Exciting key Bombers forward Kaine Baldwin has signed a one-year rookie extension.
The 19-year-old was selected in this year’s pre-season supplemental selection period and has impressed after making dual recoveries from two separate ACL injuries in his short career.
A former under-16 captain of the South Australia’s 2018 championship-winning side, the 194cm goalkicker was touted as a high first-round draft pick in 2020 before his second severe knee injury cruelled him.
After averaging 21.8 disposals, 9.6 marks and 2.8 goals in a dominant under-16s campaign in 2018, South Australia’s under-18 state academy program manager Tony Bamford suggested Baldwin was “the best key forward in his age group”.
As he nears a return to the field having begun full training, Baldwin said he was delighted to sign a new deal.
“I’m absolutely stoked to be here next season,” Baldwin said.
“It’s been a long journey to get to the position I’m in now, but the faith the club has shown is really driving me to prove I belong at this level.
“Working with forwards coach Dan Jordan has been a huge boost for my development and I’ve loved learning from ‘Truck’ (Ben Rutten) and the rest of the coaching group.
“I can’t wait to get back on the field really soon and doing what I love, which is playing football.”
General manager of list and recruiting Adrian Dodoro said he was excited to see Baldwin reach his potential.
“We’re really happy to have Kaine sign on for next season,” Dodoro said.
“We believe Kaine is a quality young talent who’s had some bad luck over the last several years with those knee injuries.
“Kaine is an exciting prospect who possesses terrific leadership abilities for a young man, and he fits really well into our program.
“We’re really keen to see what Kaine can do now he’s back to full fitness and we’re hoping a clean run at playing footy will unlock his full potential.”
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