More rising stars re-commit to Brisbane Lions
AFL: The Brisbane Lions have three more reasons to celebrate after re-signing talented youngsters Harris Andrews, Ben Keays and Sam Skinner.
The announcement of their re-commitment comes just days after in-demand forward Josh Schache inked a new deal and the side won its second of the season - and first at the Gabba - in trouncing Fremantle.
Andrews' was the key signing, with the Lions Academy graduate developing into one of the best key defenders in the league.
The 47-game Queenslander had already been contracted until the end of 2018, but will remain at the Lions now until at least 2021.
Still only 20, but showing maturity beyond his years, Andrews was voted into the leadership group by his teammates in the pre-season.
Brisbane football boss David Noble said: "It was important for us to secure Harris' services.
"As a Queenslander he is a great reflection of our commitment to drafting and retaining local talent.
"Harris will continue to grow as a leader of this club and is a big part of our future."
Keays was the other Queenslander to re-sign. A former state junior captain, the 20-year-old came through the Lions Academy with rising star Eric Hipwood.
The midfielder, who barracked for the Lions after his great-grandfather Fred Keays played for Fitzroy in the 1920s, has played 23 senior games since being drafted in 2015.
"Ben has already shown us some glimpses of his ability and we look forward to him playing many senior games for us," Noble said.
Skinner, from Victoria, is yet to debut after a second knee reconstruction midway through last season, but has shown promise as a backman.
Earlier, Lions star Dayne Zorko said the signing of Schache showed the club was on the right track.
"The boys are so excited that he has recommitted to the club," Zorko told Brisbane radio RSN 927.
"It just gives the other guys who are out of contract, the younger guys, (confidence) if he's staying then we want to stay as well.
"Him re-signing is just huge for the club, with obviously the guys that left a few years ago, for a number two draft pick to want to stay and want to be apart of our future it gives the club great confidence that we are on the right track and we're doing things right."