Emerging speedster Laitham Vandermeer has signed a one-year contract extension with the Western Bulldogs.
The 20-year-old will call VU Whitten Oval home until at least the end of 2021.
Vandermeer joined the Bulldogs in the 2018 NAB AFL Draft, where he was selected with pick 37 from the Murray Bushrangers.
The line-breaking utility averaged 14.6 disposals across 15 VFL matches for Footscray in an impressive first season in red, white and blue, but has yet to make an AFL debut.
“It shows the Club has a lot of trust in me and also gives me confidence going into the 2020 season to just play with freedom and give it everything,” Vandermeer said
“Getting drafted to the Bulldogs is the best thing that’s happened to me. It’s a very comfortable environment.
“It’s good to head into my second season feeling fit and fresh. I had a few injuries last year, which was a good learning curve, needing to be resilient and work through them.
“Continuity is my biggest goal now. Staying on the track for the whole pre-season will hopefully give me the best chance to play senior footy next year.”
Vandermeer was the travelling emergency for the Bulldogs’ mid-season win against Port Adelaide, before collecting a season-high 24 disposals in Footscray’s semi-final loss to Port Melbourne.
General Manager of List and Recruiting, Sam Power, said Vandermeer would be looking to push for senior selection in 2020.
“Laitham displayed some really promising signs in his first year at the Club,” Power said.
“His speed and ability to cover the ground are among his strengths, while he has already shown for Footscray that he is capable of having an impact across all three lines.
“We see Laitham as a player with plenty of room to grow and improve his game. Hopefully he can get a full pre-season under his belt and be pushing to break into the AFL side next year.”