Hawthorn has secured the signature of one of its most exciting Hawks, with key forward Brandon Ryan putting pen to paper on a contract extension to keep him in the brown and gold for another season.
Having made the leap from local footy to the AFL in just over six months, the mid-season draftee's new deal locks him in as a Hawk until at least the end of 2024.
It marks a stunning rise for the mature-age recruit, with the 25-year-old making his VFL and AFL debuts this year, after lining up for Maribyrnong Park in the Essendon District Football League just last season.
Ryan was selected by Hawthorn with Pick 12 in this year's mid-season rookie draft after catching the eyes of recruiters during the first half of the VFL season while dominating for the Northern Bullants.
After joining the Hawks at the end of May, the 200cm Barwon Heads product broke through for his first AFL game eight weeks later against St Kilda in Round 20, finishing with one goal.
Ryan then rose to another level in his second game the following week, kicking three goals from nine disposals and five marks in Hawthorn's massive win over premiership favourites Collingwood in front of more than 62,000 fans at the MCG.
Ryan has since exerted his dominance for Box Hill in its VFL finals campaign, averaging 6 marks and 2.5 goals in the two finals matches, as the Hawks prepare for Preliminary Final this weekend.
National Recruiting and List Manager Mark McKenzie said Ryan was an exciting prospect for the club.
“We’re thrilled with Brandon extending his time at the Hawks for next season, we believe he has some real potential in the brown and gold,” McKenzie said.
“Being a mature-age recruit, Brandon has all the traits to develop into an important player with his impressive aerial strength and forward craft.
"Following a promising first few months at the club, we now look forward to seeing where Brandon can take his game in his first full season at AFL level next year."