RICHMOND has locked away two of its most improved players of 2017, with midfielder Kane Lambert and forward Dan Butler agreeing to contract extensions on Wednesday.
Lambert, a mature-age rookie success story, has been rewarded for a career-best season with a two-year contract extension that will take him through to the end of 2019.
The Tigers also confirmed a two-year contract extension for Butler, who has cemented himself in the Tigers' small forward line this season after waiting two years to make his debut.
Lambert, 25, has played a career-best 20 games in 2017 as a valuable member of the Tigers' midfield, averaging 21.2 disposals and 3.8 inside 50s.
He booted a career-best three goals against Fremantle on Sunday and has been a been a crucial cog in Damien Hardwick's team with his ability to also fill forward and lockdown roles.
List manager Dan Richardson said the club was thrilled to secure two players who have been critical to driving the Tigers back into the finals this year.
"Both Kane and Dan have experienced great seasons in 2017 and we are pleased they have committed to the club for at least the next two years," Richardson said.
"Kane’s story is quite remarkable. He has worked his way up the VFL ranks, to the Rookie Draft and is now playing consistent AFL football.
"Dan has also shown great perseverance and after making his debut in round one and he has played 19 senior games this year.
"They have both taken big steps forward this season and we look forward to watching their development over the next two years."
Lambert was recruited as a mature-age rookie at the end of 2014 before being elevated to the senior list before the start of the 2015 season.
He signed a one-year contract for 2017 last November and had polled the fifth most coaches votes at Richmond this season up to round 21.
Butler, who also signed a one-year contract for 2017 last November, made his debut in round one this season after two years on the club's list.
He missed two games mid-season because of a groin injury but has been a critical player in Hardwick's small forward line.
The 21-year-old has kicked 24 goals and added crucial tackling pressure, flourishing under an attacking game style.
Lambert and Butler join Brandon Ellis, who signed a two-year contract extension earlier this month, in committing to the end of 2019.
Small forward Daniel Rioli and versatile midfielder Kamdyn McIntosh each recently signed on until the end of 2019, while wingman Shaun Grigg signed a one-year extension for 2018 in May.