The St George Illawarra Dragons on Monday announced the re-signing of centre Euan Aitken until at least the end of the 2017 season.
The Merimbula-Pambula Bulldogs junior is a graduate of the Dragons High Performance Unit who made his debut this past round against the Canberra Raiders at GIO Stadium, Canberra on Saturday.
Aitken, 19, was named the Dragons Paul McGregor NYC ‘Player of the Year’ last season in an impressive campaign which also saw him selected into both the Junior Kangaroos and initial NSW Blues U20 State of Origin squads.
“It’s exciting news and I am happy to have the opportunity to continue being at the Dragons having worked my way up previously from their junior grades,” said Aitken.
“It’s been a tough and challenging pre-season for me following the call-up to train alongside the first-grade squad but it has definitely made me a better player for it.
“It is every player’s dream to play first-grade and having the chance to do just that over the weekend against the Raiders was a great experience.
“My main focus now is to continue my development under the guidance of Head Coach Paul McGregor and play my part in contributing to the team.”
Aitken is now the ninth member of the Dragons National Youth Competition team who reached the 2014 Preliminary Final to have re-signed with the Club.
“Euan is a junior product who has come through our system at an early age having been identified initially by our High Performance Unit staff,” said Dragons Recruitment Manager Ben Haran.
“He was invited to train alongside the first-grade squad during the pre-season and impressed in his debut against the Raiders over the weekend.
“Euan now holds the record for the most ever metres for the most tackle breaks gained by any St George Illawarra Dragons player on debut.
“We look forward to him continuing his development and see him as having a bright future here at the Club.”