One of the key planks in West Coast’s present and future, full-back Tom Barrass, is set to remain an Eagle for life after signing a five-year contract extension.
The star defender has committed long-term and will be wearing the winged blue and gold guernsey for the remainder of his career.
“I’m really grateful for the opportunity to play on at this footy club,” Barrass said.
“It feels great having some security behind me and knowing that I can focus on building this list going forward, and keeping the environment that’s really healthy for improvement.”
Drafted from Claremont via pick 43 in the 2013 national ballot, Barrass has proven another astute selection by West Coast recruiters and continued the Club’s tradition of developing outstanding key backmen.
The likes of Glen Jakovich, Ashley McIntosh, Darren Glass, Eric Mackenzie and Jeremy McGovern have all been defensive rocks which successful Eagles teams have been built around, and Barrass’ presence has been felt across his 99-game career so far.
No performance was more telling than his job on Collingwood forward Mason Cox in the 2018 Grand Final, following the big American’s preliminary final heroics, and the Eagles’ gripping triumph saw Barrass become a premiership player after 51 career games.
Aged 26, the 197cm tall ranks among the League’s best shutdown and intercept-marking key defenders and is now entering his prime as a leader of West Coast’s backline.
“I’ve been really lucky to have played a lot of footy with some really senior guys,” Barrass said.
“In the leadership space (we) have really good role models and blokes who prompt you to get the best out of yourself every time you come into the club.
“From an on-field player perspective and off-field staffing perspective, my reflection is that I’ve been given all the resources to try and get the best out of myself and have lots of role models in that space, and I’m really grateful for that.”
Since returning to pre-season training earlier than required, Barrass has been energised by the enthusiasm of a youthful West Coast squad ahead of an exciting 2022 campaign.
“The boys are really refreshed, there’s a lot of new talent around the place,” said Barrass, who recently became a father to his first child, Billy.
“There’s some real good talent coming through the young fellas and we’ve got a good list dynamic that there’s enough experience there and we can drive standards and train fundamentals, and all the young kids are sponges these days.”
Meanwhile, one of those emerging talents, second-year midfielder Luke Edwards has also re-signed, adding an extra two seasons to his initial two-year draftee contract.
The South Australian product and son of Adelaide Crows great Tyson played eight matches in his debut season, with the highlight being a composed 27-disposal effort in his second appearance in round 13 against Richmond.
Tom Barrass career highlights:
- Pick 43 in the 2013 NAB AFL Draft from Claremont
- Debut in round 17, 2015 against Sydney at Subiaco Oval
- Rising Star nominee round 23, 2016 after collecting 17 disposals with 10 marks, including six intercept marks, against the Crows at Adelaide Oval
- Emerging Talent Award winner 2016
- Premiership player in 2018
- Fourth place in 2020 Club Champion Award