Skipper Marcus Bontempelli has re-signed with the Western Bulldogs for four more years.
The new deal will see the superstar midfielder continue to call VU Whitten Oval home until at least the end of 2025.
Bontempelli, 25, is already a three-time Charles Sutton Medallist and three-time All Australian.
He is enjoying an outstanding 2021 season to date, averaging 26.6 disposals and 1.5 goals per game for the ladder-leading Bulldogs.
“Ultimately, I see this club doing some really good things over the next four years – and hopefully longer,” Bontempelli said.
“I’m keen to be as much a part of that as I can be.”
“I always wanted to stay a Bulldog. It was important for me to take the appropriate time with this decision and to have the right conversations before re-signing. It’s pleasing to know I’ll continue to be part of the journey at this football club.”
Bontempelli has played 155 AFL games for the Bulldogs – including the 2016 premiership triumph – since being recruited with pick four in the 2013 NAB AFL Draft.
He has taken on the captaincy over the past two seasons and is excited about the direction the club and playing group is heading in.
“It is an exciting time. The thing that makes great teams great is their willingness to play for the team, play their role, do the challenging and difficult things – and then hopefully we all succeed together,” Bontempelli said.
“There’s talent within the group which is I think somewhat clear.
“But the appetite to make the most of it and not rely on it has been a key focus for us. It’s probably seen us make a bit of a shift and a jump this year from last season.
“There’s definitely an excitement and hopefully a little bit of magic in the air for us to continue to explore.”
General Manager of List Management and Football Projects, Sam Power, said the Bulldogs were rapt to have Bontempelli pledge his future to the football club.
“We’re thrilled to have Marcus commit to four more years with the Western Bulldogs,” Power said.
“It’s a great reflection of the confidence he has in the playing group and the direction we’re heading in as a club.
“Marcus has been a very good player for a long period of time and has now established himself among the competition’s elite.
“His form this season and ability to impact matches has been exceptional, which is a testament to his constant drive to improve and the growth in his game.
“In his two years as captain, Marcus has had a significant influence. His leadership has been instrumental in the development of the team - which is high on confidence, growing in maturity and starting to play some extremely consistent football.
"Marcus has already achieved so much across his eight years as a Bulldog. This long-term commitment ensures he will continue to be an integral part of our club's push for success on and off the field in the years to come."