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Brand new deal for Eagles' Kennedy successor

Jarrod Brander has signed a two-year extension - AFL,West Coast Eagles,Jarrod Brander,Contracts,Josh J Kennedy
Jarrod Brander has signed a two-year extension
I’ve been supporting West Coast since I was about six years old, so it was a pretty easy decision to make for me.
Jarrod Brander

WEST Coast has tied down its top pick from last year's NAB AFL Draft, securing athletic tall Jarrod Brander for two more years.

Brander is the fifth draftee to re-sign, with the Mildura product extending his stay in the west until at least 2021.  

"I probably thought about it for a little while with my manager. We talked about it and we were just going to wait and see how I went for a little while, but I’ve loved the club ever since I got here," Brander said. 

"I’ve been supporting West Coast since I was about six years old, so it was a pretty easy decision to make for me." 

The mobile 19-year-old follows in the footsteps of Oscar Allen, Liam Ryan, Brayden Ainsworth and Jack Petruccelle.

Only Hamish Brayshaw, who has been struggling to overcome a knee issue, is yet to be re-contracted from last year's draft crop.

Brander, part of GWS' academy in his teens, was touted as a possible No.1 pick 12 months before the draft but slipped to the Eagles' pick 13.

The 195cm big man boasts a strong pair of hands and can play at both ends, but looms as a likely long-term replacement for dual Coleman medallist Josh Kennedy.  

He has booted 10 goals in five senior WAFL matches for East Perth this season, and averaged 17 disposals and seven marks.  

"He’s performed very consistently in the WAFL as a key forward," list manager Brady Rawlings said. 

"His work-rate, athletic traits and skill level have all stood up at WAFL level, which is a really good sign for a first-year, key position player. 

"He’s a very competitive person and I’m sure he’s got his sights on playing AFL this year. 

"We’re in no rush to play Jarrod, but I’m sure if his performances continue like they have been he could push into the team." 

Brander's re-signing continues a contract frenzy for the Eagles, with Willie Rioli, Liam Duggan, Francis Watson, Jake Waterman, Nathan Vardy and Jack Redden all putting pen to paper recently.  

However, West Coast's three restricted free agents Jeremy McGovern, Andrew Gaff and Scott Lycett remain out of contract beyond this year.

McGovern has put talks on hold, probably until season's end, while Gaff is reportedly being targeted by five Melbourne clubs.