Daniel Merrett will all but remain a Brisbane Lions player for life after extending his current contract for a further three years.
The new deal will see Queenslander Merrett, 28, remain at the Lions until at least the end of the 2016 AFL Season.
Merrett said the decision to turn his back on free agency and extend his time at Brisbane’s Hyundai Centre was an easy one.
“As a Queensland boy, being able to call myself a Brisbane player for life, it’s pretty amazing,” said Merrett, who has 135 AFL games for the Lions since making his debut in 2005.
“I’m extremely proud of this Club – it’s got a great history and it’s an honour to be a part of it.
“I still feel like my best footy is ahead of me and I’m here to help this team get back to the finals.
“I can only see this team improving, particularly with so many good young players, so I’m jumping on the bandwagon early.”
The announcement is a significant boost for the Club ahead of its 2013 NAB Cup campaign that starts on Saturday against Gold Coast and Hawthorn at Metricon Stadium.
Lions General Manager – Football Operations, Dean Warren, said: “Daniel’s commitment to, and belief in the clubs direction is unquestionable. He was eligible for free agency this year but wanted to complete contract negotiations prior to the start of the season to ensure that it didn’t become a distraction which speaks volumes for his character.
“Daniel is a great success story for the Queensland talent system. He was introduced to the game late but has developed into one of the competitions best key defenders.”