McCluggage commits up to 2021

22 December 2017 16:50:02 GMTPlus10

Former No.3 draft pick Hugh McCluggage has inked a three-year contract extension with the Brisbane, with the Lions having secured the 19-year-old midfielder through to the end of 2021.

McCluggage impressed last season in his debut campaign, playing 18 games for Chris Fagan's side and earning a Rising Star nomination.

He said: "I'm really excited to stay here for another three years and see what we can do. I like where the club is heading and the direction we are heading in."

The skilful McCluggage raised his game this year following a stunning under-18 season in 2016 that pushed him into the top rungs of the AFL Draft.

Fagan is delighted the youngster has re-committed, saying: "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."

Brisbane will now look to re-sign impressive half-back Alex Witherden, who overcame a broken leg to finish last season in superb form.

Meanwhile, Essendon defender Jordan Riley hopes to be back in full training in February following ankle surgery.

The Oakleigh Chargers product was hurt in training last week, and Bombers high performance manager Justin Crow said his operation was a success.

Riley, who averaged 15.5 disposals and 6.7 marks in 11 VFL games this year, is set to resume full training within eight weeks.

Essendon are 18/1 to win the 2018 Grand Final, while the Bombers are 5/1 to finish in the top four.

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