MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 30: David Zaharakis of the Bombers celebrates kicking a goal during the round 19 AFL match between the Western Bulldogs and the Essendon Bombers at Etihad Stadium on July 30, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Essendon midfielder David Zaharakis has committed to the Bombers for a further four seasons.

The new deal will see him remain with his boyhood club until the end of the 2021 season with the 27-year old putting pen to paper as the club embarks on a finals campaign.

“It’s fantastic to get the contract finalised on the eve of what will hopefully be a very exciting finals series for us,” Zaharakis told essendonfc.com.au.

“Essendon has been such a significant part of my life for a long time. I grew up barracking for the Bombers, and over the past nine years I’ve been able to live my childhood dream.

“We have such a proud history of success, and it’s our job as players to ensure that tradition continues.

“We’ve been starved of finals success for such a long time, so it’s time for action and we hope all the hard work, effort and commitment we’ve put in this year pays off over the coming weeks.

“As a playing group we’re committed to ensuring this Club gets back to where it belongs, and the talent and dedication within the playing group provides me with great confidence about the future direction.”

Zaharakis became a fan favourite soon after arriving at Essendon in 2008 and has since gone on to play 169 games with the club.

While a previous Crichton Medallist, Zaharakis is having a career-best season with career-highs in disposals, marks and inside 50s.

Coach John Worsfold said Zaharakis sets a fantastic example for his teammates.

“David’s preparation is elite so it’s no surprise he’s been such a consistent performer over a long period of time,” Worsfold told the club’s website.

“Last year he carried a significant workload in the midfield and played an important leadership role, not only supporting Brendon Goddard, but also mentoring his younger teammates.

“He’s had a slightly different role this year which he’s adapted to really well.

“His running power and skill level makes him a central part of our midfield group for not only this season, but pleasingly the next four years as well.”

List Manager Adrian Dodoro noted that in the prime of his career, Zaharakis would help mould Essendon’s next wave of stars into premiership contenders.

“David is going to play a key role in our midfield over the next four years,” Dodoro said.

“He’s a lifelong Essendon supporter and it’s great to see him continue his commitment to the Club.

“We’ve got an exciting group emerging in the middle of the ground with Zach Merrett’s continual improvement, Darcy Parish’s promise and potentially Andrew McGrath spending more time in there.

“David will continue to play a key leadership role with those young guys and also brings a consistent level of output from which we can build a really strong group around.”