Star midfielder Marcus Bontempelli has taken over from Easton Wood as Western Bulldogs captain in the AFL.
Western Bulldogs AFL premiership coach Luke Beveridge will remain with the club until the end of 2023 after signing a contract extension.
Another AFL premiership coach is officially off the market after the Western Bulldogs locked away Luke Beveridge until the end of 2023.
Beveridge, who led the Bulldogs to the flag in 2016, was due to come out of contract next season but has extended his deal for a further three years.
North Melbourne, Carlton and St Kilda are all hunting for new coaches and there had been speculation the Saints would look to lure Beveridge, who finished his 118-game playing career at St Kilda, back to Moorabbin.
But Beveridge, who has guided his rebuilding side back to finals contention this season, said he had never seriously considered leaving.
“There’s no doubt that with some of the instability in the coaching fraternity, there’s been a bit of noise,” Beveridge told reporters on Friday.
“Regardless of whether or not there’s been overtures in my direction, my preference would be just to not even go there because all that mattered was that I was always going to commit here.
“There’s no doubt that you go through some periods where there’s some troughs as far as the wins and losses go, and there’s some challenging commentary and even sentiment around whether or not we may be headed in the right way.
“They’re the important times when you want consistency in behaviours, in support, belief in what you’re doing. I’ve never, ever been concerned that hasn’t been there.”
With proven coaches in hot demand, former St Kilda mentor Grant Thomas went as far as to suggest the Saints should put a 10-year offer in front of Beveridge.
Beveridge – who unusually for an AFL coach does not have a manager – indicated he wanted to keep any talks he may have had with rival clubs private.
“Thommo’s always been a great supporter of mine,” Beveridge said.
“I love the fact that he thinks that would have been a good move for the Saints. I still have a strong emotional connection to the Saints but you can imagine what my connection is here (at Whitten Oval) now … that really didn’t have any bearing on anything, in the end.”
Beveridge took the Bulldogs to the finals in his first season in charge in 2015 and has coached the side to 60 wins from 109 games.
Bulldogs chief executive Ameet Bains said Beveridge was a proven performer with a strong capacity to build relationships with his players.
His new deal removes another leading contender for the three vacant senior coaching positions.
Sydney mentor John Longmire had been strongly linked to North Melbourne but last week extended his contract at the Swans to the end of 2023.
Hawthorn mastermind Alastair Clarkson and West Coast premiership coach Adam Simpson are both contracted at their respective clubs until the end of 2022 and have publicly declared they’re going nowhere.