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Bontempelli learning to lead

Marcus Bontempelli says he honoured to one day be considered worthy to captain the Club

12:12pm  Nov 20, 2018

Bontempelli commits

Bulldogs midfielder Marcus Bontempelli has signed a contract extension with the Club.

9:40am  Nov 20, 2018

Bontempelli’s forward focus

After a strong 2018 season, Marcus Bontempelli remains focused on developing his craft.

10:36am  Sep 27, 2018

Latest Player Video

Sharp Shooters

10:54am  Nov 27, 2018

Senior List

4

Marcus
Bontempelli

Height
193 cm
DOB
24-11-1995
Weight
93 kg
Debut
2014
Games
2018
19
Career
104
Goals
2018
22
Career
100
2018 AFL Fantasy Points
Total
1752
Avg
92
MarcusBontempelli

Player Bio

At a Glance

Junior Clubs: Northern Knights (U18)/Marcellin College/Eltham Panthers
Clubs: Western Bulldogs
Debut: Rd 5 2014 (Carlton)
Recruited from: Northern Knights (U18)
Brownlow Votes: 56 votes

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Bontempelli debuted in Round Five, 2014 and by Round 13 he’d received a NAB AFL Rising Star nomination for a 22 disposal, one goal performance in the Bulldogs’ win over Collingwood. 

The former Northern Knight caught the eye of recruiters pre-draft with his height, endurance and ability to play almost any position on the ground. 

After playing a lot of his career floating across half back and pinch hitting forward, he dominated as a midfielder in the second half of the 2013 season - showing his cleanness and proficiency around the contest, and ability to finish with his damaging left foot.

Taken with the Bulldogs’ first selection (4th pick overall) in 2013, ‘Bonti’ has quickly become a permanent fixture in the side, going on to win two Charles Sutton Medals, the youngest duel-winner in history, and was a key member of the Club’s 2016 premiership.

Bontemeplli was named Vice-Captain for the 2018 season.

Season in short

The 21-year-old Bontempelli followed up his stellar 2016 campaign with another standout season for the Club.

Dominating most of the key statistics for the Bulldogs this season, in August Bontempelli was nominated in the extended All Australian Squad for 2017, though missed out on final team selection.

An evolving role saw Bontempelli spend more time closer to goal, kicking 20 majors for the season. 

The stat that mattered:

Bontempelli led the Dogs in total clearances (92) and total goal assists (19) this season. He also was the leading winner in contested marks and tackles averaging 6.3 per game.

What they said:

“I probably made some inroads in some areas of the game that I wanted to improve in but at the same time I probably didn’t get to where I wanted to in areas I targeted as well.

“I think there was growth from a forwards perspective and trying to understand the game forward of the ball and now I’ve got to continue improve in the areas I may not have made as much ground up as I wanted to.”

- Marcus Bontempelli, September 2017.

Season in short

From the moment he kicked the first goal of the season 20 seconds into the opener against Fremantle, to lifting the premiership cup on grand final day, it’s been quite the season for Marcus Bontempelli.

In between, the 20-year-old won his first Sutton Medal, was selected in the All-Australian side and was named captain of the AFLPA's 22under22 team.  He also become the youngest winning captain in the history of the game when he led the side to victory over the West Coast Eagles in round 11.

While the smooth moving Bontempelli’s 2016 season saw him shift into the upper echelon of the competition’s best midfielders, his ability to turn games when moved forward gave Luke Beveridge another shiny new weapon.

Think Adelaide in round seven, West Coast in round 11, Port Adelaide in round 12 and a goal at the 16-minute-mark of the final term of the preliminary final to give his side the lead.  The Dogs never looked back.

Then there were the stats.  Third at the Club for total disposals, fourth for metres gained, first for contested possessions, first for clearances, first for tackles, third for goals and first for score involvements.

Still, it feels like he’s just getting started.

 

The stat that mattered

Bontempelli finished fifth in the AFL Player Ratings, the youngest player in the top 100.

 

What they said

“I wanted to achieve some consistency (this year) and become a player that was able to turn up week-in, week-out.  That, as well as some off-field stuff around relationships with the boys. 

“I think that’s the thing that makes this [season] so special is the relationship you’ve got with each player here and that’s something I think I’ve grown in because of the love for the Club and the love for the people here. 

“On-field it was just about playing good footy for as long as I could and helped get this team across the line.”

Season in short:

While second year blues might have made an easy headline, it certainly wasn’t the case for Marcus Bontempelli.

The Bulldogs midfielder built on the foundations laid in his first year of senior football, and continued his rapid rise.

His ball-winning ability was evident from his first season, but ‘The Bont’ developed several other sides to his game under the watchful eye of Luke Beveridge and midfield coaches Steven King and Joel Corey.

He had the fourth most tackles of anyone at the Club, highlighting his ability to defend, and his ‘clutch’ goals showed his ability to head forward and step up in big occasions.

He averaged 21 disposals, five tackles and three marks, and ranked sixth in the league for inside 50s.

The 19-year-old was selected in the AFL Players Association 22 Under 22 team, and finished second on the Dogs’ leader board in the AFL Coaches Association Player of the Year award.

 

The stat that mattered:

Bontempelli soared into the Top 20 AFL Player Ratings at the end of the season. Currently at 11th in the rankings, he is the youngest player in the top 100.

 

What they said:

“This year’s been a bigger learning curve, I was challenged quite a bit more, forced to learn a bit more about myself, not only as a player but how I deal with things off-field and how that reflects on-field. Probably being a more holistic player and contributing in more areas of the game, than what I was able to in my first year.” – Marcus Bontempelli, September 2015

“Bonti backed up an impressive first year, he’s starting to find what his strengths are and he’s getting a lot of confidence now… You saw him spend more time around the footy but also how damaging he can be taking his opponent forward and you started to see him pluck some in the forward 50 and as a mid now, with him spending more time going forward you’re going to see a player that can play inside, outside and covers a lot of ground as well. He just wants to be the best player he can be and he wants to get there.” – Steven King (Western Bulldogs Assistant Coach), September 2015

Season in short:

If Marcus Bontempelli’s debut season at the Kennel was a pointer to the career that lies ahead, then Bulldogs fans have much to look forward to.

Around the stoppages, down back, and in front of goals, Bontempelli showed in his first year that he had the tools to do it all.

Recruited from the Northern Knights with the fourth pick overall in the 2013 NAB AFL Draft, Bontempelli played 16 games in his first season of AFL football after debuting in round five against Carlton.

But despite the hype and highlights reel, it’s the ethic of the humble, unassuming and hard-working teenager that has had most in awe.

Bontempelli won the Club’s Chris Grant Best First Year Player Award at the Sutton Medal in September, and earned the praise too of his peers at season’s end, Bontempelli was a landslide victor in the AFL Players’ Association Best First Year Player Award.

The 18-year-old polled nearly five times the votes as runner-up Luke Dunstan of St Kilda, becoming just the first Bulldogs player to win the award.

Bontempelli was runner-up in the NAB AFL Rising Star Award to Brisbane’s Lewis Taylor, missing-out by just one vote in the closest polling in the award’s history.

He averaged 16 disposals and one goal in his debut year, and earned a Hungry Jacks Goal of the Year nomination for his match-winning snap against Melbourne in round 15.

Bontempelli collected 20 disposals or more on four occasions in his first year, with his 24 disposal match against Port Adelaide his most prolific ball winning performance.

 

Stat that mattered:

Bontempelli’s versatility both up forward and through the midfield saw him rank first out of all first year platers in the competition for inside 50s, third for clearances and fifth for goals.

 

What he said:

“I think if you buy into your own press you can start to drop off in your own performance - you can't think about it too much.” Marcus Bontempelli speaking ahead of the NAB AFL Rising Star Awards.

“I’m so grateful to have joined such a great club, and a great group of boys…I can’t wait to go on into the future with this group.” – Marcus Bontempelli speaking at the Sutton Medal.

“He has been a pleasure work with for the coaches and the senior players love him for his attitude and desire to get better… a couple of VFL games that Marcus played earlier in the season were just exceptional, so it’s no surprise to us that he has been able to step in and actually make a very sound contribution early.” List Manager Jason McCartney on Bontempelli.

Stats

By the numbers

  • 2018 Season Average
    Games Played 19
    • Kicks 13.6
    • Handballs 10.5
    • Disposals 24.1
    • Marks 3.3
    • Hit-Outs 0.2
    • Tackles 3.7
    • Goals 1.2
    • AFL Fantasy 92.2

2018 Highlights

Statistics Best Opponent Round
Kicks 22 Carlton Rd 22
Handballs 16 North Melbourne Rd 21
Disposals 37 Carlton Rd 22
Marks 7 Richmond Rd 23
Hit-outs 2 Essendon Rd 3
Tackles 8 Richmond Rd 23
Goals 4 St Kilda Rd 20
AFL Fantasy 130 Richmond Rd 23

2018 Season Breakdown

Rd Opponent Result K H D M HO FF FA T G B AF
1 GWS Giants L 133 - 51 9 9 18 1 0 2 1 5 0 1 68
2 West Coast Eagles L 70 - 121 11 12 23 2 0 1 3 3 1 0 73
3 Essendon W 104 - 83 12 4 16 4 2 2 1 1 3 3 82
4 Sydney Swans L 79 - 86 13 8 21 4 1 3 0 2 2 0 91
5 Fremantle L 108 - 54 14 8 22 4 0 3 2 2 0 0 75
6 Carlton W 80 - 59 15 15 30 5 0 2 0 7 0 2 122
7 Gold Coast Suns W 81 - 72 - - - - - - - - - - -
8 Brisbane Lions W 107 - 93 13 11 24 6 0 0 1 4 4 1 117
9 Adelaide Crows L 63 - 26 12 16 28 0 0 2 2 7 0 0 92
10 Collingwood L 90 - 55 7 10 17 3 0 0 1 3 0 1 60
11 Melbourne L 51 - 100 12 12 24 4 1 1 1 3 2 0 95
13 Port Adelaide L 132 - 75 16 7 23 0 0 3 3 5 2 1 89
14 North Melbourne L 75 - 77 13 7 20 3 0 1 0 1 0 0 67
15 Geelong Cats W 103 - 101 12 11 23 3 0 2 2 7 2 3 106
16 Hawthorn L 59 - 122 9 14 23 5 0 1 1 4 0 0 84
17 Melbourne L 119 - 69 - - - - - - - - - - -
18 West Coast Eagles L 100 - 46 - - - - - - - - - - -
19 Port Adelaide L 34 - 78 16 6 22 1 0 0 2 1 0 0 61
20 St Kilda W 68 - 103 14 8 22 4 0 2 2 3 4 1 103
21 North Melbourne W 85 - 92 19 16 35 4 0 1 1 2 2 1 120
22 Carlton W 49 - 66 22 15 37 3 0 3 1 3 0 0 117
23 Richmond L 98 - 95 19 10 29 7 0 1 1 8 0 2 130
TOTAL W: 8 - L: 14 258 199 457 63 4 30 25 71 22 16 1752

By the numbers

  • Career Average
    Games Played 104
    • Kicks 11.9
    • Handballs 10.1
    • Disposals 22.0
    • Marks 3.5
    • Hit-Outs 1.3
    • Tackles 4.8
    • Goals 1.0
    • AFL Fantasy 92.0

Career Highlights

Statistics Best Opponent Round
Kicks 22 Carlton Rd 22, 2018
Handballs 21 GWS Giants Rd 9, 2016
Disposals 37 Carlton Rd 22, 2018
Marks 8 Collingwood Rd 21, 2016
Hit-outs 9 Sydney Swans GF, 2016
Tackles 11 Sydney Swans Rd 12, 2017
Goals 4 St Kilda Rd 20, 2018
AFL Fantasy 137 Collingwood Rd 21, 2016

Career Breakdown

Season Club K H D M HO FF FA T G B AF
2018 Western Bulldogs 258 199 457 63 4 30 25 71 22 16 1752
2017 Western Bulldogs 285 220 505 88 3 32 30 138 20 29 2205
2016 Western Bulldogs 301 332 633 99 66 38 25 123 26 17 2558
2015 Western Bulldogs 261 183 444 69 50 19 17 116 17 10 1950
2014 Western Bulldogs 133 121 254 47 15 5 5 55 15 10 1107

Legend

K
Kicks
H
Handballs
D
Disposals
M
Marks
HO
Hit-outs
FF
Frees For
FA
Frees Against
T
Tackles
G
Goals
B
Behinds
AF
AFL Fantasy points

Awards

AFL Awards

All Australian
2016

AFLCA Best Young Player

2015

NAB Rising Star Award runner up
2014

AFLPA Best First Year Player winner
2014

Club Awards

Charles Sutton Medal (Winner - Western Bulldogs Best & Fairest)
2016, 2017

Gary Dempsey Medal (Third Place - Western Bulldogs Best & Fairest)

2015

Western Bulldogs Chris Grant Best First Year Player
2014