Star forward Aaron Naughton has signed the longest current contract in the AFL after recommitting to the Western Bulldogs until the end of 2032.
With a year still to run on his current deal, Naughton has extended his time at the Whitten Oval for another eight seasons.
The 23-year-old’s contract edges out the mammoth deals given to Sydney defender Nick Blakey (2031), and star Melbourne midfielder Clayton Oliver (2030), whose future with the Demons is now uncertain after a turbulent season.
Naughton grew up in Western Australia but has resisted approaches from West Coast and Fremantle to remain in Melbourne’s western suburbs.
“It’s a special moment for me to sign, particularly for my family,” Naughton said.
“To sign a long contract and to be here to stay, especially for my teammates as well, I want them to know I am in it with them together.
“When you get drafted by this club and they make you feel so welcome, not only myself, but the whole family back in WA, it’s fantastic.
“You build strong connections with all your teammates and I have some of my best mates here.
“I am bullish on this group and what we can achieve in the years to come. It is a lot of hard work and I know this group is willing to put in every day.”
Naughton has led the Bulldogs goal-kicking for the past two seasons, kicking 44.33 this year, and 142 across the past three campaigns.
He joined the club via pick nine in the 2017 draft, recruited originally as a defender, and has played 123 games.
“Aaron is an outstanding player and an exceptional person and there is no doubt this is an exciting day for the club and our members and fans,” Bulldogs list boss Sam Power said.
“We love what Aaron brings to this football club each and every day, so it’s fantastic that we’ve been able to agree on a long-term contract extension prior to the start of 2024.
“Aaron’s re-signing is another strong showing of confidence in the club’s long-term ambitions and culture.”
The Bulldogs are coming off a disappointing season as they failed to play finals for the first time since 2018.