Young gun Bailey Smith has re-signed with the Western Bulldogs for a further two seasons.
The 19-year-old midfielder had a sensational debut season in red, white and blue, playing all 23 matches at AFL level which included a taste of finals football.
Smith will now call VU Whitten Oval home until at least the end of 2022.
Having been recruited by the Bulldogs with pick seven in last year’s NAB AFL Draft, Smith said he had no hesitation in committing to the Club.
“I really want to be part of this Club for a long time so it’s exciting to re-sign for two more years,” Smith said.
“It didn’t take long for the Club to feel like home for me and it’s getting better and better as time goes on.
“It’s still surreal when I look back at my first year, getting to play with the calibre of players I did.
“The goal at the start of the year was just to play one game, whenever that was. As soon as I did, it was about just trying to play my role to get another game. To play every game was fantastic.
“We’ve got a young group with lots of developing players and we’re growing in confidence. There’s a drive to get better as a group and that makes me excited about our future.”
The Sandringham Dragons product averaged 17.5 disposals in 2019 and kicked 11 goals. He earned a NAB AFL Rising Star nomination in round nine, collecting 28 disposals against Geelong, and finished fourth overall for the award.
General Manager of List and Recruiting, Sam Power, said the Bulldogs had been extremely pleased with Smith’s debut season.
“We’re thrilled that Bailey has recommitted to our club,” Power said.
“He played every game as a first-year player, which was a fantastic achievement, and continued to improve over the course of the season.
“Bailey is a player who adds a different dimension to our midfield group. He has good foot skills, is strong around the ball and has elite running capacity.
“He’s also a hard worker on the training track, which shows in his on-field development.
“We are confident Bailey has plenty of growth in him as a player and will be an important part of our team for years to come.”