The Brisbane Lions have advised three players they will not be offered a new AFL contract for next year.

Senior listed players Tom Joyce, Brock Smith and rookie Connor Ballenden were informed of the decision in meetings on Monday.

The Club is interested in offering them VFL playing contracts if they fail to find another AFL home.

They join retirees Grant Birchall and Archie Smith as off-season departures.

General Manager of Football Danny Daly thanked the trio for their service and wished them all the best for their future endeavors.

“It is the toughest part of the job telling young men who have contributed to the Club that there won’t be a spot for them next year,’’ he said.

“All of these guys are talented players and popular teammates, and we are very sad to see them go.

“It is also unfortunate that with two years of disrupted seasons in the second-tier competitions, they didn’t get the same opportunities they would have enjoyed prior to the Covid-19 pandemic.’’

Of the trio only Ballenden, a Lions academy product, appeared at AFL level playing two games in 2020 and adding another game this year.  

Due to Senior list size constraints, the Lions have also been forced to temporarily delist Cam Ellis-Yolmen but have made a commitment to selecting him in the Rookie Draft.

These list changes will allow the Lions to meet the AFL mandate that each club has a minimum of three selections in the 2021 NAB AFL National Draft.