By Lance Jenkinson
Bailey Dale has been rewarded for the significant part he played in the Western Bulldogs surge to the 2019 AFL finals.
The dynamic forward has been on fire of late, kicking 20 goals and taking 29 marks in his past six AFL games, following on from his strong form in the VFL.
Dale’s contract with the Bulldogs was due to expire at the end of 2019 season and he was starting to generate a buzz among the scribes about his potential availability, but he received a deserved contract extension today.
The Bulldogs secured Dale’s services for a further three years until the end of the 2022 season.
Dale was thrilled to have his contract sorted before the start of the finals.
“I’m really excited to sign on for another three years,” he said.
“I love playing for this club and it’s a privilege every time I get to pull on the jumper.”
Dale, in his fifth season with the Bulldogs, will play his 50th AFL game when he runs out for his first AFL final against GWS Giants at Giants Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
The 23-year-old is excited about both the present and the future of the Bulldogs.
“I can’t wait to see what the future holds,” Dale said.
“We’re a young group and we’re playing some good footy at the moment.
“I love the way we play our footy and I want to be a big part of that going forward.”
Dale is the 15th player to re-sign with the Bulldogs in 2019.
General manager of list and recruiting Sam Power believes the strong body of work from Dale in the second half of the season has offered a glimpse into his potential.
“Bailey has had a really productive second half of the season at AFL level,” Power said.
“It’s been pleasing to see him get some continuity back into his football after an injury-affected 2018 to become an important contributor in our forward line.
“As a forward, Bailey is strong in the air and at ground level. His work in the forward half and ability to kick goals has been one of the reasons for our increased scoring late in the season.”