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Giants sign magnificent seven

Jonathon Patton of the Giants celebrates during the AFL Round 13 match between the Melbourne Demons and the GWS Giants at the MCG, Melbourne. (Photo: Michael Willson/AFL Media)
Jonathon Patton has signed a new deal with the Giants
GREATER Western Sydney continues to lock down its stable of young stars and keep would-be suitors at bay, with Jonathon Patton and Dom Tyson headlining seven contract extensions announced on Wednesday.

The majority of the Giants' highly-prized talent is now under long-term contract, with Patton, Tyson, Andrew Phillips, Sam Frost and Will Hoskin-Elliott extending their deals until the end of 2015.

Impressive defender Curtly Hampton and Aidan Corr, pick 12 in last year's NAB AFL Draft, have both agreed to contract extensions until the end of the 2016 season.

Those seven join the likes of Toby Greene, Jeremy Cameron, Steve Coniglio, Dylan Shiel, Tom Bugg and Adam Tomlinson, who committed their futures to the Giants last year.

Head coach Kevin Sheedy was thrilled that so many youngsters had bought into the club's plans for the future and resisted the temptation to leave.

"It's obviously really pleasing for our club to have the boys have the confidence in the end to want to stay with the club after a tough first year," he said.

"I think they understand the development process we're going through.

"They should be very proud of the contracts they've just signed because this will be one of the great clubs of AFL from here on in."

Patton, the No.1 pick in the 2011 NAB AFL Draft, was being monitored by a number of other clubs, but the athletic key forward said he never really contemplated leaving GWS.

Having had knee surgery in January last year, the 19-year-old is now showing the benefits of his first pre-season, playing a starring role in the Giants' opening NAB Cup games against Carlton and the Sydney Swans last Sunday.

"We're all so happy to re-sign with the club," Patton said.

"We've got a lot of talent here and I'm pretty sure most of us never really thought about leaving.

"I think we can do something pretty special in the coming years and we're all happy to re-sign and pretty relieved."

Tyson was considered the most doubtful out of the 2011 draft class to re-sign, with Richmond making a serious play for his services last year amid speculation he was keen to return home to Melbourne.

But the third pick in that year's draft, who is currently sidelined with a knee injury, has appeared more settled in western Sydney in recent months and has decided to commit to the club.

Under football manager Graeme Allan and list manager Steve Silvagni, the Giants have tried to sell their youngsters on the benefits of staying, as they are likely to enjoy success once they mature.

With so many players already committed to the cause, and not a single player leaving voluntarily thus far, that approach is proving a resounding success.

"With many of these players now with a year or more under their belts, we hope to match it with the Swans in round one," chief executive Dave Matthews said.

"Our members and our fans should take great confidence in the direction this club is taking."

James Dampney is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter: @AFL_JD
The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs