HAWTHORN has rewarded gun midfielder Jaeger O’Meara for his stellar start to the season with a new four-year deal.

The 25-year-old will now feature in the brown and gold until at least the end of 2023.

O’Meara has stepped up in the absence of injured trio Liam Shiels (hamstring), Tom Mitchell (broken leg) and Shaun Burgoyne (hamstring) to produce career-best numbers, averaging 28.3 possessions, one goal, 7.7 tackles, 6.3 clearances and 5.7 inside 50s.

“We’re thrilled to have Jaeger recommit for another four seasons,” said Hawks football manager Graham Wright.

“He’s become such an important player for us, not only through his on-field performance but also from a leadership sense as well.”

“He sets a great example for his teammates with his professionalism and work ethic.”

“We’re excited to watch his continued development over the coming years.”

Selected by Gold Coast with the first pick in the 2011 mini draft, O’Meara wasted little time in making his mark on the competition, winning the Rising Star award in 2013 and the AFL Coaches’ Association’s best young player award in 2014.

O’Meara crossed over to Hawthorn during the 2016 trade period, with the Hawks parting ways with pick 10 and a future second-round selection for the smooth-moving midfielder.

The deal was the subject of great scrutiny given that O’Meara hadn’t played at AFL level in the two seasons prior to the trade because of knee issues.

However, he has shown in recent times that his body is capable of withstanding the rigours of AFL football. The West Australian product missed last Sunday’s five-point loss to St Kilda with a hip complaint, but played 21 matches last year and the first three of season 2019.

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