Born: 26 June 1988
Junior Clubs: Ferny Grove/Sherwood
Senior Club: Mt.Gravatt
Queensland Selection: U21 (2007), Open (2008)
Draft Details: Selection #64 (5th round) 2008 National Draft
AFL Debut: Melbourne v North Melbourne, Etihad Stadium, Rd19, 2009, (9 August)
Jumper Number: 44
AT A GLANCE: A classic product of the Queensland development nursery, he was drafted by Melbourne as a 20-year-old in 2008 after ticking every box along the development pathway and being rewarded for sheer hard work and perseverance through two full seasons at senior level with Mt.Gravatt. Born in Melbourne but a Queenslander from 1995, he was a product of Ferny Grove juniors who had a stint at Sherwood before joining Mt.Gravatt. He boasted a fine sporting pedigree - his mother played hockey for Australia and his father was an U19 footballer at St.Kilda and was CEO of Queensland Hockey at the time he was drafted.
He was also an elite track & field and cross country runner as a junior, winning numerous State titles, represented Queensland in junior baseball and played pennant golf. But football was his ‘thing’. He missed final selection in the star-studded Queensland U18 side of 2006 which ultimately produced 14 AFL draftees, but he refused to be deterred. In 2007 he represented Queensland at U21 level and kicked four goals in Mt.Gravatt's grand final win over Southport to earn a trial with St.Kilda and Essendon. Again he was overlooked at the draft.
In 2008 he stepped up to the Queensland Open side against Western Australia, won the AFLQ Rising Star Award, finished fourth in the League's Grogan Medal and was chosen in the State League Team of the Year. That was enough. He was picked up by the Demons with selection No.64 in the 2008 National Draft as the second Queenslander behind Dayne Beams. It was effectively his seventh time he was up for grabs, having been passed over in the 2006-07-08 National Drafts, and the rookie drafts and pre-season drafts of 2006-07. He had a taste of AFL football in the 2009 NAB Cup / NAB Challenge series, and after a season disrupted by injury and personal bereavement he was an emergency in Round 17, would have played in Round 18 but for a personal situation, and made his AFL debut in Round 19 against North Melbourne at Etihad Stadium.
Sadly, he twinged his thigh muscle in the warm-up and did it completely with his first kick in the opening minute of the match to end his first season with the Demons in disappointment. He dedicated his debut to the memory of his mother, who died of cancer ahead of Round 18 when, such was his strength of character, he stood up at his mother’s funeral and delivered a moving eulogy in outstanding fashion.