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Himmelberg shuns free agency to sign monster deal with GWS


One of the biggest free agency fish is off the market, with Harry Himmelberg agreeing to terms on a monster six-year deal to stay at GWS. can exclusively reveal Himmelberg signed this week, locking himself in until the end of 2029 and shunning interest from rival clubs.

The 27-year-old was one of the hottest free agents on the market this year, partly due to his talents as a key back, but also because he can play forward.

A genuine swingman, it’s understood the Giants will officially reveal Himmelberg’s signature as early as this week.

A first-round selection in 2015 who grew up in Wagga Wagga before moving to Canberra, Himmelberg has long been on the wish list for rival clubs. But in recent weeks, these clubs have become gradually more resigned to the probability he will re-sign at GWS.

He will be 33 when the deal expires. Rival clubs believe the contract is worth roughly an average of $800,000 per year.

On Wednesday, the Herald Sun revealed Toby Greene’s role in convincing Himmelberg to stay via a lavish dinner at Sydney restaurant Mr Wong.

If the ladder stays the same, the Giants will have Picks 8 and 13 in November's National Draft. Part of their contingency planning included a compensation pick for Himmelberg and then using the three selections to make a play for Pick 1.

But with Himmelberg now locked away, GWS' list boss Jason McCartney will need to get creative to snare the club's second consecutive Pick 1.

The news is a huge boost for the in-form Giants and Adam Kingsley in his first year as coach. Due to the dearth of young talent afforded in its inception, the club has regularly lost key players at the end of most seasons.

Some have gone as free agents – such as Jeremy Cameron, even though GWS matched Geelong’s bid and he left in a trade – while others have simply been lured by more money and opportunity elsewhere, such as Jye Caldwell.

But Himmelberg’s commitment is a vote of confidence in the direction of the Giants under new leadership and further evidence McCartney has rebalanced the books in recent years.

In a recent interview with the Daily Telegraph, Himmelberg said he’s happiest in defence.

“It’s definitely easier with a little bit of consistency in your role,” Himmelberg said.

“I don’t mind switching wherever the team needs me, but continuity really helps and working on the back of your teammates is important in modern footy.

“(Intercept marking) is part of our system and getting to know each other and our positioning. That’s what you want to be doing, turning the footy over, not letting the opposition get marks on you. I’ve had to work pretty hard on that this year.

“We’ve also got a bit of continuity now as far as the same back six that’s rolling through every week. Going into finals, that’s exactly what you need.”

Himmelberg has played 145 games since debuting in 2016.

Sports-News Greater Western Sydney

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