Sheppard inks long-term Eagles deal

14 March 2019 07:33:14 EST

West Coast defender Brad Sheppard is set to finish his career as a one-club player after inking a new contract through to the end of 2022.

The 27-year-old has secured his long-term future ahead of the new season, having ended the 2018 campaign with mixed emotions.

Though the Eagles won the premiership by beating Collingwood, Sheppard was ruled out for the Grand Final with a serious left hamstring injury he had picked up in the qualifying final.

Sheppard said it had been a "no-brainer" to agree his new contract, adding: "The club's shown a lot of faith in me in the early part of my career and I feel like now I'm an established member of the team.

"I'm really happy to be able to play at this great footy club for a further three years to take me into my 13th year.

"I've been counting down the days for round one and I'm really excited about this year, because I love playing footy and representing the club and putting on the guernsey."

Sheppard, who has played 154 games for the Eagles, has finished in the top 10 of the club's best and fairest in each of the past four seasons.

He made his debut against Hawthorn in Round 7, 2010.

Meanwhile, North Melbourne believe key defender Robbie Tarrant will be able to play against Fremantle in round one after undergoing surgery on his AC joint last month.

The Kangaroos are without veteran Scott Thompson (suspension) at Optus Stadium, while Majak Daw is recovering from pelvis injuries and Sam Durdin (finger) is set to miss the game.

Brad Scott's side conceded 123 points against Port Adelaide in their final JLT Community Series game and are keen to see Tarrant in their side for the 24th March clash.

Running defender Marley Williams is in some doubt after sitting out the second half of Saturday's game due to a minor calf issue.

North Melbourne are 500/1 to win the Grand Final.

The Kangaroos are 3/4 to win their first game of the season against Fremantle, who are 23/20.

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