By Daniel McKenzie
Luke McGuane will make his Brisbane Lions debut tonight against his former club Richmond.
The debut will be a homecoming for the born and bred Gold Coaster who is happy to be back playing in his home state.
Son of former Southport Sharks Captain Gavan McGuane, and nephew of former Collingwood premiership player Mick McGuane, “Cool-Hand Luke” as he was known in his junior days, was born and raised on the Gold Coast and developed through the AFL Queensland pathways.
The 191cm key position player started his football at Southport aged 11 and continued on to play at Mt Gravatt, Coorparoo and Caboolture and represented Qld at U12, U14, U16 and U18 Level.
McGuane signed for the Broadbeach Cats in 2004 and made his senior debut for the club before being drafted by Richmond with pick #36 in the National Draft.
He showed his ability to play at either end of the ground in 105 games in nine injury interrupted seasons for the Tigers.
McGuane was also named in the Queensland Team of the Year for three years in a row from 2007-2009.
After kicking a career best 20 goals in 12 games in the 2013 season, McGuane sought a trade back to Queensland to be closer to family and for more opportunities up forward, which he said will help him enjoy his football more.
The Lions swooped on McGuane on November 4 during trade week and signed him as a delisted free agent.
While other clubs had expressed interest in McGuane when he signalled his intention to explore free agency, he said his focus was always on reaching a deal with the Lions.
“Brisbane is my first preference due to their interest and also the fact I grew up in Queensland and my family are there,” he said in an interview.
Aside from the opportunity to return home, McGuane said an added incentive to sign for the Lions was to be reunited with his former Tigers backline coach Justin Leppitsch.
“I was keen to get home and once Leppa got the job in Brisbane it was really a no-brainer for me to try to open up that avenue,” he said previously.
“I think Richmond is going really well and they’re going to be a force in the comp, but for me I just felt getting back home was a good move for me.”
McGuane who had an injury interrupted pre-season, will look to be fit and firing for the remainder of the season.