In a story of resilience, defender Jayden Laverde has committed to the Bombers for a further three years, keeping him in the red and black until at least the end of 2025.
A move to defence under senior coach Ben Rutten reignited Laverde’s career, with the 25-year-old playing every game throughout the 2021 season and becoming a pivotal part of Essendon’s backline.
This move was recognised by his peers with Laverde being awarded the player-voted 2021 McCracken Medal, an initiative introduced by Rutten in recognition of the club’s widely hailed founding family, the McCrackens.
Recruited from the Western Jets with pick No.20 in the 2014 national draft, Laverde has played 73 games for the Bombers and kicked 37 goals.
He said he was thrilled to commit to the Bombers for a further three years.
“I’m thrilled to remain at the Bombers for a further three years. I love this football club and I’m so grateful for the faith they’ve shown in me over many years,” Laverde said.
“There’s no doubt I’ve loved my time playing under ‘Truck’ (Ben Rutten) and ‘Gia’ (backline coach Daniel Giansiracusa) and I’m relishing the new challenge of playing in the backline with a new-look defence.
“I can’t wait to continue to build that strong connection with our young backline to see what we achieve over the next few years.”
General manager of list and recruiting Adrian Dodoro said the Bombers were pleased to reward Laverde for his hard work and dedication.
“Jayden demonstrated his dedication and commitment to the club through the way he accepted the challenge to switch from a forward to defender,” Dodoro said.
“His leadership and guidance across our back six has become a pivotal part of our team and we look forward to Jayden continuing to develop as a defender over the coming years with this developing playing group.”
Laverde’s signing follows that of Essendon utility Sam Durham in recent days.