By Ant Wingard @AntWingard
Former Brisbane Lions defender Claye Beams will don the black and white next season after the 27-year-old officially signed on with the Western Magpies for the 2019 QAFL season.
The confirmation was first announced by the Western Magpies.
Beams spent eight years in the AFL system with the Lions after being selected with pick 65 in the 2010 National Draft from Gold Coast club Labrador.
Throughout his tenure with the Lions, Beams managed 54 games at the top level but didn’t feature for the side this year.
Beams also notched up 47 games for Brisbane in the NEAFL where he played mainly as a midfielder and averaged 23.7 disposals and 4.1 inside 50s per game.
Western Magpies president Andrew Thomson welcomed Beams to the club and was excited by the side’s prospects for the 2019 QAFL season.
“Claye signed on with the Magpies due in part to existing relationships with current players and other members of the club, as well as the all-important fact that the Western Magpies are the closest footy club to where he lives, which is coincidentally in the same street as former Lions teammate, and now Magpies teammate – Ryan Harwood,” Thomson told aflq.com.au.
“We’re extremely proud to again add more exceptional talent to our largely home grown QAFL list and have shown in recent years were are becoming a strong destination club due to our holistic approach to recruitment and our fantastic club culture from Auskick through to Junior, Youth, QFA and up to QAFL football.”
“It’s exciting times at the Magpies and with our facility upgrades over the summer months, we can’t wait for the 2019 season.”
The Magpies’ coup of Beams signature connotes the second big signing for the Brisbane club in as many years, following the club’s signing of Ryan Harwood last season.
It is understood the relationship between Beams and Harwood forged together at the Lions played a significant role in Beams’ decision to put pen to paper with the Magpies for next season.
The Magpies found themselves among finals contention for much of the 2018 QAFL season but a loss to Surfers Paradise in Round 19 relegated the side to sixth place for the second straight season and out of the finals bracket.
Now, with an experience core containing Beams and Harwood alongside existing veterans and exciting youngsters such as 2018 QAFL Rising Star winner Riley Easton, 2019 could herald a return to September action for the club from Brisbane’s west.