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In-demand forward Hogan recommits to Melbourne, Lobb stays a Giant

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UPDATED: Gun Melbourne forward Jesse Hogan has resisted the temptation to head home, signing a two-year contract extension tying him to the AFL club until the end of 2019.

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Despite being contracted for 2017, Hogan had been linked with a return to Perth to play with the Dockers, but the 21-year-old said he didn’t want to leave Melbourne.

The Demons’ leading goal-kicker, Hogan said he was believed the club had a big future under new coach Simon Goodwin that he wanted to be part of.

“Melbourne is where I want to be,” he said in a club statement.

“I really like the city and I’m really excited about what we can do together as a footy club.

“Goody (Simon Goodwin) has been great; we’ve got a really close relationship and I think he is going to be great for me personally next year and the rest of the boys as well.”

Hogan, who won the 2015 AFL Rising Star award, said he was relieved to have his future sorted out so he could focus purely on football next season.

Demons general manager of football Josh Mahoney said Hogan’s contract extension showed his belief in the future of the club.

“We think this decision is strong sign that our player group believes in the future of this club,” Mahoney said.

“Jesse has achieved a lot in his first 41 games of football; he is a competitive character who wants to achieve much more individually and as a team.”

Meanwhile, Greater Western Sydney have locked away another of their emerging AFL stars, with ruckman-forward Rory Lobb signing a two-year contract extension.

The 23-year-old 206cm Lobb, who has signed until the end of 2019, had a breakout season this year, in which he played every game and notched the second highest total of contested marks in the competition and kicked 29 goals.

Rory Lobb of GWS goes for the ball during the AFL preliminary final between the Greater Western Sydney Giants and the Western Bulldogs at Spotless Stadium in Sydney, Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016. (AAP Image/Craig Golding) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY

Rory Lobb goes for a spoil during the Giants’ preliminary final loss to eventual premiers the Western Bulldogs. Photo: Craig Golding / AAP

He played a big part in the Giants’ surge to a preliminary final, backing up senior ruckman Shane Mumford and giving GWS another tall target in their forward line alongside Jeremy Cameron and Jon Patton.

“As a playing group we took some big steps this year and I think there is still plenty of improvement in us, which is exciting,” Lobb said.

“I’ve grown really close to my teammates and I believe that if we stick together, we can hopefully achieve the ultimate success in the future.”

Late in the season, it was rumoured West Australian Lobb might seek a trade back to his home state.

However, he has joined a host of other key Giants this year in deciding to commit to a contract extension.

The list includes Mumford, midfielders Callan Ward, Tom Scully, Stephen Coniglio and Lachie Whitfield plus key defender Nick Haynes, while veteran forward Steve Johnson last week signed for 2017.

“We believe he (Lobb) has got a really bright future and we see him as a key member of our team in the coming years,” Giants’ general manager of football Wayne Campbell said.

“Like many of our players, he’s taken enormous steps forward this year.”

-AAP

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