MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 16: Hugh McCluggage of the Lions handballs from Daniel Rioli of the Tigers during the round 17 AFL match between the Richmond Tigers and the Brisbane Lions at Etihad Stadium on July 16, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

Hugh McCluggage has extended his contract with the Brisbane Lions for another three years, and will be tied to the club until at least the end of the 2021 season.

McCluggage, who was drafted with the third overall pick last year and played 18 games in his debut season, told he’s thrilled to be re-committing.

“I’m really excited to stay here for another three years and see what we can do,” McCluggage said.

“I like where the club is heading and the direction we are heading in.

“It’s pretty exciting your first year, you run on a bit of adrenaline.

“The debut was obviously a really big highlight. Being able to do that with Bez [Jarrod Berry] as well was awesome. Winning that game against Essendon, a really close game, all the wins you savour.

In his 18 matches this season, the midfielder averaged 15.1 disposals, 3.9 marks and 2.0 tackles per game.

Brisbane’s General Manager of Football David Noble told the club’s website McCluggage’s character reflects those values of the Lions, and is excited to see the young gun sign on.

“Hugh is an outstanding individual with high personal values and work ethic, which reflects the environment we are creating,” Noble said.

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“It is an indication of our Club moving forward together as we continue to gain respect and relevance in the competition.”

Lions coach Chris Fagan also weighed in on the signing, and is excited to see just how much the 19-year-old can progress over the next few years.

“I think it’s great news that Hugh’s agreed to sign on for another three years at the Club,” Fagan added.

“He made a fantastic start to his career last year, playing a lot of senior footy. There’s a lot more of that ahead for him.

“He looks a lot stronger and fitter than he was last year and for him to show that amount of faith in the Club, says a lot about where we are going to and where he thinks we’re headed.

“He, along with a lot of the other young men, are really excited about our prospects. They’re here for the long haul.”