Jamarra Ugle-Hagan has signed on with the Western Bulldogs for two more years.
The 19-year-old key forward – last year’s number one draft pick – has extended his contract at the Kennel until the end of 2024.
Ugle-Hagan made his AFL debut in round 17 against Sydney and has now played four consecutive games at the level, kicking six goals.
He said it was an easy decision to recommit to the Bulldogs.
“It’s an unreal moment and I’m excited to re-sign for another two years,” Ugle-Hagan said.
“I’ve got time to develop as a player and person on and off the field, so it’s good to stay around at the Kennel. They gave me the opportunity to come here in the first place and I’d love to give back to the club.
“It still doesn’t feel real (playing AFL), I’m still getting used to the team around me. You watch these guys on TV and now you’re playing with them.
“It was a massive step up. With not playing a game (last year), I had to get my game fitness up which obviously affected my start of the year.
“It’s a good thing that I played VFL, because I know I’ve got room to improve. Obviously Bevo knew what he was doing and put me in the twos for a while… I’ve developed, got better and now I’m playing (AFL) which is good.”
Ugle-Hagan was the Bulldogs’ first number one draft pick since Brownlow Medal winner Adam Cooney (2003) and the first Indigenous player taken at number one since Des Headland (1998).
He is a product of the Bulldogs’ Next Generation Academy and hails from Framlingham, an Indigenous community near Warrnambool in south-west Victoria.
Ugle-Hagan’s draft year was interrupted by Covid – and he spent the first half of this season playing for Footscray in the VFL, kicking 13 goals from seven games to earn an AFL call-up.
“We’ve been really pleased with Jamarra’s development over the course of the season,” General Manager of List Management and Football Projects, Sam Power, said.
“He didn’t play any football last year and has worked extremely hard to build his fitness base, develop his game through the VFL and break into a strong AFL team.
“Jamarra has shown plenty of encouraging signs at AFL level. His athleticism, agility and marking ability have been on display, and he’s made the most of his opportunities in front of goal.
“We’re excited to have him locked in until the end of 2024 and look forward to watching him develop.”