Andrew McGrath has signed with the Bombers for two more years. (Photo: AFL)

2016 number one pick Andrew McGrath has signed a two-year extension to stay on with Essendon, seeing the deputy vice-captain remain at the club until the end of 2024.

2016 number one pick Andrew McGrath has signed a two-year extension to stay on with Essendon. The deputy vice-captain will remain at the club until the end of 2024.

106 games into his career, McGrath is becoming one of the Bombers’ premium players both through the midfield and along half back.

In his 13 matches this season, he has averaged 21.8 disposals, 12.1 kicks, and 4.3 marks. Known for his poise under pressure, he has helped lead his side to five wins this season through adversity.

“I’ve loved my six years at the club so far and I’m extremely excited to continue my journey with the Essendon Football Club,” McGrath said.

“My love for the playing group is immense and I’m very grateful for the faith the club has had in me.”

McGrath is a former Rising Star winner and is a role model for his teammates. (Photo: AFL)

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Since debuting in 2017, the rookie standout has lived up to expectations, winning the Rising Star Award and the AFLPA Best First Year Player. With the Bombers’ list younger than most, McGrath’s leadership and experience will be invaluable to the rest of his teammates.

He has been a role model for the squad, not just on the field, but off it as well. As the deputy-vice captain and locker room leader, the Dons will be expecting huge things for McGrath, not just for himself, but also to teach those around him.

“By no means are we a finished product, but the processes we are putting in place now, despite a tough year, will hold us in a strong position moving forward,” McGrath said.

“I believe we are building something special and creating an environment to be successful. It’s an exciting time to be an Essendon person.”

Adrian Dodoro, the general manager of recruiting at the Bombers had only high praise for McGrath as a player and as a person.

“Andy is very highly respected throughout our playing group and the wider club, so we are thrilled to have him remain in the red and black for at least another two years,” Dodoro said.

“His natural leadership makes him an exceptional role model for his teammates, which is reflected in his professionalism and respectful nature.

“Andy’s team-first mentality and ability to play multiple roles within the team shows how he will be extremely important to the club over the coming years.”

Essendon currently sits 16th on the AFL ladder, but has shown class in all its recent games, with a number of narrow losses.

McGrath will be hoping to cement the Bombers’ place in the finals in the next two years before his contract expires again.

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