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Former Cat, Roo among three more Lions axed

Ryan Bastinac is one of three players cut by the Lions on Saturday. All pictures: AFL Photos - AFL,Brisbane Lions,Delistings,Retirements,Ryan Bastinac,Josh Walker,Ben Keays,Game,Update,News
Ryan Bastinac is one of three players cut by the Lions on Saturday. All pictures: AFL Photos

BRISBANE'S increasing depth has squeezed out fringe players Ben Keays, Josh Walker and Ryan Bastinac.

The delisted trio, each of whom are believed to be keen to find a new home, played a part in the Lions' exhilarating climb this year and the club's football boss David Noble acknowledged it was a difficult decision to part ways with them. 

There had been high hopes for Keays, a Lions' academy graduate whom they snared with the No.24 pick in the 2015 NAB AFL Draft.

Ben Keays has been delisted.

Handed the No.1 guernsey, he made his debut in round six the next season and didn't taste victory at AFL level until his 11th game.

Keays played 30 games for the Lions but only two in each of the past two seasons, including his final two outings in wins over Hawthorn and Port Adelaide rounds 11 and 17 respectively.

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The 22-year-old starred in the Lions' NEAFL Grand Final triumph 27 possessions, seven tackles and four goals. 

Flexible big man Walker, who will be 27 in November, played 33 games for Geelong before being traded to Brisbane in 2015. He played 48 games for the Lions, including 11 this season, last playing in round 19, before helping Keays and Bastinac pilot the NEAFL premiership. 

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Bastinac who played 121 games for North Melbourne before adding a further 43 in four seasons with the Lions.

"All three players have been dedicated contributors to our football club on and off the field over the last three to four years and we thank them for their contribution," Noble said. 

"As young men, they have all been a pleasure to have at our club where they have been well respected and liked by our playing group. It is always hard to let good people go and we would hope that Ryan, Ben and Josh get another opportunity through the delisted free agency mechanism." 

The Lions earlier delisted hard nut Nick Robertson, traded Lewy Taylor to Sydney and Tom Cutler to Essendon, while veteran Luke Hodge retired.