GOLD Coast Suns youngster Harley Bennell has gone from playing a big role in his family to playing a big role for his fledgling AFL club.
And after an outstanding 37-possession, two goal performance against Fremantle at Metricon Stadium on Saturday, the Suns have moved quickly to extend Bennell's contract, re-signing him until the end of the 2014 season.
He joins other young guns David Swallow, Sam Day, Tom Lynch, Brandon Matera, Jeremy Taylor, Luke Russell, Jaeger O'Meara and Alex Sexton who have committed to the club for another two years.
Bennell, whose issues with homesickness have been well documented, said he was happy he had been able to step up in the absence of captain Gary Ablett, and also to have extended his time with the Suns.
"The first 12 months here were very hard for me. I missed seeing my little sister growing up, and watching my friends and little brother playing footy," the West Australian youngster said. "When my older brother (Johnny) got drafted (by Collingwood in 2008 - he didn't play an AFL game) I had to play a big role in the family."
Suns general manager of football operations Marcus Ashcroft said re-signing the young stars, "Gives us great confidence that the players believe in our program and are determined to deliver success for the Gold Coast Football Club and our fans".
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