” said Martin.
“I personally haven’t experienced anything like this before.”
“Having been around for a while, it’s like I’m a young kid again.”
“This type of work environment, this type of job satisfaction are things that are new to me.”
“(It’s) easily the most exciting time that I’ve been around a footy club.”
Although Martin didn’t want to look too far ahead, when asked about the prospect of playing finals football a wide smile emerged.
“It’s incredibly exciting, especially the order (that) it’s gone,” Martin said.
“Having gone through a lot of lean years, (and) it seems like we will now play finals, I feel like that is a better order than if we had played finals early in my career and then had a lot of dark times after.”
Martin has been somewhat of a permanent fixture in the Brisbane team since crossing over from Melbourne ahead of the 2013 season, having played 114 of the last 118 games.
Given Martin’s ability to consistently get on the park a longer term deal wouldn’t have been a surprise for the seasoned campaigner, but Martin said one-year deals were fine by him.
“I would have taken more, but it is what it is,” said Martin.
“That’s the way it goes when you’re the wrong side of 30.”
“That’s fine, I’ll just keep getting one-year deals, I’ll get five of them,” he quipped.
“I feel like this club is my family.”
“This will be eight years come next year, it’s the only place I want to play my footy.”