Essendon have signed forward Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti to a three-year contract extension.
The 23-year-old started 2016 on the rookie list but was elevated to make his AFL debut in round one and quickly became popular with Bombers fans.
He played most of his 19 games down back before moving forward, where his pace and work rate have provided a boost to an underperforming attack.
“I have learnt a lot this year since getting my chance to play senior footy … I know I have to keep working hard on my game but I’m really enjoying playing my football,” McDonald-Tipungwuti said.
“I have some really good mates at Essendon, especially Michael Hartley. I love playing with the boys, the fans have been great and I’m really excited about what we can do together as a team in the next few years.”
His signing comes after the club secured the prized signature of banned defender Michael Hurley on a five-year extension.
“Walla is one of our most exciting young players with a bright future ahead of him,” coach John Worsfold said.
“He works hard and has a long way to go with his development but we can’t deny his electric pace, clean use of the footy and his aggressive tackles add something very special to our line-up.”