Two of West Coast’s most promising young midfielders have re-signed with the club, with Mark Hutchings and Brant Colledge locked in on new contract extensions.
Hutchings, 23, has committed to the Eagles for the next two years, as first flagged by The West Australian last month, in a great reward for a strong second season at the club.
The Simpson medallist, who failed to earn a game with St Kilda in his first shot at an AFL career, has played 14 matches this year and emerged as a regular selection under coach Adam Simpson.
Hutchings has been used increasingly as the team’s tagger over the past month, performing successful shut-down jobs on Adelaide’s Patrick Dangerfield, Brisbane’s Pearce Hanley and Richmond captain Trent Cotchin during West Coast’s return to finals contention.
Colledge, 19, has conversely managed just two AFL matches in 2014 and none since being dropped after the team’s round four loss to Geelong, but looks to be a player of the future.
The No.45 pick in the 2012 national draft has overcome injury to make a solid return over the past fortnight with WAFL affiliate East Perth and will push for more senior games before the season is out.
The second-year midfielder has also re-signed for another two years until the end of 2016.
Hutchings said he was happy to be part of a club that he had supported all his life.
“The last couple of years, being part of the club, have been the best time of my life,” Hutchings said.
“I’m stoked to be here for the next two years. I am looking forward to improving my football and being part of a successful team.
“The (run-with) role has been challenging, but it’s something I have enjoyed, learning a bit more each time I play against some of the best players in the competition. It’s good to test yourself against the best players.”