BRISBANE LIONS FC
Born: 6 September 1988
Junior Club: West Footscray, Coorparoo
Senior Club: Mt.Gravatt
Schools: Footscray North Primary, Maidstone Primary, Braybrook High School, Wynnum North High School, Runcorn High School.
Regional Selection: South-East Bushrangers, Western Taipans
Queensland Selection: U16 (2004), U18 (2005-06)
Draft Details: Selection #22 (2nd round) 2006 National Draft
AFL Debut: Brisbane Lions v Geelong, Skilled Stadium, Round 12 2007 (17 June).
Jumper Number: 2
AT A GLANCE: A hard-at-it, left-footed midfielder who will always be remembered as captain of arguably the best junior side Queensland has ever fielded. He skippered a star-studded U18 side in 2006 coached by Craig McRae which produced no less than 11 draftees and ultimately 18 players who made their way onto the list of an AFL club. A Victorian-born Aboriginal who represented the ‘Big V’ at U12 and U13 level before moving to Queensland in 2003, he is the son of a former senior player at East Fremantle, Gary Proud, and took up football as an eight-year-old at West Footscray in Melbourne.
He quickly won his way into the Queensland representative program after moving north, and wore Maroon at U16 level in 2005 and U18 level in 2005-06. He made his senior QAFL debut with Mt.Gravatt in 2005 but it was in 2006 that he really made his mark when he joined fellow Queenslanders David Armitage, Gavin Urquhart and Ricky Petterd in winning a spot in the AIS/AFL Academy. After the Scorpions’ overwhelming success at the Australian U18 Championships it was a veritable cavalcade of Queenslanders in the National Draft. He was the fourth Queenslander taken at No.22, behind Armitage (9), Shaun Hampson (17) and Urquhart (21), and ahead of Renouf (24), Brad Howard (27), Petterd (30), Kurt Tippett (32), Ben Warren (69), Paul O’Shea (76) and Jesse White (79), with Chris Smith, Scott Clouston, Gavin Grose, Jarrod Harbrow, Daniel Dzufer, Haydn Kiel and Joel Tippett following in the rookie draft.
Renowned for his fierce attack on the ball, he made his AFL debut in Round 12 2007 as a late replacement for an injured Simon Black. It was barely a day to remember as the Lions kicked just five goals against the eventual premiers and were beaten by 50 points in the wet at Skilled Stadium. He played again the following week, but it wasn’t until 2008 that he got his next chance, playing a further seven games in Rounds 2-3-7-18-19-20-22 of 2008. He also finished 6th in the 2008 QAFL Grogan Medal, 7th in the Syd Guildford Trophy and won a spot in the State League Team of the Year – all in 12 games.
Having started his AFL career in jumper No.34, he was proud to slot into No.2 in 2008 following the retirement of triple premiership back pocket player Chris Johnson. He’d set himself to consolidate his career in 2009 but got off to a bad start when suspended pre-season by the club for disciplinary reasons following a nightclub incident. He quickly learned from his mistake and returned a thoroughly committed player, playing 13 of the first 17 games before a foot injury cut short his career. Was given a one-year contract for 2010 and a chance to confirm his status as an AFL player. Went into season 2010 with a career-best 21 possessions against North Melbourne at Carrara in Round 18 2008, when former teammate Urquhart won the Rising Star nomination playing with the Kangaroos.