The Brisbane Lions have locked away the comeback kids on the eve of the season with Nakia Cockatoo and Noah Answerth committing to new deals.

Cockatoo has extended his deal to the end of 2023 while Answerth is locked away for another three years.

Answerth’s return to the side throughout the AAMI Series matches has been one of the highlights of the pre-season for the Lions and the Club’s fans.

The tough as nails defender was a revelation in his first season at the Gabba after being taken with pick 55 in the 2018 NAB Draft.

He was the Club’s fifth selection that year but the first of the new blood to make his AFL debut after forcing his way into the side for the Round 6 QClash victory over the Suns.

Once in the side he didn’t look back as he played every remaining game for the season, including two finals, the Lions return to September action after a decade long absence.

However, the following year a suspension from a scratch match delayed his start. When he returned to the senior side, he managed eight games before suffering a groin injury on a wet night in Cairns against the Sydney Swans that ruled him out of the finals and the entire 2021 season.

Lions GM of Football Danny Daly said Answerth had impressed everyone at the Club with his great determination and commitment to his rehabilitation and the hard work had paid off with his pre-season form.


“We saw what he could do in his first year at the Club and are all looking forward to witnessing what he may achieve over the next three years,’’ he said.

“If what we have seen throughout this pre-season is anything to go by, he’s only going to keep getting better.’’

Answerth said he was grateful and humbled by the faith the Lions had shown in him, and putting pen to paper was a simple decision.

“Coming in as late draft pick and the club having faith in me to select me really meant a lot to me and then again with the support they gave me while I was injured, so I was happy to re-sign’’ he said.

“I love it here, I love coming to work every day, it’s a great environment and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.’’

Cockatoo has become the latest success story for the Lions Strength and Conditioning team.

He arrived at the Lions at the end of 2020 having last played at senior level in Round 3, 2018.

He battled hamstring issues in his first year at the Lions but eventually built a block of fitness in the VFL and forced his way into the senior side for the final seven games of the year, including the Club’s two finals.


He returned for his second pre-season in superb shape and has been a standout on the track and in the AAMI Series matches.

“Nakia has so much power and explosiveness, he can really impact the contest,’’ Daly said.

“We’ve already seen flashes of what he is capable of and believe that with all the hard work he has put in to get his body right, he can become a very important player for us.’’

Any Lions fans who have attended pre-season training will attest there has been a beaming smile plastered to Cockatoo’s face right throughout every session, no matter how extreme the conditions were.

“I’m just really excited,’’ he said.

“It felt like last year I was able to get some consistency back in my training and it really felt good to be able to build my form in the VFL and it gave me a lot of confidence to be able to work my way into the senior side.

“I feel really positive about what lies ahead, and I am really looking forward to the next two years and improving on my game.

“It is a great place to be, we’ve got a good squad of players here, everyone chips in and I feel like there is a great work ethic at this Club.’’