during the round 23 AFL match between the Sydney Swans and the Carlton Blues at Sydney Cricket Ground on August 26, 2017 in Sydney, Australia.

Carlton have kicked off their John Nicholls Medal count by announcing the signatures of five players for season 2018 and beyond.

Dale Thomas, Kade Simpson and Jed Lamb have all signed one-year deals, while Jack Silvagni has signed until the end of the 2019 season, and Sam Docherty has extended until the end of 2020.

Carlton’s Head of Football Andrew McKay said each of the five re-signings will be important members of the Blues going forward.

“Each of these players has an important role to play in the future of the Carlton Football Club,” McKay told carltonfc.com.au.

“Kade and Sam continue to set the standard around the Club as members of our leadership group.

“The versatility of both Jed and Dale add a different dimension to our side, and Jack continues to make important steps in his development each time he runs out in the navy blue.

“Dale Thomas is to be commended for the manner in which he handled the speculation about his playing future and the unselfish act in removing the trigger clause in his previous contract. He has certainly earned this new deal and we’re pleased that he will be at the Club for at least another year to impart his vast football knowledge on our youngsters.

“The signing of these players demonstrates our commitment to them and their commitment and belief in the vision for the future of Carlton.”

Simpson will enter his 16th season in the AFL in 2018, and will play his 300th game next year if he’s able to play 14 matches.

Thomas has signed on for his fifth season as a Blue, and will look to build on his 61 matches for Carlton after moving across from Collingwood at the end of the 2013 season.

Docherty was rewarded with an All-Australian selection in 2017, and has played 92 games in his career, and 79 of those in blue.

Since joining Carlton in the 2015 National Draft, Silvagni has played 28 games for the Blues, and only missed two matches in 2017.

Lamb is gearing up for his third season with the Blues in 2018, after playing 26 games in his first two seasons with the club.