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Giants re-sign rookies and brush off criticism from clubs

GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY have rubbed salt into the wounds of those in the AFL who believe the new Sydney club has been given too many concessions, announcing the long-term signing of seven more players on Wednesday, including Jonathon Patton.

The 2011 No. 1 draft pick, as well as Will Hoskin-Elliott, Andrew Phillips, Sam Frost and Dom Tyson extended their deals until the end of the 2015 season. Curtly Hampton and Aidan Corr committed until the end of 2016.

''I never thought about leaving the club, to be honest,'' Patton said. ''I'm very happy here. I think we're going into a pretty special era at GWS.

''We've got a lot of talent here and all the boys are really good blokes. The support staff … have all done an amazing job putting this list together. It's a club you don't want to leave and I think we can do something pretty special in the coming years.''

GWS officials view the signings as proof that player welfare, a focus for the club, was a vital consideration for the players and, in most cases, the players' parents, in choosing to stay in Sydney.

It's the best possible response to the likes of Hawthorn president Andrew Newbold, who said GWS had ''indigestion'' from having so many draft picks and Sydney's cost-of-living allowance was ''outdated''.


''The actual clubs created the establishment rules of this club,'' coach Kevin Sheedy said on Wednesday. They all voted 'yes' to put this team and us in place, every one of us.

''They've got their chance to win premierships. Hawthorn had a chance to win last year. They didn't. The Swans did. Everyone's getting a chance. It's not the English Premier League where only four get a chance. When we peak hopefully we can pick up a premiership or two. I think there's a little bit of an overreaction.''

GWS chief David Matthews said the message from some Melbourne clubs was: ''We're happy for you to be in the competition, we just don't want you to be any good.''

''[Other clubs] would have banked on a number of these guys not wanting to extend,'' Matthews said. ''It's an exciting day for us. It'll be a disappointing day for a lot of Melbourne clubs.

''The point is, we're in a competition and we can't keep apologising for being in a competition. We're not going to apologise for beating the Swans on Sunday night [in the NAB Cup] or becoming a powerful club over time. We don't expect to have to continue to defend rules or opportunities to build this club.''

Matthews said the list establishment rules were ''only as strong as our ability to develop and retain our young players''. ''Many people were sceptical that we could retain the talent that we've been able to acquire. I think we've proved them wrong. We've signed or re-signed nearly half our young playing list to long-term contracts, which is a great endorsement of the Giants.''

Also, club membership has doubled from last year to 10,381.