GREATER Western Sydney continue to lock away their in-demand AFL stars, with former No.1 draft pick Lachie Whitfield the latest to re-sign.
There had been speculation Whitfield could leave the Giants in the post-season trade period despite having another year to run on his contract.
But instead of chasing a pay rise at a rival club, Whitfield has penned a new deal that will result in him staying at GWS until at least the end of the 2020 season.
Whitfield joins Dylan Shiel, Jon Patton and many other teammates to re-sign this year, with all eyes switching to classy midfielder Josh Kelly.
“These negotiations all have their own timelines. Over the course of the last six months, we’ve probably had six or seven players recommit to our footy club,” GWS coach Leon Cameron said.
“It hasn’t been the smooth-sailing year that everyone wants but, in the background, these players have put pen to paper. It’s a great signal to our footy club and the rest of the competition.
“They want to be here.
“No doubt a number of footy clubs would have been looking at Lachie, and rightfully so – he’s a terrific young player.”
Whitfield described it as a “pretty easy decision”.
“This has been my home since I arrived five years ago and this is where I want to play my football,” the 23-year-old said.
“We’re building something special.”
Whitfield made a delayed start to the season after his six-month ban for evading a drugs test.
He has been one of the Giants’ best in an injury-marred campaign but had been notably quiet in last week’s qualifying-final loss to Adelaide.
“He’d be the first one to walk in and say ‘nah, it’s unacceptable’,” Cameron said.
“We’re expecting some good things from Lachie this weekend. He played really well in last year’s finals series.”
© AAP 2017