Archie Perkins in action during Essendon's clash against Gold Coast in round 12, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

ARCHIE Perkins has signed on for two more years at Essendon, as the club's growing group of young midfielders strive to lead the Bombers back to success.

The 22-year-old was due to come out of contract at the end of this year, but as reported on Gettable last month, Perkins has been in talks for a two-year deal in recent months.

That is now locked in, with the No.9 pick from the 2020 draft committing to the Bombers until at least the end of 2026.

"Week to week you're not thinking about it too much, you're solely focused on your performance and how you're going but it is nice to have that certainty. I was never going anywhere else but I'm very happy to be secured for another couple of years with the team," Perkins told on Monday.

"It's a good team to be a part of at the moment and I'm pretty excited about where we're heading and the journey we're on. We've got a good blend of young and older players at the moment so it's a good group to be a part of. I'm very excited to commit for another two."

Perkins is part of a trio of younger Essendon midfielders, along with Sam Durham and Jye Caldwell, to have won more opportunities this season under coach Brad Scott. Durham signed on for four more years in March and Caldwell is also in talks for a new deal, with Perkins saying the group was enjoying more midfield responsibility.   


"We're really good mates as well so it's good to play a lot of footy around them. I've been very impressed and proud of the way they've gone about their footy this year so hoping they can keep it up, but it's good having Zach (Merrett) there as well with his experience and he's so consistent so he's such a good role model for us. The way he goes about his footy and us developing underneath that is a nice blend we've got going," he said. 

"That'll be good getting him (Caldwell) locked in too and then we'll have us all signed up for the next few and hopefully build a lot of chemistry moving forward."

With 71 games to his name, Perkins has played the second most AFL games of any player from the 2020 draft intake (behind Sydney's Errol Gulden with 78). His best-on-ground performance against Hawthorn in round one highlighted his explosive streak and goal sense, with two goals from 24 disposals and eight clearances, before a hamstring injury in round four disrupted his start to the season.


Perkins has returned for the Bombers' past five games, with their seven-game unbeaten run ending in Sunday's loss to Gold Coast. He said he still has more to achieve in his development. 

"I had the little blip with the injury for a month so that was a bit frustrating but there's been a lot of new learnings for me this year and to play a bit more midfield and find out where I'm at and where I need to improve and progress. Those things are becoming more clear to me each week but I'm very excited," he said.

"There's a lot of improvement and growth left in me and I feel I'm becoming more consistent. I'm still probably not as consistent as I'd like to be across games but it's improving so I'm pretty pleased with how things have gone so far this year but also have an eye to the next half of the year and what I want to do and the improvements I want to make. 

"I think there's lots of good football in me that is a bit untapped and I haven't achieved yet, but I'm getting closer all the time and I'm more clear on what I need to do to get there."