Young Lions Darcy Gardiner and Oscar McInerney have signed on with the Lions, with Gardiner recommitting until 2022 and McInerney until 2021.
Gardiner has played 82 games for the Lions after being drafted at pick No.22 in the 2013 AFL Draft and played every game this season up until Round 21 where a shoulder dislocation ended his year.
Gardiner finished fourth is the Lions’ best and fairest count this season.
“I did not hesitate at all to extend my contract,” Gardiner told the club’s website.
“With Fages on board, I’ve felt the last few years the team is heading in the right, positive direction and it is something I want to be part of.
“I think in the next few years we’ll be challenging teams and it’s a really exciting place to be.
“The team has improved so much and we only grow with confidence each week.”
GM of football David Noble praised Gardiner and his development.
“We are really pleased to extend Darcy’s contract now as we have seen him grow both on and off the field this year,” Noble told lions.com.au.
“Darcy became a crucial part of our backline this year with his composure and ability to play various roles for us.
“With him extending his contract now, it will allow the continued growth of the backline of which Darcy fills an important role.”
McInerney was the 37th pick in the 2017 rookie draft and made his debut in Round 6 this season, playing out the year in the senior team.
“I was over the moon when my manager told me that the Club wanted me to sign on longer,” McInerney said.
“I really wasn’t expecting it, it just makes me so excited for next year.
“I still can’t believe I have realised a childhood dream of playing AFL and to then have the opportunity each week to contribute and play with the boys.
“I just love it up here.”
Noble also commended on McInerney’s signature.
“Oscar is a very popular teammate who works extremely hard at his craft both as a forward and a ruckman,” Noble said.
“He bought a different dimension to our forward line this year and his contribution as a selfless teammate does not go unnoticed.”
“He is an exciting talent that will only continue to grow and improve in the coming years.”