PREMIERSHIP defender Tom Cole has ignored the doomsayers by re-signing with West Coast for a further three years.
The Eagles sit last on the ladder with a 1-9 record and a horror percentage of 51.5.
With a host of the club's best players set to retire over the next three years, many experts are predicting a long and painful rebuild for West Coast.
Cole turns 25 on Saturday and is about to enter the prime of his career, but he had no hesitation about re-signing until the end of 2025.
"It was never a tough decision for me – I was always going to do it," Cole said.
"This club took me in when I was 18. I've loved every moment I've had here and just looking forward to the future and a few more years to my career.
"I just want to be a part of hopefully more success in the future with this club.
WHO WANTS A LIST SPOT? Top 26 mid-season draft contenders
"It's been a bit of a tough year this year, but I'm getting older so I have to be more of a leader within the club."
Cole played in West Coast's 2018 premiership in what was just his 27th game, but he is currently on the club's inactive list after suffering a serious ankle injury at training in February.
He said the absence through injury of a host of senior players this year had helped develop the club's youngsters.
"We’ve got some new defenders in this year," Cole told westcoasteagles.com.au.
"Houghy (Brady Hough) and Rhett Bazzo have been good this year so far, and we've had Jamaine Jones and a few blokes roll through the backline who have shown very good signs.
MEDICAL ROOM Check out the full injury list
"I think we'll be fine in the future in the backline. Hopefully I can plug back in there and get a game when my ankle gets better.
"The ankle is progressing well. It's all systems go really. It's up to the physios to create a plan for me to hopefully be back within somewhere between 8-10 weeks."
Captain Luke Shuey, who was subbed out of last week's 52-point loss to GWS with a back injury, remains a chance to play in Saturday night's clash with the Western Bulldogs at Optus Stadium.
Veteran forward Josh Kennedy (knee) is set to return for that match, while Dom Sheed (ankle) and Elliot Yeo (concussion/protocols) are expected to play in the WAFL.