AFL superstar Whitfield to stay at Giants

No.1 AFL draft pick Lachie Whitfield has signed a long-term contract extension with GWS.
No.1 AFL draft pick Lachie Whitfield has signed a long-term contract extension with GWS.

Gun midfielder Lachie Whitfield says Greater Western Sydney's recent run of long-term signings of key players enticed him to ink his own seven-year deal with the club.

Whitfield joined the Giants as pick No.1 in the 2012 AFL draft and has gone on to play 133 games in his seven seasons in the orange and charcoal.

GWS also re-signed newly appointed captain Stephen Coniglio and vice captain Josh Kelly to multi-year deals earlier this year.

That their wealth of experience and talent is locked in for so long makes it incredibly hard for other players to leave the club, Whitfield says.

"That's what helped make my decision so easy - speaking to Cogs and Toby knowing they're going to be here long term, and Josh as well," he told reporters on Monday.

"We've got a really good core of players that we can build a team around and knowing that we're going to have 5, 6, 7 years of that is exciting, and hopefully 5, 6, 7 years of success."

With Whitfield locked away until 2027, the Giants' main focus turns to re-signing Coleman medalist Jeremy Cameron and speedster Zac Williams, who are both out of contract at the end of next season.

Whitfield says he's pushing for both of them to stay with the team he's come to call his family.

"It's going to be tough. I know there's obviously going to be a lot of speculation for those too and there's probably going to be deals from the Melbourne clubs that are going to be quite enticing, but we're real tight family up here and I'm hoping that they will stay."

"I know I'm in their ear now."

Of his own resigning, Whitfield says the reaction from his teammates was heartening.

"To see the excitement on other people's face when you tell them you're re-signing it makes you feel really good.

"We've got a lot of success in front of us so that's obviously a driving factor in me staying here."

"I'm super excited to be here until I'm 33 years old and grey probably."

Australian Associated Press