Josh Kennedy and Shannon Hurn have signed a one-year contract extension, while Andrew Gaff will play out another 4 years with the Eagles.
In a pretty blue week for Eagles fans, there has been a ray of amber light, with the club announcing that both ex-captains will be coming back for one more rodeo, along with Andrew Gaff, who will be staying with the club until 2024.
There was some scepticism as to whether Josh Kennedy and Shannon Hurn would be staying with the West Coast next year after Kennedy reported that ongoing contract discussions had been taking place prior to the start of this year’s finals campaign.
Both players kept us in the dark, guessing on their next move, and reportedly wanted to hold off on making a decision until the end of the season, to assess whether they had the drive to go around for another campaign.
Yet neither looked like they were off the pace of the game on Saturday night, with Hurn running riot up the centre of the pitch, rebounding on Pies attacks.
Hurn has been a one-club man since 2005 when he was drafted as a 13th round pick in the national draft.
Since then the defender has gone on to play 286 games for the West Coast, captaining the side to lift the McClelland Trophy in 2018.
Looking back on that season, Shannon Hurn was simply phenomenal. He recorded 531 disposals and 196 marks during the 2018 campaign, earning himself an All-Australian blazer and a premiership trophy in the process.
And the 2-time All-Australian has not relented.
In a year of madness and uncertainty, Hurn has had an outstanding season being one of the best in class for the Eagles.
In just 17 games, Bunga has recorded a whopping 271 possessions this year and has taken 87 marks. He is the classic a ball-winning halfback and loves to turn teams on the bounce, averaging 5 rebound 50s a game.
Plus he’s been a great mentor for younger defenders like Tom Cole and Liam Duggan, who have taken their games to the next level under Hurn’s wing.
Josh Kennedy will join Hurn to run out for another season and will be hoping to extend his record tally of 634 goals for the Eagles.
Kennedy joined the Eagles from Carlton as part of one of the biggest swap deals in Eagles history, with Brownlow medalist Chris Judd leaving the Eagles for the Victorian side.
JK has since gone on to play 238 games for the West Coast and during that time, the two-time Coleman medalist has bagged some vital goals for the Eagles, perhaps the most memorable being that hattrick in the 2018 grand final.
And we’re all breathing a sigh of relief that he’s signed on again for another year, after keeping tight lips over whether he’d be returning tot he club.
The Eagles would dearly miss his presence up top and certainly would struggle to find a worthy replacement to kick pressure goals and twist the momentum in big games.
Another player who can certainly swing momentum is Andrew Gaff, who has also had a ripper of a season.
Gaff just missed out on an All-Australian call up this year, but we’re pretty certain he’ll be picking up this year’s John Worsfold medal after an awesome year in midfield notching an impressive 24 average possessions per game and 4.5 marks per game.
Especially in the absence of Luke Shuey, the 2-time All-Australian has stood up in the big games, to help the Eagles get wins against the big sides like Geelong and St Kilda.
The 28-year-old will now commit himself to the club for another 4 years after activating a contract extension which will likely keep him in blue and amber for the rest of his playing career.
And after missing out on the 2018 finals win, Gaff is hungry to get a flag under his belt with the West Coast.
“We’ve been a very successful club, made a lot of finals series in a row now and that’s something I want to continue to be a part of with a bunch of guys I’ve grown up with since I was 18.” – Andrew Gaff Speaking to WestCoastEagles.com.au.
“Hope for a couple of years I won’t be talked about in trade periods, that’ll be nice and refreshing but it’s really exciting, and looking forward hopefully playing the rest of my career here.” – Gaff to WestCoastEagles.com.au.
We’re very excited to see this trio of Eagles legends pull on the jumper again next year.
Featured Image By Flickerd // Shannon Hurn and Patrick Cripps contest during the AFL round five match between Carlton and West Coast on 21 April 2018 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in Melbourne, Victoria.// (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Shannon_Hurn_and_Patrick_Cripps_contest.jpg) // CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)Download permissions