Just weeks after being named the 2020 Crichton medallist, exciting young defender Jordan Ridley has agreed to terms on a four-year contract extension.
The new contract will mean Ridley remains in the red and black until at least the end of 2024, with the news following this week's extensions of Andrew McGrath and Kyle Langford, who put pen to paper on two-year deals.
It has been a stellar, breakout year for the Bombers’ defender in 2020, with the 21-year-old averaging 5.5 intercepts a game and ranked third across the competition for contested-mark intercepts.
With his trademark composure down back, Ridley averaged 265m gained per game, ranked No.1 at Essendon for marks from opposition kicks (32).
Ridley said he was thrilled to recommit to the club.
“I’m really grateful to the club for the opportunity to extend my contract, and it was a pretty easy decision to get to,” Ridley said.
“I’ve worked really closely with Ben Rutten and (line coach) James Kelly this season and they’ve given me a lot of belief but working closely with Michael Hurley down back particularly has been really beneficial for my game.
Proud to call Essendon home.— Essendon FC (@essendonfc) October 13, 2020
Proud to have him.
Jordan Ridley ?? 2024 pic.twitter.com/EZG3Nd35sI
“We’re not satisfied with our season by any stretch and we have a lot of hard work to do this pre-season but under ‘Truck’ (Rutten), I’m really confident in where we’re heading over the next few years as a group. It’s going to be pretty exciting to be a part of it for at least the next four years to see what we can all do together.”
General manager of list and recruiting Adrian Dodoro said it was a terrific reward for Ridley, who has arguably been one of the most improved players of the competition this season.
“Jordan is a reliable, elegant and composed footballer who I know Bombers supporters have really enjoyed seeing the emergence of in 2020,” Dodoro said.
“He dealt with a number of injuries early in his career, but Jordan goes about his business quietly, works incredibly hard to get the best out of himself and that was highlighted this season by his best-and-fairest win. He is a big part of our future, so we were delighted to get this deal done with Jordan and his management team.
“At only 21 years of age, he will only continue to grow his game over the years to come which is an exciting prospect for the Essendon Football Club.”
Ridley has played 26 senior games since arriving at the NEC Hangar via pick No.22 in the 2016 NAB AFL Draft.
This news is brought to you by Orchard HRO, the club's official recruitment and list management partner.