ELECTRIC half-back Francis Watson could be a left-field option to inject much-needed pace into West Coast's line-up from round one next season after being upgraded to the category A rookie list.

Watson loomed as an early-season AFL bolter this year after impressing against the Giants in the JLT Community Series and starring for East Perth in the opening month of the WAFL campaign. 

The 22-year-old was outstanding for the Royals, averaging 27 disposals and five tackles as a rebounding defender before being cut down by an ankle injury.

Watson, who was a category B rookie this year, played nine games upon his return from injury but struggled to have the same impact, fading out of calculations for a maiden call-up. 

The Kimberley product was also trialled in attack, and could shape as an exciting sidekick to yet-to-debut goalsneak Willie Rioli next season. 

Under new rookie-list rules, category A rookies will be eligible to play from the opening round in 2018.

Meanwhile, lightning-quick Sudanese teenager Tarir Bayok has also extended his rookie contract and will remain on the category B list. 

The 175cm pocket rocket, who clocked a rapid 2.79 second 20m sprint at last year's WA Combine, spent all-but one game at WAFL reserves level this year. 

Bayok made an encouraging League debut in round 22, booting two goals from 10 disposals, showing his potential as a project player. 

West Coast has also confirmed hard-working big man Fraser McInnes will be retained on the rookie list next year, as reported by AFL.com.au last week.

The futures of fellow rookies Tom Gorter and Jordan Snadden remain unclear, while uncontracted senior players Sharrod Wellingham, Josh Hill and Tom Lamb are still in limbo during the NAB AFL Trade Period.