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Eagle bulks up to put himself in mix for key defensive post

Jarrod Brander has put on six kilos over the summer - AFL,West Coast Eagles,Jarrod Brander
Jarrod Brander has put on six kilos over the summer

WEST Coast youngster Jarrod Brander has put on six kilograms this pre-season as he looks to build a body capable of breaking into a premiership backline.

Brander, pick No.13 in the 2017 NAB AFL Draft, made his debut against Sydney up forward in his one and only game at AFL level in round 13 last season but was converted into a defender once he went back to the WAFL.

The athletic key tall has been training as a permanent backmen this pre-season and said stacking the weight on was important if he was to make the transition to AFL level more often in 2019.

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"Personally, I want to get bigger and stronger so I can compete with bigger bodies if I get another AFL opportunity," Brander told the club's website.

"During the off-season I tried to put a bit of weight on, roughly five or six kilos. I think that will help me."

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Brander's focus has been on honing his defensive technique.

"I think last year when I played down back I just used my athleticism to get me out of sticky situations," Brander said.

"At the moment I'm working on getting into positions to defend dangerous spaces and that’ll benefit me going forward."

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Following the Eagles' memorable Grand Final win, Brander said the success his teammates had enjoyed had given him motivation to be part of things this season.

"As soon as the siren went I started thinking about the game and how awesome it was," Brander said of the Grand Final.

"Just celebrating with the boys that didn’t play, you think about how awesome it would be if you did play.

"I got back to Perth and got into the gym straight away, because I didn't want to waste any time. I didn't have much of a break because I was pretty hungry to play AFL as soon as I could and hopefully experience that one day."