The Gold Coast Bulletin
Top Dog not in a rush to sign up
WESTERN Bulldogs skipper Marcus Bontempelli says he won’t be rushed into a decision on his future, as Essendon general manager of football Josh Mahoney stressed the Bombers were confident Jake Stringer would recommit to the club beyond this year.
Bontempelli has firmed into a $5 second favourite to win the Brownlow Medal after another masterclass to help sink the Blues on Sunday.
The star midfielder is out of contract beyond the end of this season, but says there is no timeline on when a new deal with the Dogs will be finalised.
“It’s an important decision … it takes as long as it needs to,” Bontempelli told RSN on Wednesday morning.
“I won’t be rushed into a decision … the most important thing for me is that the dialogue and the conversation between my manager Tom (Petroro) and the club is going well.
“That’s the key for me. We will get to a result whenever we do, but as long as people understand the dialogue is very good.”
The 25-year-old gamebreaker appears certain to stay with the Bulldogs, but the length of the contract will be fascinating with the club saying recently it was hesitant to lock into mega long-term arrangements.
Bontempelli said he understood the interest in his contract status, but said his focus was predominantly on the team’s form, saying he rated the Bulldogs of 2021 as more consistent than the side that won the 2016 flag.
“Does the contract play on my mind, well, not personally,” he said. “That’s a separate conversation to my football.
“Obviously playing the best that I can and captaining the club the best I can (is important), but being a reliable teammate is always my number one focus.”
Stringer, Bontempelli’s former teammate, is also in the last year of a four-year deal that got him to the Bombers.
Mahoney said the club understood the interest Stringer would attract from rival clubs, but was confident the 27year-old would stay at Tullamarine,
“You expect these names to be thrown up,” Mahoney said on SEN.
“He had an interrupted 2020 and a slow start but in the three or four games he’s played, you can see the impact.
“There’s no rush … He wants to stay at the club, we want Jake, so I think that’ll get itself done.”