Bookends locked in

Tuesday January 31, 2017

Young bookends Jack Darling and Tom Barrass have re-confirmed their commitment to the West Coast Eagles club by signing contract extensions.

Darling, who has had a strong impact since his 2011 debut and featured in the top five of West Coast’s Club Champion Award on three occasions, has already played 128 games.

In conjunction with dual Coleman medallist Josh Kennedy, freakish goal sneak Mark LeCras, the tireless Jamie Cripps and versatile Josh Hill, he forms one of the most potent attacking forces in the AFL.

At the other end of the ground Barrass has blossomed into an impressive young key defender who last year won the club’s Rookie of the Year award.

He is an outstanding reader of the game – much like teammate Jeremy McGovern – and excels at peeling off opponents to intercept the ball in the air.

After just two seasons of senior football, opposition clubs are looking to neutralise Barrass when they plot their game plan against West Coast.

Securing Darling, 24, and Barrass, 21, was a priority for the club and provides some impetus leading into the final phase of pre-season, as the club prepares to enter the JLT Community Series pre-season matches.

Darling has committed for a further three years, while Barrass will remain an Eagle until at least the end of the 2019 season.

“We are delighted to have Jack and Tom extend their tenures with the club,” general manager – football Craig Vozzo said today.

“Whilst at different stages of their careers, we are excited where both players can potentially take their games.

“Jack has already played 128 games and established himself as a quality AFL forward. He is a dedicated professional and we believe he can take his game to yet another level while Tom was terrific in his first full season of senior football. We believe that he has a lot of upside in his game and we look forward to assisting him evolve in coming seasons.”

Darling, who was married in the off-season, has enjoyed a strong pre-season and is looking forward to continuing to build on his career.

“It’s great to have the contract signed before the season starts,” Darling said.

“We’ve had a really good pre-season and can’t wait for the games to start rolling around.”

Barrass was equally pleased to ink his new deal ahead of the 2017 campaign.

“It’s great to have the contract locked away before we even get into the pre-season games,” he said. “The pre-season has been good, but now we’re starting to get excited because the games are just around the corner.

“Hopefully we can take another step forward as a collective and continue to build on what we have started in the last couple of years.”

News Source: West Coast Eagles