Brownlow favourite pens monster deal

Western Bulldogs captain Marcus Bontempelli has made a decision about his future, penning a mammoth four-year contract extension.

Marcus Bontempelli has signed a four-year extension with the Western Bulldogs, cementing his place at Whitten Oval until the end of 2025.

The Bulldogs confirmed the new deal on Tuesday afternoon ahead of Friday evening’s blockbuster clash against the Melbourne Demons at Marvel Stadium.

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“Ultimately, I see this club doing some really good things over the next four years – and hopefully longer,” Bontempelli said.

“I’m keen to be as much a part of that as I can be.

“I always wanted to stay a Bulldog. It was important for me to take the appropriate time with this decision and to have the right conversations before re-signing. It’s pleasing to know I’ll continue to be part of the journey at this football club.

“The thing that makes great teams great is their willingness to play for the team, play their role, do the challenging and difficult things – and then hopefully we all succeed together.

“There’s talent within the group which is I think somewhat clear.

“But the appetite to make the most of it and not rely on it has been a key focus for us. It’s probably seen us make a bit of a shift and a jump this year from last season.

“There’s definitely an excitement and hopefully a little bit of magic in the air for us to continue to explore.”

Since making his debut for the Bulldogs in 2014, Bontempelli has played 154 games and kicked 137 goals in the AFL.

He is a three-time best-and-fairest recipient and three-time All-Australian.

The 25-year-old midfielder has served as Bulldogs captain since the start of the 2020 season, and featured in the club’s 2016 premiership triumph.

Bontempelli has averaged 26.6 disposals and 1.5 goals per game in the 2021 premiership, and has been touted as a favourite to win the coveted Brownlow Medal.

He currently sits second in the AFL Coaches Association Player of the Year voting, two votes behind Melbourne’s Clayton Oliver.

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General Manager of List Management and Football Projects Sam Power said in a statement: “We’re thrilled to have Marcus commit to four more years with the Western Bulldogs.

“It’s a great reflection of the confidence he has in the playing group and the direction we’re heading in as a club.

“Marcus has been a very good player for a long period of time and has now established himself among the competition’s elite.

“His form this season and ability to impact matches has been exceptional, which is a testament to his constant drive to improve and the growth in his game.

“In his two years as captain, Marcus has had a significant influence. His leadership has been instrumental in the development of the team – which is high on confidence, growing in maturity and starting to play some extremely consistent football.

“Marcus has already achieved so much across his eight years as a Bulldog. This long-term commitment ensures he will continue to be an integral part of our club’s push for success on and off the field in the years to come.”

The Bulldogs current sit on top of the AFL ladder with nine wins in the opening 10 rounds.

The club’s players and staff were rushed into quarantine on Tuesday after a staff member went to Highpoint shopping centre during the coronavirus exposure period.

The Bulldogs confirmed all players and coaches from the club have been tested for COVID-19 and will remain in quarantine until they return negative.

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