Stars sign on: Smith recommits to the Bulldogs, Elliott stays with red-hot Pies

Star Western Bulldogs midfielder Bailey Smith has signed a two-year extension and will remain in the red, white and blue until at least the end of 2024, while man of the moment Jamie Elliott has re-signed at Collingwood for a further three seasons.

Despite missing four rounds due to suspension, first for rough conduct and then for conduct unbecoming, the 21-year-old Smith has had a remarkable season, averaging 30 disposals and four clearances per game.

Bailey Smith tackled by Saints’ Jack Steele.Credit:Getty

Smith is a key component of an elite midfield brigade at the Bulldogs, joined by the likes of captain Marcus Bontempelli, Tom Liberatore, Jack Macrae, Josh Dunkley and Adam Treloar, and has been a standout of the Dogs’ side since being drafted in 2018 at pick seven. This included playing a pivotal role in the 2021 finals series, in which the club advanced to the decider against eventual premiers, Melbourne.

“I don’t want to be anywhere else – I am stoked to call this home for another two years,” Smith said in a statement on Monday.

“We have such strong bonds with the place – you can’t envision yourself doing anything else. The people in the club have stuck by me, I’ll be forever in debt to them.”

“The fans are amazing, it’s why we play. Seeing them each weekend at Marvel or wherever we are playing, to hear their voices cheering us on and supporting us, that pushes us to another level.”

“A massive goal of ours is sustained success. Certainly, see with the power of the list, it’s exciting the next couple of years to see what we can do.”

“It wasn’t even in question to go anywhere else, purely because the people here have helped form arguably the most important years of my life.

“From when I got here when I was 17 to now be 21 – the people that have supported me through thick and thin. All the amazing times I have had with my best mates – it was a major part of why I couldn’t go anywhere else.”

Sam Power, the Bulldogs’ list and recruiting boss, said he was thrilled Smith decided to remain at the club and that the emerging cult hero is focused on building sustained success, both on and off the field at the club.

“Bailey has established himself as a consistent performer for the football club and has become one of the most exciting young players within the competition.

“At only 21 years of age, we believe Bailey can still improve and he will leave no stone unturned to get the best out of himself and the team.

“Our members and supporters can look forward to cheering on our number six for years to come.”

Smith was suspended for four matches – two for headbutting Geelong’s Zach Tuohy, and another two for conduct unbecoming, having admitted to taking illicit drugs last year when dealing with mental health issues. He also received a strike under the illicit drugs policy.

The 29-year-old match-winning Elliott turned his back on free agency to recommit his future to the black and white army. He’ll remain at the club until at least the end of the 2025 campaign.

The newly-minted 150-gamer has kicked 220 goals for the Magpies so far – the most memorable of those coming after the siren against Essendon in round 19.

His 2021 campaign was cruelled by injury, but Elliott currently leads the Magpies this season for inside-50 ground ball gets, disposals inside 50, and tackles inside 50 – signifying his importance to Craig McRae’s red-hot side.

“We’re pleased to extend Jamie for another three years, and to hopefully see him play out his career at the Club,” Collingwood football GM and 1990 premiership player Graham Wright said.

Jamie Elliott stares down Christian Salem.Credit:AFL Photos

“Jamie is an instrumental figure in our program. Across 11 seasons he has a wealth of football smarts which is invaluable to the youth of our group.

“The likes of Ash Johnson, Jack Ginnivan, Beau McCreery and Ollie Henry are products of great improvement credit to Elliott’s influence in the forward line.

“In addition to this, Jamie is a player that stands up in the moments that matter, inspiring all members of our program.”

The Western Bulldogs currently sit out of the top eight at spot 10 and will be need to win their next two games to have any hopes of a finals appearance. They next play GWS at Marvel and Hawthorn in Tasmania. The Magpies, meanwhile, are the form side of the competition – winning their past 11 matches in a row.

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