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Clay pens new deal

May 10, 2017 8:33 AM

Smith: "Pretty stoked to get one more year" Clay Smith spoke to the press about his recent contract renewal - securing himself a spot at The Kennel for another year.

Western Bulldogs forward Clay Smith has signed a one year contract extension with the Club, making Victoria University Whitten Oval his home until at least the end of 2018.

Smith has played 51 games since being drafted with the 17th overall pick in the 2011 AFL Draft, turning heads early, kicking four goals on debut against the West Coast Eagles. 

After knee injuries cruelled his 2012, 2014 and 2015 seasons, Smith returned in Round 15 of 2016 and never looked back, registering career highs in goals, contested possessions and tackles in the remaining home and away games.  But it was his finals series, in particular the preliminary final win over Greater Western Sydney when the 23-year-old made his mark, kicking four goals in a best-on-ground performance. 

He also laid 38 tackles across his four finals, the second highest number recorded in a finals series since 1999.

Western Bulldogs List Manager Jason McCartney said that that the Club was pleased to see Smith extend his stay at VU Whitten Oval.

“Clay’s one of those heart and soul players, crucial to the success of any football club," McCartney told westernbulldogs.com.au

“The way he fought back from injury and performed at a high level is a tribute to his character and tireless dedication to our football club.”

The Bulldogs have also re-signed draftee Patrick Lipinski, who will remain at the kennel until at least the end of 2019, an extension on his existing two-year draftee contract.

McCartney said the 18-year-old Northern Knights adapted well to the demands of an AFL footballer since being selected at pick 28 in the 2016 NAB AFL Draft.

“Patty has shown some really encouraging signs at VFL level, and we think he has significant upside as a medium-sized forward,” he said. 

“He’s a smart user of the football, who’s versatile enough to be used on a wing or through the midfield.”