Hawks extend contracts for big three - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hawks extend contracts for big three

06/05/2010 03:12:44 PM Comments (0)

Having signed a new contract with Hawthorn, superstar Lance Franklin said he never considered leaving the club for the bright lights of the Gold Coast - or anywhere else.

Stuck in a five-game losing streak, Hawthorn enjoyed their best day of 2010 on Thursday, announcing that Franklin, fellow key forward Jarryd Roughead and skipper Sam Mitchell had all signed contract extensions.

Franklin and Roughead - both touted as key targets for Gold Coast ahead of its 2011 entry into the competition - agreed to new three- and four-year deals respectively.

Mitchell put his name to a new two-year deal with the option of a third.

Franklin and Roughead - both 23 - were the Hawks' top two selections in the 2004 national draft and played key roles in the 2008 premiership triumph.

Their decisions will be a further blow to the new Gold Coast and Greater Western Sydney franchises.

"Obviously I wanted to get a deal done with Hawthorn, I never wanted to leave the club," Franklin said.

"I was very excited to sign for three years. I started here with (coach Alastair Clarkson) when he first got here, and big Roughy too.

"It's exciting times ahead of us. We haven't got off to the best start for the season but we're looking to have a win this week (against West Coast)."

Franklin said he never looked into the issue of offers from rival clubs because "I was never leaving Hawthorn".

"They've been great to me as a young kid when I first got here so I was never going to go," he said.

"Any good player in the AFL is going to get money from other clubs, as in Gold Coast or Sydney, but we've got such a great club here and great players and to win premierships you've got to stick together."

Roughead said he was "really rapt" with his new contract.

"We've been around since 2005 so to get four more years around these blokes is going to be good fun," Roughead said.

"I'm in a little bit of a rut at the moment but I suppose I've just got to get on with it and get out there and do what we've been doing the last few years which is playing some good, consistent footy."

Franklin and Roughead join the likes of Nick Riewoldt (St Kilda), Michael Hurley (Essendon), Trent Cotchin (Richmond) and Jack Ziebell (North Melbourne) as high-profile players who have chosen to stick with their clubs despite being linked to Gold Coast.

Star Geelong duo Gary Ablett and Joel Selwood are also close to inking new deals with the Cats.

Gold Coast have the opportunity to recruit one out-of-contract player from each of the existing 16 clubs.

Clarkson said the stability the three re-signings gave the club would see the Hawks work their way out of their current slump.

"We've worked really hard over the last five years in particular to put together a group of players we think can deliver us silverware," Clarkson said.

"These three guys, as they showed in 2008 and all their footy, they've been stellar players for us for a long period of time.

"We still think they've got so much growth footy in front of them that they've been able to commit to the club and commit to their teammates that they still think there's plenty of life left yet."

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