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Robinson and Payne locked in the Lions den

Brisbane Lions tough nut Mitch Robinson has extended his contract for a further two years, remaining in the den until at least the end of the 2021 season.

Robinson arrived at the Lions in late 2014 after he was offered a lifeline by CEO Greg Swann following his delisting at Carlton.

Remarkably, the next season he was recognised as a joint winner of the Lions’ Merrett-Murray Medal award as the Club’s Best and Fairest.

Robinson said he wants to continue to repay the faith shown in him by Swann and the Club.

“For the team that gave me a second lifeline, I’m very grateful to them,” he said.

“Thankfully Greg Swann saw something in me to offer me a contract.

“I feel like I’m always indebted to them.”

The 30-year-old is in arguably career-best form and is one of the Lions’ most consistent performers.

In 2019 he is averaging 21 disposals and five tackles a game and is revered by teammates and fans for his passion every time he pulls on the Lions guernsey.

“We are going through some good patches this year and the future looks bright,” Robinson said.

“We are continually improving, and I want to be a part of that.”

Robinson is one of the more colourful personalities at the Club, having signed on as a professional e-sports Fortnite player last year as well as running his own successful podcast “Rip Through It” as well as offering quality haircuts at his home barbershop. 

General Manager of Football David Noble said Robinson has come a long way in his five years at the Club.

“Mitch has matured in the manner he has gone about improving his game the past 18 months,” Noble said.

“He brings great energy, is versatile and has a real sense of team-first. His contribution to the team is valued strongly internally.”

Joining Robinson in the den until at least the end of 2022 is second -year player Jack Payne.

The 19-year-old is still to make his debut after arriving at the Club with Pick No. 54 at the 2017 NAB AFL Draft. The Hyundai Help for Kids Lions Academy product has battled shin injuries for the majority of the past two seasons but is now back to full fitness.

Noble said the Club had been impressed with Payne’s attitude towards his injury setbacks. 

“He has been really diligent in his rehabilitation,” Noble said.

“Jack’s a great product out of our Academy and we believe his speed and size offers great versatility to his game.

“His form has been terrific in NEAFL and he continues to apply pressure to our AFL team.” 

The Lions’ AFL and NEAFL teams will both play at the Gabba this weekend.

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs