Melbourne skipper Kate Hore and vice-captain Tyla Hanks have produced the perfect response to the club’s AFLW exodus, signing monster four-year contract extensions.
The Demons won the premiership a year ago but the winds of change are sweeping through the team after this year’s straight-sets finals exit.
Libby Birch has requested a move to this year’s grand finalists North Melbourne in the biggest of Melbourne’s five deals to be done in the trade period.
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Birch also reportedly spoke with Hawthorn, who are set to pick up Melbourne pair Eliza West and Casey Sherriff.
Dees teammates Maddi Gay and Charlotte Wilson are eyeing off moves to Essendon and Gold Coast respectively.
But the team’s leaders are hanging around.
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Hore, 28, and Hanks, 23, will call Melbourne home until at least the end of the 2027 season.
AFLW players only recently secured the ability to sign contracts longer than one year.
Tyla Hanks and Kate Hore have re-signed with Melbourne. Credit: Getty
“This is a landmark moment in our club’s history, with these two outstanding players and leaders signing the first four-year contracts,” Melbourne list boss Todd Patterson said.
“It’s a tremendous show of faith in the direction our program is going, the growth they still see and a real signal of intent from them as to the level of competitiveness we forecast for this group moving forward.
“The signing of these two key pillars sets the foundation for us to build upon for the rest of the period.”
Hore kicked a league-leading 20 goals in the home-and-away season while also averaging 17 disposals and four tackles.
Having taken over as Dees captain from Daisy Pearce, Hore was also named skipper of the All Australian side.
Hanks, two years removed from winning Melbourne’s best and fairest, set career-high averages of 21 disposals and five clearances.
Kate Hore (right) shared the AFLW leading goalkicker award with teammate Eden Zanker. Credit: Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images
Melbourne previously delisted Jordi Ivey and Sammie Johnson while teenager Georgie Fowler chose to leave the AFLW.
Elsewhere, Collingwood have delisted foundation player Sophie Casey alongside Joanna Lin, Imogen Evans and Olivia Barber.
The Western Bulldogs on Friday secured Zimmorlei Farquharson from the Brisbane Lions.
The AFLW trade period runs from December 7 to 14 before the draft is held on December 18.