AFL 2018: Jeremy McGovern turns back on free agency, signs long-term deal to stay at West Coast

WEST Coast has received a massive boost heading towards September with All-Australian defender Jeremy McGovern singing a long-term contract extension.

McGovern has turned his back on a move to Fremantle or a Victorian club by putting pen to paper on a five-year deal.

The defender was set to become a restricted free agent at the end of the season but has signed a deal worth more than $1.1 million per season, reports 9 News Perth.

“It’s good news; I’m just stoked to be staying at the club,” McGovern said today.

“I love the people at the club, the direction the club is taking and it’s exciting to be a part of that.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity the club has given me and it was a gut decision to extend my contract. It would have been nice to have locked it away a bit earlier, but these things take time.

“I’m pleased it is done and now I can focus on the rest of the season. Hopefully my decision puts a few West Coast fans at ease.”

West Coast GM of football Craig Vozzo was understandably thrilled with the news.

“This is a terrific result for both the football club and Jeremy,” Vozzo said.

“He is a very important member of our squad, leadership group and an outstanding player.

“It is a very significant decision and gives us some great stability going forward. He’s a popular member of the team and one of the AFL’s premier defenders. We have also been really pleased with his continued growth as a leader.

“At 26 years of age, we believe Jeremy has a lot of football ahead of him and we look forward to contributing to his continued growth both on and off the field.” senior reporter Tom Morris wrote in May that McGovern was looking for at least a five-year deal.

Morris also reported that McGovern’s decision was set to hinge on his tight relationship with West Coast coach Adam Simpson and his love of the club.

Daniel Howe has been suspended for striking Patrick Cripps, as well as referred to the tribunal for a trip on Zac Fisher.

HAWTHORN’S Daniel Howe is facing double trouble from Match Review Officer Michael Christian, after being offered a two-week suspension for one incident and being referred to the tribunal for another.

The Hawks tagger was cited for striking Carlton star Patrick Cripps in the first quarter, which saw him receive the offer of a fortnight’s ban.

WITH just two wins separating fourth and 12th, the ladder is incredibly tight. And it means after disappointing losses this past weekend, two teams we thought were safe could miss the top eight entirely.

There are five rounds left in the home and away season, so we need to look at how every team is shaping up.

This is The Run Home, where analyses every club’s remaining fixture and tries to predict how the rest of the year will play out.