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HomeSportsRichmond's Shai Bolton extends time at Tigerland, signs massive extension

Richmond’s Shai Bolton extends time at Tigerland, signs massive extension

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Shai Bolton has signed a five-year contract extension at Richmond, staying at the club until the end of 2028.

Bolton has quickly become one of the game’s most watchable players and was rewarded with his first All-Australian jacket in 2022.

The 24-year-old also came fourth in thee club’s close best-and-fairest count – his third consecutive finish – and looks set to explode on the AFL scene.

Bolton also played pivotal roles in the 2019 and 2020 premierships as well as being awarded with the 2021 AFL Mark of the Year.

Originally from Western Australia, there were fears that Bolton would return home at some stage but this next extension has him staying at Punt Road until 29.

The livewire was initially drafted at pick 29 in 2016 and said the decision was a no brainer.

“I have loved the Club since I got drafted. I love the culture here, all the boys, the coaching staff and playing at the MCG,” he said.

“It was pretty easy to decide in the end … I am super excited to stay here.”

Richmond footy talent manager Blair Hartley said the club was ecstatic about Bolton’s long-term commitment.

“Shai is such an important part of our football program because of the person and player he is, so to have him commit for the next five years is brilliant news for everyone involved,” Hartley said.

“He has worked tirelessly to elevate his game in each season he’s had with us. We are excited about what he can achieve individually and with us as a team as he continues to flourish as a footballer and leader.

“This contract rewards Shai’s hard work, and we are delighted to have him and his family at the Club for another five years.”

Bolton has now joined a long list of current AFL players on massive deals, including new teammates and former Giants players Tim Taranto and Jacob Hopper.

This news also comes as Peggy O’Neal officially ends her reign as Richmond president.

What does Bolton’s contract extension mean for Richmond?

The Tigers are slowly but surely planning for their future, with departures of club legends Trent Cotchin (33 years old), Jack Riewoldt (34) as well as Robbie Tarrant (33) imminent.

The acquisition of GWS duo Taranto and Hopper help provide more youth to the list as well as strength to their game for 2023.

Damien Hardwick and his coaching panel have provided an insight into life after Dustin Martin, Dion Prestia and Cotchin and what it might look like.

Now adding Bolton to the list, the Tigers not only seem primed for an all-out attack at the flag next year, but also strong belief to be around the mark for some time.

Hardwick has plenty of highly talented youngsters at his disposal as well as an elite combination of veterans who can still compete at the highest level.

The club sits at an average age of 25.1 years for 2023 and rank third in games experience (83).

In all their three recent premierships (2017, 2019 and 2020), Richmond sat around the 24 year mark and proved to be one of the more proficient sides.


Credit: sportingnews.com

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