Dogs AFL star in ‘positive’ contract talks
Posted on 04/27/20 8:42 PM
Marcus Bontempelli has averaged 23 disposals in his 17 AFL games for the Western Bulldogs this year.Western Bulldogs star Marcus Bontempelli says talks are progressing on a contract extension that will keep him at Whitten Oval beyond 2019.
The dual club champion has remained a shining light in challenging times for the Bulldogs, who are 14th on the AFL ladder with two games remaining.
Bontempelli kicked two goals and had a season-high 35 disposals in Sunday’s upset win over North Melbourne, continuing his strong return after undergoing appendix surgery last month.
The 22-year-old continues to develop as a leader, standing in for injured skipper Easton Wood (hamstring) for much of the season.
He is certain to command a lucrative deal given the enormous interest he would attract on the open market.
“I do have a year to run still but the conversation’s been ongoing with the club and my management,” Bontempelli told reporters on Tuesday.
“It’s a really positive position at the minute and that’ll just get done in due course.
“There’s no set time limit on it … at the minute everything’s looking positive but I’m sure it will get done sooner rather than later.”
The 2016 premiers have struggled over the past two seasons with injuries to premiership players Wood, Liam Picken, Luke Dahlhaus and Tom Liberatore derailing this year’s campaign.
Top draft picks Aaron Naughton and Ed Richards, mature-aged rookie Billy Gowers and midfielder Patrick Lipinski have all impressed in their debut seasons and Bontempelli believes their emergence is cause for optimism.
“In these circumstances you look for the positives, you look for the things that are going to make it worth it in the long run,” hesaid.
“I think the young players that have been able to achieve some great things and show us their talent and what they’re going to be capable of is something we can really look forward to.”
The Bulldogs are set to welcome back Wood for his first game since round 13 when they face Carlton at Etihad Stadium on Sunday.
Key defender Zaine Cordy has been ruled out with a fractured forehead after copping an accidental boot from Kangaroos spearhead Ben Brown in the aftermath of a marking contest.