Fremantle have secured Alex Pearce for a further two seasons, with the star defender and leadership group member signing a two-year contract extension that will see him at the club until at least the end of the 2022 season.

Pearce’s original contract runs through to the end of 2020, with the extension effectively seeing the 24-year-old at Freo for at least another three years.

Pearce was drafted to Fremantle at pick no.37 in the 2013 National Draft and has played 53 games to date.

He was added to Fremantle’s leadership group in 2018 as he made his return from almost two seasons on the sidelines due to a broken leg, and he remains the youngest of Fremantle’s leaders.

Pearce said he was looking forward to seeing what the developing list can deliver in the coming years.

“I’m really excited to be a part of this group,” Pearce said.

“I’ve really enjoyed my time in Perth and with Fremantle for the past six years and I’m really excited about what this group can achieve.

“I’m just stoked that I’ll be a part of what we’ve got in store.

“We showed in the first half of the year what we can do. There are a lot of young guys coming through and I feel like, with a bit of luck and keeping some guys out on the park next year, it can be really exciting for us.”

The 201cm backman was having a career-best year until going down with an ankle injury mid-season in Fremantle’s win against Collingwood at the MCG.

Pearce optimistic on return date

According to many football commentators, Pearce was in All Australian form prior to the injury in round 11.

Pearce said that the aim wasn’t to return at the same level, but to continue his improvement.

“I was obviously quite happy with how I was playing and my personal form,” Pearce said.

“That gives me really good confidence going into next year, that I can do that again. 

“I guess with every little set back that I’ve had with extended time off, my goal hasn’t been to get back to that form, it’s to really take it to a new level and keep improving. 

“I’m confident that the amount of pre-season and gym work that I’ll be able to get through, I’ll be able to improve as an athlete and improve as a footballer, which will hopefully, have some really good results next year.”

Fremantle list manager Mark Micallef said that Pearce is continuing to grow on and off the field, highlighting his recent work to help develop Fremantle’s young defenders playing in the WAFL for Peel.

“Alex’s leadership capabilities are outstanding. He impresses everyone he talks to at the football club,” Micallef said.

“His demeanour with the younger guys is fantastic and his work with Peel highlights the character that he has. 

“So we’re really excited that he’s signed on for a further two seasons. He’s someone that provides great leadership to our football club and someone who, until his injury, was in All Australian form. 

“We believe that his best football is still ahead of him and we have really strong hopes for Alex, so locking him for a further two seasons is a great result.”