Wanderers give Bridge new 3-year contract
Western Sydney Wanderers have shown their belief in striker Mark Bridge, rewarding him with a long-term contract until the end of the 2016-17 A-League season.
Western Sydney product Bridge scored 11 goals and was named Wanderers' inaugural player of the year after the club's fairytale first season in the league, which yielded the minor premiership and a grand final berth.
The 27-year-old former Newcastle Jets and Sydney FC player still had another season to run on his initial two-year contract but has now secured an addition three seasons.
"Mark has improved immeasurably in his first year at the club," said coach Tony Popovic.
"He is already showing in pre-season training his appetite to continue developing and improving as a player.
"He's a player we want to keep at the club for a long time."
Bridge was delighted to have his future secured at what he called a "special club".
"Moving home to Western Sydney and playing for the Wanderers was one of the best decisions of my life," said Bridge.
"From the coaching staff and the environment we work and train in to our incredible fans, being a Wanderer has made me a better player and a happier person."
Wanderers executive chairman Lyall Gorman said Bridge represented much of what the club was trying to achieve.
"What Mark has achieved on the pitch has been outstanding for this club, but what he also achieves off the pitch is a symbol that he has signed up not just for football, but with a commitment to Western Sydney."
The new contract came as Bridge and the rest of the Wanderers prepared to fly out for their three-match pre-season tour to Japan and China.