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Eagles shore up list with three key re-signings

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 3: Brad Sheppard of the Eagles is tackled by Cyril Rioli of the Hawks  during the 2015 Toyota AFL Grand Final match between the Hawthorn Hawks and the West Coast Eagles at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne, Australia on October 3, 2015. (Photo by Adam Trafford/AFL Media)
Brad Sheppard has signed a new contract with the Eagles
I am looking forward to working my way back and playing my role for the team
Chris Masten

WEST Coast duo Will Schofield and Brad Sheppard have signed contract extensions on the eve of the 2016 season to remain at the club until the end of 2019. 

The pair join midfielder Chris Masten in signing until 2019 after AFL.com.au revealed earlier this month that the 26-year-old had re-committed to the club long-term. 

Skipper Shannon Hurn and Brownlow medallist Matt Priddis also signed contract extensions earlier this month.

Schofield, 27, is likely to see out his career at the Eagles and needs just 18 games to qualify for life membership. 

"It's important to me to lock into the club for another few years," Schofield told the Eagles website.

"This is my 10th year at the club and it's a really exciting time. I want to be a part of what we have started to build here." 

Sheppard, 24, has developed into an outstanding defender under coach Adam Simpson and was the Eagles' player of the finals last year.

He could also qualify for life membership under the new deal should he play the majority of games over the next four years, having already played 84 matches since he was drafted with pick No.7 in the 2009 NAB AFL Draft. 

Masten is hoping to reach the 150-game milestone this season as he is just 10 games shy at present. He is currently sidelined with an ankle injury but could be available as soon as round two after getting ahead of schedule with his rehab. 

"It's great to have the contract signed early so that I can concentrate solely on my rehab and then getting ready to play again," Masten said.

"I am looking forward to working my way back and playing my role for the team." 

Masten suffered the left ankle sprain in an intra-club practice match on February 13 and was expected to miss up to a month of the home and away season, but he has been running freely at training in recent weeks and could be available as early as next week.