Greater Western Sydney midfielder Jacob Hopper has signed a two-year contract extension, spurning the advances of rival clubs.
Hopper will remain with the Giants at least until the end of 2019. He had attracted strong interest from several clubs, including Carlton and St Kilda.
The Giants continue to sweat over the signature of prime onballer Josh Kelly, who is weighing up massive offers from several clubs. This includes a nine-year, $10 million offer from North Melbourne.
Hopper, a product of the Giants academy who had played with North Ballarat in the TAC Cup, has played 20 matches in his first two years.
“I love the club and how they’ve embraced me and my family so it was an easy decision to recommit,” he said.
“This is my home and where I want to play football. I’m so excited for what’s to come with this group and I absolutely want to be a part of it.
“Heading into finals, there is a really good buzz around the place and we’re all excited for the challenge ahead.”
Hopper’s signature is a boost for the Giants ahead of their qualifying final against Adelaide on Thursday night.
Giants football-department chief Wayne Campbell said Hopper, pick No.7 in the 2015 national draft, was an important cog.
“Having Jacob extend his contract on the eve of the finals is a real boost for the club,” he said.
“He’s a great kid who has shown real leadership. He’s had some setbacks this season but we know it’s made him stronger and more resilient.
“We know what he’s capable of on the field and we are looking forward to seeing him go from strength to strength in the coming years.”
The Giants have a crucial selection to make this week, with struggling veteran Steve Johnson fighting to retain his spot in the side. Former Docker Matt de Boer, who has a modest finals record, could replace the three-time premiership Cat.