BRISBANE LIONS FC
Born: 6 September 1991
Junior Club: Jindalee, Kenmore
Senior Club: Mt.Gravatt
Schools: Ipswich Grammar School
Regional Selection: Western Taipans
Queensland Selection: U16 (2008)
Draft Details: Queensland Zone Selection - 2009 Rookie Draft
AFL Debut: -
Jumper Number: 45
AT A GLANCE: Sean Yoshiura was on his way to the Gold Coast on 15 December 2009 to sit an exam at Bond University when he made AFL history as the first Japanese-born player to join an AFL club. Immediately, the 18-year-old Tokyo-born wingman, who speaks predominantly Japanese at home with his father, who speaks very little English, and exclusively English with his Tasmanian mother and younger siblings, set his sights set on becoming the AFL’s first Japanese-born player. Doing a sports science degree under scholarship, Yoshiura had accepted a confidential priority rookie listing with the Brisbane Lions two weeks ahead of the Rookie Draft, but it wasn’t confirmed until about 10.05am after he was overlooked in the Pre-Season Draft held moments earlier.
The oldest of three children, Yoshiura, whose mother is from Tasmania, moved from Japan to Australia aged seven in 1998 because his Japanese father thought there would be more opportunities for his family in Australia. He began playing football as a nine-year-old with the Jindalee Jaguars after seeing the Brisbane Lions play on TV one day. “I remember watching Justin Leppitsch play and I immediately became interested,” he recalled. Not until he made the Western Taipans U14 representative side did he become ‘serious’ about football, but thereafter he switched to the Kenmore U16s to further his prospects. He was a member of the Queensland U16 squad in 2006-2007 but broke his shoulder when set to play in the national carnival in 2007 and in 2008 he was given special dispensation by the AFL to play in the Queensland 16 side as a 17-year-old. He was a member of the Lions Academy 2005-07, Mt.Gravatt’s U18 premiership team 2008, and the Gold Coast pre-season training squad 2008-09. In 2009 he played with the Brisbane Lions reserves in Round 5 and thereafter played at senior level with Mt.Gravatt in Rounds 6-7-8, Rounds 13-14-15-16 and in the club’s four finals, including the grand final loss to Morningside.
He’s got a tremendous weapon in his quest for AFL history – he is a world-class long-distance runner. School captain at Ipswich Grammar in 2008, graduating with a string of academic and sporting distinctions, he finished 33rd in the 2008 World Schoolboys Championships in the Czech Republic, where the Australian team placed 3rd overall. He was Queensland All Schools Cross Country Champion 2006-07, Queensland School Sports Cross Country Champion 2006 and ’08, GPS Cross Country Champion 2005-08 and a Queensland representative 2004 and 2006-08, including 2008 as Captain.
He was also Queensland Age champion over 1500m in 2006-07 and 3000m in 2006-08.