Western Bulldogs captain Marcus Bontempelli is looking forward to seeing Jamarra Ugle-Hagan continue to flourish and develop as an emerging key forward.

Ugle-Hagan shone against Fremantle on Saturday afternoon, with four goals from 15 disposals and nine marks.

Bontempelli, who has been something of a mentor to the 21-year-old, said Ugle-Hagan had shown the influence he can have on a game.

"He's already shown he has match-winning abilities. He's helped us win a couple of games in the past and this one (against Fremantle) was obviously quite significant," Bontempelli said.

"He's just worked so much harder on his forward craft, his fitness, how he can help the team - regardless of whether he can get kicks or not.

"The next thing now is once you realise your capacity and what you can do, how do you keep repeating that and keep searching for more and better?"


Criticism has emerged surrounding Rory Lobb's form, but Bontempelli said the Fremantle recruit had also helped Ugle-Hagan in their attack.

"Him being there has allowed someone like Jamarra to ... flourish as well," Bontempelli said.

"Between him and Aaron (Naughton), they're taking away pretty big targets from Jamarra at different points, which has really allowed him to expose a third tall (defender).

"He (Lobb) is definitely contributing and we're still definitely happy with how he's performing."

Friday night is a far cry from the start of the season, when the Bulldogs suffered heavy losses to Melbourne and St Kilda.

"It almost feels like a different season, in a sense, because of how competitive we've been," Bontempelli said.

"Obviously off the back of those two games we had to shift our focus a little bit, but really probably hone in on some of the things we know we do well.

"Always exciting, these games, when you know they obviously mean a lot for both of our seasons."

Defender Ed Richards could return against Collingwood, a month after his strong season was interrupted by a hamstring injury.

"He's feeling good, he's a good healer, which is great," Bontempelli said.

"He was a significant player for us before he got hurt."

The Bulldogs on Monday announced a five-year sponsorship extension with Mission Foods, which will take the partnership to 20 years.


Added to the significant redevelopment of the club's Whitten Oval home, there is a strong sense of optimism about the future.

"It will hopefully keep players here, it will hopefully bring players here," Bontempelli said of the redevelopment.

"It will hopefully make us a place where people want to stay and play the rest of their careers."