Brisbane Lions FC
Born: 20 December 1986
Junior Club: Surfers Paradise
Senior Club: Southport
Schools: The Southport School
Queensland Selection: Open (2009)
Draft Details: Queensland Zone Selection – 2009 Rookie Draft
AFL Debut: -
Jumper Number: 46
AT A GLANCE: A junior sporting standout in cricket, soccer and basketball and a fully qualified stockbroker who put it all on hold to accept a rookie list contract with the Brisbane Lions in 2010. It was a dream come true for the athletic 202cm ruckman, who three years earlier had been an up-and-coming first-division soccer player. “I can be a stock-broker all my life – I’ll only get one chance to be an AFL footballer,” he declared at the time after being rewarded for three escalating seasons with Southport in the QAFL State League competition.
It was a sporting journey which began for the born and bred Gold Coaster who played in the ‘Firsts’ in cricket, soccer and basketball at The Southport School in Years 10-11-12. He was a State Schoolboys cricketer at U14 level as an opening batsman and in Year 11 made the Combined GPS team in soccer before missing out on the equivalent honor in Year 12 due to injury. He carried on with soccer after school and in 2005 and early 2006 was the goal-keeper with Mt.Gravatt in the Queensland Premier League 1st Division competition, the soccer equivalent of the QAFL. But he’d never forgotten a taste of junior football at Surfers Paradise at U10s. And part-way through 2006, frustrated by having to drive to Brisbane to play soccer, especially when studying on the Gold Coast, he went back to his one-time junior club to play AFL.
He started in the Surfers Paradise reserves in the second division, switched to Southport to maximize his competitive opportunities in 2007, and was a senior fixture in the Sharks side in 2007-08-09. In 2007 he played a full season, including 12 senior games, three finals and the grand final. He is remembered for an enormous final quarter in Southport’s come-from-behind preliminary final win over Morningside, and was the best ruckman on the ground in the ’07 QAFL grand final loss to Mt.Gravatt. In 2008 he played 14 games, including two finals and the winning grand final against Morningside, and played 20 of a possible 21 games in 2009, including three finals, missing one game through illness.
He also made his Queensland representative debut against Tasmania in June 2009, was a member of the QAFL Team of the Year, finished equal 7th in the Grogan Medal, and a close 4th in the Syd Guildford Trophy for the QAFL Footy Record Player of the Year, two votes behind joint winners Nathan Gilliland, Paul Shelton and Ryan Holman. He also finished 3rd in the Southport B&F and won the club’s ‘Most Improved Player’ award to cap off his audition for an eagerly-awaited opportunity at AFL level.