Hugh McCluggage celebrates with fans after Brisbane defeated Melbourne at MCG in round five, 2024. Picture: Getty Images

HUGH McCluggage says playing under Chris Fagan and the prospect of being a one-club player were major drivers in his decision to sign a long-term deal with Brisbane.

McCluggage was due to hit restricted free agency at season's end, but put any speculation to bed by signing a seven-year contract that ties him to the Lions until the end of 2031.

The 26-year-old said he never seriously entertained offers from rival clubs, despite their interest, and had eyes locked on remaining with the club that drafted him with the third overall pick in 2016.

Speaking ahead of a Tuesday morning training session at Brighton Homes Arena, McCluggage said playing for just one club was something he always wanted to do.

"Clubs invest so much in players from a young age, especially Brisbane when everyone moves away from home or away from Victoria or wherever it may be," he said.

"It's not just the people within the club, but outside the club - fans, supporters - who make you feel at home.


"I feel like you owe it to the club and the people to repay that faith and hopefully I can be that mentor for our young boys in the future."

The vice-captain saved special praise for his coach, a man that arrived in Brisbane just two months before McLuggage was drafted.

In many ways, Brisbane's revival from a club in disarray to one of the competition's powerhouses, is linked with the duo.

"I couldn't imagine anything other than playing under 'Fages' because I've been under him the whole time," McCluggage said.

"It's something that I've loved.

"He's a realist, he always looks at the facts and creates an environment where we have fun.

"Not only is he a good football coach, I think he's just a great person and great mentor.

"I've learnt so much from him, not just on the field, but off the field as well, outside of footy, that I'll be forever indebted to him for that.

Chris Fagan addresses his team during the round 08 match between Brisbane and Gold Coast at The Gabba, May 5, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

"There's been times where people are struggling and I'm struggling myself and he'll have you over for dinner or he'll just throw an arm around you.

"For someone that's a head coach that has to look after so many people and worry about so many different things in all facets of his own life, to do that for other people is pretty special.

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"He's a contact I'll definitely have for the rest of my life and someone I can bounce ideas off and lean on, for sure.

"It's been a great ride and I still think there's plenty of good times left."