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LeCras signs long-term deal

LeCras re-signs Have a look why the Eagles were so keen to re-sign star forward Mark LeCras
Mark LeCras in action for West Coast during the Eagles' round three clash with Melbourne - ${keywords}
Mark LeCras in action for West Coast during the Eagles' round three clash with Melbourne

STAR Eagles forward Mark LeCras has turned his back on free agency, re-signing with West Coast for a further four seasons. 

The Eagles' 2010 best and fairest winner was one of the biggest names in this year's free agency crop and, at 26, a player rival clubs would have targeted confident he had plenty of good football left in him.

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But the Eagles announced on Monday they had re-signed the restricted free agent to the end of 2017, making it highly likely LeCras will finish his career a one-club player. 

LeCras said on Monday it was pleasing to finalise his new contract so he could focus on the 10th-placed Eagles' push to make the finals. 

"We are all committed to finishing the season as strongly as possible and pushing towards the top eight," LeCras said. 

"There is a really good feeling within the playing group and while we have not won as many games as we would have liked in the first half of the season, there is still plenty of football left this year." 

LeCras' four-year contract extension is a significant show of faith by West Coast after his encouraging return from a knee reconstruction this season. 

He missed all of 2012 after rupturing an ACL late in the pre-season and in his first game back, in round one this season, fractured his forearm. 

Despite undergoing surgery, LeCras missed just one game, returning to kick three goals in the Eagles' round three thumping of Melbourne. 

LeCras' form this season has been solid. In 10 games, he has averaged nearly 16 possessions and kicked 19 goals. 

He has managed to do so despite having to put up with residual pain in his forearm, Eagles coach John Worsfold said after last Friday night's loss to Hawthorn.

West Coast list and contracts manager Craig Vozzo said the club was delighted LeCras had re-signed. 

"Obviously having a player of Mark's ability recommit to the club for the next four years is a key element of our list management strategy," Vozzo said.

"He is seen as important part of our playing group, both now and into the future. 

"As a 26-year-old, despite everything he has already achieved, we believe his best is yet to come." 

LeCras joins fellow 2013 free agent Beau Waters in recently re-signing with West Coast, along with key defender Eric Mackenzie, half-back Will Schofield and midfielder Chris Masten. 

The Eagles have yet to re-sign unrestricted free agents Dean Cox, Andrew Embley, Darren Glass, Mark Nicoski and Adam Selwood. 

LeCras was one of 15 restricted free agents this season and joins Essendon captain Jobe Watson, Brisbane Lions defender Joel Patfull, Port Adelaide full-back Alipate Carlile and Adelaide captain Nathan van Berlo in recommitting to his club. 

Hawk superstar Lance Franklin, Collingwood's Dale Thomas and Carlton's Eddie Betts are among the 10 restricted free agents yet to re-sign with their clubs. 

Clubs can retain restricted free agents in October's free agency period by matching any opposition offers. 

Nick Bowen is a reporter with Follow him on Twitter: @AFL_Nick