BRENDON Ah Chee is set to remain at West Coast beyond 2018, but the versatile onballer will try to cement a spot before putting pen to paper on a new deal.
Ah Chee asked for a one-year contract when he was traded from Port Adelaide at the end of last season, backing himself to showcase his ability after being starved of opportunities at the Power.
The 24-year-old was eyeing an inside midfield berth at West Coast in the wake of Matt Priddis and Sam Mitchell's retirements, but suffered a major setback when he was struck down by a nasty two-month ankle injury in February.
He impressed on club debut in round eight, picking up 21 touches and taking seven marks in a road win over the Giants, and has shown glimpses, particularly of his aerial ability, in five other appearances without nailing down a position in the best 22.
"West Coast have certainly said that he's a required player for next year," his manager Anthony Van Der Wielen told AFL.com.au.
"We'd like to get a longer-term deal than that, but either way we're both comfortable to hold off until the end of the year where we'll either roll over with another year or, hopefully, it's a longer-term deal on a bit better money.
"I'd like to see him back in the side and getting a bit more of a regular go before we were to commit and obviously get him a stronger contract for a longer period of time.
"He's very content at West Coast and happy he made the move."
With in-form mids Jack Redden, Elliot Yeo and Andrew Gaff spending more time at the coalface and Mark Hutchings taking his chances, Ah Chee has been forced to compete for mainly half-forward roles.
He was overlooked for Dom Sheed and held over as emergency for last round's win over the Bulldogs, but could be vying with young forward Jake Waterman to return for Sunday's trip to face North Melbourne in Hobart.
"He was probably frustrated that he wasn't playing League footy last week," Van Der Wielen said.
"But I think he understands the landscape and he just knows he's got to work harder at different aspects of his game."
Ah Chee played 27 games for the Power after being recruited with pick 45 in the 2011 NAB AFL Draft, and finished runner-up in the SANFL's Margarey Medal last season.
The Eagles only handed over a third-round pick in this year's draft for the South Fremantle product and also received Hawthorn's on-traded 2018 fourth-round selection in return.