TALENTED Hawthorn youngster Ryan Burton has re-signed with the club until the end of 2020.
The 20-year-old has put pen to paper on a new three-year deal and is keen to be part of a new era at the Hawks.
“I feel like we’re a totally different team from the first four rounds of the season,” Burton said after Saturday’s clash with Geelong.
“We’re playing more consistent footy, and we’re just trying to keep building that continuity within the playing group.
“For me, I’m just trying to enjoy the last few weeks with ‘Hodgey’ (retiring great Luke Hodge) and trying to learn as much as I can from him.”
A contender for this year’s Rising Star awards, the North Adelaide product has played 19 of last 20 games since making his debut in Round 21 last year.
“Both Ryan and the club were eager to secure his future at Hawthorn and we are rapt to have extended his contract for a further two years,” list manager Graham Wright said.
“He has been in terrific form this season and has really cemented his spot in the backline, with the ability to play on a variety of talls and smalls.
“To have Ryan committed to the Hawks until at least 2020 is really pleasing for the club and we look forward to seeing him in the No. 5 for many years to come.”
MEANWHILE, Sydney has also locked away rookie defender Lewis Melican for three years.
Melican, who joined the Swans from Birregurra and the Geelong Falcons through the 2015 Rookie Draft, has played every game since making his debut in Round 5 this year.
“Lewis has been on a gradual improvement curve since arriving at the Swans as a rookie three years ago,” Head of Football Tom Harley said.
“After overcoming a few injuries, he was able to put together a really solid pre-season and force his way into the senior team.
“His poise with the ball, competitive nature and overall character hold him in good stead and we are very happy that he has committed to us for the next three seasons.”