Despite signing a four-year extension in October last year, Bombers defender Jordan Ridely has inked a new contract with Essendon that will keep him at Tullamarine until the end of the 2026 season.
The two-year bumper follows another strong campaign for the 22-year-old, who was a valuable asset for the Bombers' defensive structure again this season.
Ridley amassed a fourth-place finish in the Bombers' best and fairest count for 2021, looking to back up his Crichton Medal-winning campaign last year in what was a breakout season for the backman.
Having played just the nine games prior to 2020, Ridley has quickly emerged to become a reliable dead-eye defender for Essendon.
“I really love this footy club, so it was obviously a pretty easy decision to extend for another couple of years,” Ridley said.
“It was really enjoyable playing under ‘Truck’ (Ben Rutten) and ‘Gia’ (Daniel Giansiracusa) this season, and as a new young backline with the likes of Laverde, Redman, Hind, Stewart and Heppell, we’re building our chemistry that will only continue to grow with another pre-season under our belts.
“We’re all spurred on from that elimination final result in Launceston a few weeks ago, and that will sit with us over the pre-season, but we’re all so hungry to take this club forward to achieve success and I’m excited to be a part of that over the years to come.”
Ridley's signature is the latest to extend this season, with Essendon enjoying a strong season of re-signings in 2021.
Kaine Baldwin (2022), Tom Cutler (2022), Matt Guelfi (2022), Brayden Ham (2022), Tom Hird (2022), Harrison Jones (2023), Cian McBride (2022), Zach Merrett (2027), Darcy Parish (2023), Mason Redman (2023), Jordan Ridley (2026), Devon Smith (2023), Jake Stringer (2024), Alec Waterman (2022) and Brandon Zerk-Thatcher (2023) have all inked new deals this year.
The Bombers have bid farewell to Patrick Ambrose (retired), Ned Cahill (delisted), Cale Hooker (retired), Lachlan Johnson (delisted), Irving Mosquito (delisted) and David Zaharakis (delisted) this off-season.
Essendon are set to acquire wantaway Crows backman Jake Kelly this off-season via free agency, with the 26-year-old set to add to a strong Bombers backline for 2022.