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Burto puts pen to paper

R17: Ryan Burton Highlights Watch highlights from Ryan Burton's Round 17 game against Geelong.

Hawthorn has locked away Ryan Burton, with the 20-year-old extending his contract until the end of 2020. 

Burton has cemented himself in the Hawks’ senior line-up, playing 19 of a possible 20 games since making his debut in Round 21 of the 2016 Toyota AFL Premiership season. 

The young defender is one of the top contenders for this year’s NAB Rising Star Award, averaging 21 disposals, five marks and three tackles a game.

Burton was recognised with a Rising Star nomination for his 26 disposal, 12 contested possession performance against Adelaide in Round 2. 

Recruiting and List Manager Graham Wright said:

“Both Ryan and the club were eager to secure his future at Hawthorn and we are rapt to have extended his contract for a further two years. 

“He has been in terrific form this season and has really cemented his spot in the backline, with the ability to play on a variety of talls and smalls. 

“To have Ryan committed to the Hawks until at least 2020 is really pleasing for the club and we look forward to seeing him in the No. 5 for many years to come.” 

Though the Hawks have experienced all the ups and downs of AFL football in 2017, the young defender is embracing the ride with his teammates and looking forward to what the future holds.

“I feel like we’re a totally different team from the first four rounds of the season,” Burton said after Saturday’s clash with Geelong. 

“We’re playing more consistent footy, and we’re just trying to keep building that continuity within the playing group.

“For me, I’m just trying to enjoy the last few weeks with Hodgey and trying to learn as much as I can from him.

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