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Brown departs Eagles, McInnes set for rookie lifeline

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 08: Mitch Brown of the Eagles snaps on goal past Joel Hamling of the Bulldogs during the 2016 AFL Second Elimination Final match between the West Coast Eagles and the Western Bulldogs at Domain Stadium on September 08, 2016 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Carson/AFL Media)
Mitch Brown has been delisted by the Eagles

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WEST Coast defender Mitch Brown is free to continue his career with a Victorian club after being delisted on Monday.

The 27-year-old, who played 94 games for the Eagles, was an unrestricted free agent and wanted to return to Victoria for family reasons, as reported by AFL.com.au on October 13.

However, Brown was unable to strike a deal with a new club during the NAB AFL Trade Period and can now be picked up as a delisted free agent from Tuesday.

The Eagles also delisted forward Fraser McInnes, but have committed to selecting the 23-year-old in the rookie draft if he is available.

West Coast Eagles General Manager of Football Craig Vozzo thanked Brown for his service during his injury-plagued 10-year career at West Coast.

"Mitch is a person of the highest quality and we wish him well in his search for a new club," Vozzo said.

"He expressed his desire to return to Victoria for family reasons, which we totally respect.

"His resilience in the face of a number of injury setbacks has been admirable and his impact on the club and its culture won't be forgotten."

Brown was offered a new contract by the Eagles, but his circumstances have been complicated after his wife Shae, an elite netballer, chose to move from her ANZ Championship club West Coast Fever to sign with Collingwood in the newly formed National Netball League.

He played just four games this year after returning from his second knee reconstruction, which kept him out of all of 2015.

The key defender played all four games, including the elimination final, as a pinch-hit ruckman/forward in the absence of injured star Nic Naitanui.

The emergence of Jeremy McGovern and Tom Barrass as the mainstays of the Eagles' defence meant there was no room for Brown or 2014 best and fairest Eric Mackenzie.

Brown nearly headed back to Victoria in 2013 following a lucrative offer from St Kilda but elected to sign a three-year deal to remain at the Eagles.

He played 19 games in both 2013 and 2014, but unfortunately suffered another ACL rupture in round one, 2015.

He had his first knee reconstruction in 2008.

Brown was the Eagles' first-round pick (No.16) in the 2006 NAB AFL Draft.