Greater Western Sydney GIANTS co-captain Callan Ward has signed a five-year contract extension that will make him a GIANT for life.
The 25-year-old’s new deal will see him remain at the club until at least the end of 2021.
Since joining the GIANTS for their inaugural season in 2012, Ward has led the AFL’s youngest club on and off the field as co-captain and continues to be one of the club’s most influential players.
Ward has played 143 games and will become the first GIANT to play 100 games for the club during the 2016 AFL Premiership season.
After claiming the inaugural Kevin Sheedy Medal as GIANTS Club Champion in 2012, Ward has finished in the top three of that award every year since, while receiving a career-high 19 Brownlow medal votes in 2015.
Ward said the decision to make a long-term commitment to the GIANTS was straight forward.
“This is where I want to finish my career so I had no hesitation in putting pen to paper,” Ward said.
“The club has come a long way since I first got here and I’m very confident we’re heading in the right direction both on and off the field.
“So many players, along with Leon Cameron, have re-committed to this club because we are proud of what we’re building and understand the opportunity that lies ahead of us.”
GIANTS Chief Executive Officer David Matthews said the club had no hesitation in offering Ward the chance to remain a GIANT for life.
“Callan is a tremendous leader of our young club and his decision to commit long term is further evidence of that,” Matthews said.
“We are delighted he has made such a strong statement on the eve of a very important season for the GIANTS.
“The number of players who have re-signed with the club in recent times clearly illustrates the extent to which the playing group has bought into the football program and culture set by Leon Cameron.
“Players such as Callan Ward, Jeremy Cameron and Dylan Shiel are quickly becoming household names in Western Sydney and Canberra and all point to a bright future for our club.”
Coach Leon Cameron has welcomed Ward’s contract extension.
“To have Callan commit to playing out his career at the GIANTS is a tremendous show of faith in our young club. He’s a ferocious player, a terrific leader and I have no doubt he’ll be an integral part of success here at the GIANTS in the years to come.”