2018 Crichton medallist Devon Smith has put pen to paper on a two-year contract extension to remain in the red and black until at least the end of 2023.
The new deal comes after Smith was one of the best afield in the Bombers’ impressive 75-point win over St Kilda on Saturday, registering 26 disposals, eight marks, five tackles, and a goal.
Claiming best and fairest honours for the Bombers in 2018, Smith bounced back from an injury-interrupted 2019 campaign to miss just one match in 2020 and reach his 150th AFL game milestone against Hawthorn in round 14.
The uncompromising mid/forward arrived at Essendon at the end of 2017, after being drafted to the Greater Western Sydney Giants in 2011.
He earned a AFL Rising Star nomination in 2012 and was named in the AFLPA 22Under22 team in 2015.
Smith said he was excited about the Bombers’ future.
“It was a pretty straight-forward decision and it’s good to get it (contract extension) out of the way early in the season, so I’m rapt to be signing on with the club for a further two years,” Smith said.
“It’s been a challenging couple of years, but the body feels really good now and I’m just loving being out there and educating our younger midfielders too. As one of the older players on the list now, I personally get a lot of energy from the young guys coming through and it’s been great to feed off that.
“Personally, ‘Truck’ (Ben Rutten) has been huge for me, driving me to be the best version I can be both on and off the field. He’s been terrific for this group and we’re heading in the right direction.
“As a playing group, we’re all so hungry and driven to take this group forward. I’m excited to be a part of that and to see what we can achieve over the coming years.”
General manager of list and recruiting Adrian Dodoro said the club was thrilled to secure Smith’s signature early in the season.
“We’re really pleased to see Devon recommit to the club for a further two years,” Dodoro said.
“He’s a competitive beast, tough and relentless, and we’ve seen that when Devon broke the League record for most tackles in a year. He demands a lot from himself and he is committed to taking this side forward under new senior coach Ben Rutten.
“After overcoming injury, Devon is now in great physical condition which has been reflected in his recent performances this season. He brings important experience and leadership for our emerging midfielders, so we’re excited to see what he can continue to produce this season and beyond.”
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