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Extensions for emerging Howard and Bonner

Matthew Agius  July 12, 2017 8:00 PM

Howard re-signs - PTV Port Adelaide big man Dougal Howard has re-signed to the club.

DOUGAL HOWARD and Riley Bonner will call Port Adelaide home until at least the end of the 2019 season.

The duo – both of whom have played exclusively in the SANFL this year – are the latest in a spate of contract signings from the Power in the previous fortnight.

Dan Houston's contract extension until the end of 2019 was confirmed earlier on Wednesday night.

Howard came to Port Adelaide via pick 56 in the 2014 national draft along with Logan Austin, Jesse Palmer and Billy Frampton.

He was the first of that group to make his AFL debut in the Round 2, 2016 Showdown against the Crows.

An injured anterior cruciate ligament in his knee midway through the 2016 season kept him in rehab for almost a year, but he has proved an exciting option for Port Adelaide in the SANFL since making his return at the start of this season.

“He’s done everything right through his rehab and really offers us some versatility,” forwards coach Brendon Lade said.

“‘Doogs’ can kick a bag up forward or give us some height down back, and even pinch-hit in the ruck if need be.

“He’s showing a lot of promise.”

Bonner made his AFL debut against Gold Coast at the end of 2016 and has been a consistent player for Port in the state league this year.

His ability to run the ball out of defence has proven important for the Magpies as he continues to push his credentials in the competitive defensive group.

Defensive coach Nathan Bassett said Bonner’s work ethic has been a major positive for the young backman during the first years of his time at Port.

“Riley has shown in his first two years that he has the work ethic to get the best out of himself,” Bassett said.

“He has good speed and agility while showing that he can be a very good user of the football.

“I believe that Riley has considerable upside and that his best football will come in the not too distant future.”

VIDEO: Riley Bonner highlights

Howard and Bonner join Dan Houston, Sam Powell-Pepper, Billy Frampton, Brad Ebert, Jack Hombsch and Tom Clurey in recently committing to the club beyond the 2017 season.

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