The Brisbane Lions have advised five players they will not be offered a contract for the 2021 AFL season.
Sam Skinner, Matthew Eagles, Toby Wooller, Jacob Allison and Corey Lyons were informed of the decisions during end-of-season meetings carried out this week.
They join veteran Allen Christensen, who retired on Wednesday, as off-season departures.
Cedric Cox has also informed the Club he is seeking a move to Western Australia for family reasons.
General Manager of Football David Noble paid tribute to each of the players’ commitment to the Club.
An important factor in the Lions’ march up the AFL ladder in recent years has been the depth of talent at the Club.
The strong performances of the NEAFL side had helped push standards and created strong competition for positions in the senior side and Noble said the departing players were pivotal to that.
In 2019 the side went through the NEAFL season undefeated on the way to a 76-point Grand Final triumph over Southport.
In 2020 the NEAFL season was suspended but the Lions continued to play matches against AFL reserves sides, ensuring competition for positions in the senior side remained strong.
Noble thanked the players for their service to the club and wished them all the best in the future.
‘When we inform players they are not remaining with the club, it is difficult, when it is quality young men that have worked hard to improve and added to your culture and environment it is even more difficult,” he said.
“We wish all our departing players, their partners and their families good wishes and thank them sincerely for their efforts.’
Skinner endured a devastating run of injuries throughout his time at the Lions but became an inspiration to his teammates as an example of resilience and commitment as he fought back from three knee reconstructions to play three senior games.
Academy product Allison was drafted in 2016 having been named an Under 18s All Australian in 2015. He went on to play ten senior games for the Club and as well as being a part of the NEAFL premiership side and continued to strive for AFL selection.
Matt Eagles added two senior games in 2020 to take his carer tally to six. He won two NEAFL premierships with the Lions and was named the Andrew Ireland Medal winner as the best on ground in the 2019 Grand Final. He has been a wonderful teammate, fan favourite and it has been a joy to watch his journey.
Corey Lyons was recruited with the final pick of the 2016 NAB AFL Draft and although he did not make a senior appearance became a star of the NEAFL, where his contested work and huge possession count was integral to the Lions’ success. Corey’s willingness to help others improve at our Club has left an indelible mark on our culture.
Key forward Toby Wooller was taken by the Brisbane Lions with Pick No. 41 at the 2017 AFL Draft. He did not manage to make a senior appearance but was a member of the undefeated 2019 NEAFL side. Whilst Toby’s first year and a half were interrupted with injury he has continued to always push himself to improve.
Originally from Hall’s Creek in remote Western Australia, Cedric Cox quickly caught the eye with his speed and skill after being taken with pick 24 in the 2016 draft. He managed 13 games in his first three years at the club but was unable to add to his tally in 2020 and has expressed his desire to return home.
The Brisbane Lions playing list will now go on annual leave and will not be available for media until January 6.