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Hawk staying put: Kaiden Brand inks two-year extension

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 06: Kaiden Brand of the Hawks in action during the 2016 AFL Round 20 match between the Melbourne Demons and the Hawthorn Hawks at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on August 06, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Justine Walker/AFL Media)
Kaiden Brand has signed a two-year contract extension

HAWTHORN defender Kaiden Brand has signed a two-year contract extension until the end of 2018.

After overcoming a serious shoulder injury that wiped out his 2015 season, Brand played 11 games in 2016 but was dropped after round 22, missing the Hawks' finals campaign.

He was monitored by rival clubs ahead of the NAB AFL Trade Period as contract talks with the Hawks stalled, but no switch eventuated.

The Hawks were pleased with his first year of senior football, with the 22-year-old holding his own against quality key forwards.

"After struggling with a shoulder injury last season, Kaiden had a strong patch of AFL games this year," list manager Graham Wright said.

"We've been really happy with his progress and we think he could be a really important player for us long-term."

The Hawks have also upgraded first-year rookie Kade Stewart to the senior list.

Stewart was upgraded ahead of round 11 and played three senior games before returning to the VFL where he impressed in both midfield and half-forward roles.

The skilful left-footer laid nine tackles in his debut against Melbourne, the most ever by a Hawthorn first-gamer.

The 19-year-old finished with 16 goals and 77 tackles from 14 games with Box Hill.