DAVID Zaharakis will remain a Bomber for the next four years after turning his back on free agency.
The star Essendon midfielder has enjoyed a career-best season in the red and black and has given the Bombers a boost on the eve of the finals by recommitting until at least the end of 2021.
The 27-year-old was due to become a restricted free agent at the end of this season, but has stuck with the club that he joined at the 2008 NAB AFL Draft.
"It's fantastic to get the contract finalised on the eve of what will hopefully be a very exciting finals series for us," Zaharakis said.
"Essendon has been such a significant part of my life for a long time. I grew up barracking for the Bombers, and over the past nine years I've been able to live my childhood dream."
He has played every game this season and averaged 26 disposals an outing while also booting 11 goals.
Zaharakis started the year a little slowly, but has been one of the Bombers' leading performers in the second half of the season.
Essendon will play Sydney next week in an elimination final clash at the SCG, which will be Zaharakis' third finals appearance for the club. He has played 169 games for Essendon.
"We've been starved of finals success for such a long time, so it's time for action and we hope all the hard work, effort and commitment we’ve put in this year pays off over the coming weeks," Zaharakis said.