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Brisbane Lions look to extend deal of young draftee

NEW DEAL: Brisbane Lions Jarrod Berry gets a handball away. The Lions are expected to extend his current deal by two years his impressive start to the year.
NEW DEAL: Brisbane Lions Jarrod Berry gets a handball away. The Lions are expected to extend his current deal by two years his impressive start to the year. Bradley Kanaris

BRISBANE are set to lock away draftee Jarrod Berry until the end of 2020.

Berry has impressed in his four games for the Lions and has been offered a two-year contract extension beyond his standard two-year draftee deal.

His manager Matt Bain said Berry, from North Ballarat, had settled in well at Brisbane and wanted to extend his contract.

Both parties expect the deal to be done within days.

"We're close, he's happy there and is pretty keen to get it done," Bain said.

The Lions' second pick in last year's draft earned the praise of coach Chris Fagan after last Saturday's 83-point hiding by Port Adelaide where he was given a defensive assignment on Power star Brad Ebert.

It is understood Ebert offered him words of encouragement after the siren and told other Lions players he had been greatly impressed with his work rate.

The 19-year-old is already talked of as a future leader.

It took Berry just one NEAFL game to make his mark on the club.

It was the Lions' clash with Sydney, the first match the club had played after the passing of Tommy Hanley, the brother of Cian and former Lion Pearce.

Lions officials say Berry thought the atmosphere among the team was too light-hearted.

Demonstrating maturity and leadership beyond his years, he called the group together and said black arm bands meant nothing if they weren't supported by actions.

Spurred on by his words the Lions beat the Swans for the first time since 2013.

They played three times last year and the Swans won by more than 100 points each time.

Lions CEO Greg Swann said he was aware of Berry's words that day and revealed it was just one of many anecdotes he had heard about the impact he was having at the club.

"He's a terrific kid, he has made a big impression on everyone," he said.

Andrew Hamilton, Courier Mail

Topics:  afl brisbane lions

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