UQ’s Zac Southern is the Player of the week.
UQ’s Zac Southern hasn‘t taken long to make his mark at the Red Lions.
The youngster has been among the side’s best in every game this season, quickly making himself an integral part of the team.
Southern produced another standout performance in UQ’s narrow loss to Coolangatta on Sunday, playing on the wing.
The Sunshine Coast teenager is very athletic and has great pace for his height, making him a valuable addition to the Red Lions playing stocks this season.
Senior coach, Matt Stewart paid tribute to Southern after the match.
“He’s been playing really well and has really stepped up,” he said.
“He was definitely best on field from our side today.”
The physiotherapy student, who moved down to the Red Lions this season as one of four UQ AFL scholarship recipients said he was enjoying the challenge of a new club.
“It’s been really interesting so far,” he said.
“Coming from one of the smaller clubs on the Sunshine Coast, it’s been a good leap up.”
While he is only 17, Southern has plenty of experience in senior footy, having debuted for Nambour at 15.
Southern also played in the Under-16 Scorpions in 2011 and was a member of the Lions Academy in 2011 and 2012.
Having that high-level experience behind him has helped him adjust in his first Allied Pickfords Cup season.
“I’ve played a lot of representative football at a junior level so the standard hasn’t been a shock,” he said.
“I played a couple of NEAFL game last year so I understand what it takes to go to the next level.”
His scintillating form in the first couple of weeks has given Southern some confidence, after a disappointing turnout in the Lions vs. SUNS Academy games to select the Scorpions squad.
“It’s getting there, getting back to where it should be. I didn’t play too well in the trial matches,” he said.
“I’m getting my confidence back now, that the main thing.”
“I’m feeling better on the field and finding the ball more.”
Despite missing out on the initial Under-18 Queensland squad, Southern said he was still working hard to make the selectors take notice in his draft year.
“Hopefully the selectors see me playing well and hopefully I get a chance to play some NEAFL games and put my hand up.”
If Southern continues in this vein of form, he’s doing everything to grab selectors’ attention this season.