Reigning West Coast Eagles John Worsfold medallist Elliot Yeo has generated some pre-Christmas excitement by signing a lengthy contract extension.
The athletic utility player, who earned his maiden all-Australian selection in 2017, has penned a five-year contract extension, linking him to the Eagles until the end of the 2023 season.
It is a significant outcome for both Yeo and the club as he looms as an important cog in the Eagles re-generation as they embark on a new era – after a brand re-launch in November, the switch to play home games at Optus Stadium and the pending move to a state-of-the-art training and administration base at Lathlain Park.
Yeo, 24, has played 80 games since opting to return to his home town in 2014 – after two seasons and 27 games with Brisbane – and has developed into one of the club’s most important players. Playing across half-back or through the midfield, the powerful and athletic Yeo has the capacity to break open games with his speed and strength.
“It’s a great feeling to have the contract settled at this early stage so I can concentrate on the pre-season and preparing for 2018,” Yeo said.
“When I came to the club four years ago it was about being around my family and that has definitely helped me both on- and off-field.
“I have really enjoyed being home and the club has been great for me.
“It’s a really exciting time for the club with so much happening as well as and a very different looking squad. We’ve brought in a lot of new players over the last couple of years and I look forward to being a part of the new era.
“It’s always a bit sad to see blokes like Pridda (Matt Priddis), Buts (Sam Butler), Mitch (Sam Mitchell) and Drew (Drew Petrie) retire, but we have some really talented young players ready to come through and now as one of the more senior players I am looking forward to taking on a bit more responsibility.”
Yeo is the archetypal midfielder at 190cm and 87kg and with Priddis and Mitchell vacating the centre square, he could spend more time in the club’s engine room in 2018. To this point of his career he has oscillated between half-back and the midfield.
Craig Vozzo, General Manager – Football, said the club was delighted to have Yeo commit to a long-term deal.
“Clearly, Elliot is a very important player for us and we expect him to be central to our short- and long-term plans, so it makes sense to sign him on a long-term deal,” Vozzo said.
“To have him committed to the club until at least the end of the 2023 season is a terrific outcome for both Elliot and the club.
“Although Elliot won the John Worsfold Medal in 2017, we believe he has his best football ahead of him and we are all excited about that.
“He also has an important role to play with the leadership of our young players and he is continuing grow in that respect as well.”