The AFL is set to have another set of Queensland brothers after Gold Coaster Claye Beams was promoted today from the Brisbane Lions rookie list to the senior list ahead of the 2011 season.

Thursday, 28 October, 2010

The AFL is set to have another set of Queensland brothers after Gold Coaster Claye Beams was promoted today from the Brisbane Lions rookie list to the senior list ahead of the 2011 season.

The 19-year-old midfielder, rewarded for an outstanding first season with the club, will join older brother and 2010 Collingwood premiership player Dayne Beams in AFL ranks.

In a year in which club insiders admit he couldn’t have done any more, Beams was the most consistent performer for the Lions Reserves side in the QAFL State League, when he topped the club’s vote-count in the Grogan Medal and was selected in the State League Team of the Year.

Also, he made an outstanding debut for the Queensland Open representative side in a record-breaking win over Tasmania, and kicked three goals in an eye-catching performance for the Lions against Melbourne in Shanghai earlier this money.

Beams, taken by the Lions as a rookie 12 months ago after just six senior QAFL games with Labrador, accepted a one-year senior list contract in Brisbane preference to putting himself into the AFL National Draft and perhaps earning a guaranteed two-year deal.

Several clubs had sounded out his management on his intentions, eying him as an easy pick-up, but the Gabba was always Beams’ preferred home.

“This is where I want to be – I just wanted to be on the senior list. Now I’ve set a goal to play Round 1 next year. I just want to play AFL footy,” he said.

If he is successful in making the top grade it will make the Beams brothers Queensland’s fifth brother pairing behind Che, David and Donald Cockatoo-Collins, Michael and Brett Voss, Clark and Aaron Keating, and David and Stephen Wearne.

Beams’ elevation capped a meteoric rise from talented Gold Coast cricketer to AFL footballer inside 18 months.

It wasn’t until Claye watched Dayne play at AFL level in his first season at Collingwood that it reignited a football spark which had defused when he gave the game away in 2007.

Beams, born in Melbourne but a Gold Coaster from age two, had played junior football at Mudgeeraba from age five. He won the Gold Coast League U12 B&F Medal, playing in a Queensland Primary Schools side alongside Collingwood draftee Josh Thomas, and was runner-up in the U14 League B&F Medal. 

He also represented the Gold Coast Stingrays at U14 level and the South Coast U15s.

He played the first six games of his U16 season in 2007 but gave football away to concentrate on cricket.

“Footy was always my dream and my passion – cricket was something I played in the off-season – but I was pretty small as a young kid and realistically I thought I had more chance of making it in cricket,” he explained.

Playing cricket against men from the age of 12, he has played two years first-grade cricket with Mudgeeraba/Nerang in the Gold Coast competition as a wicket-keeper/batsman, and in the 2008-09 season was chosen in the Open age Gold Coast representative team.

It all changed in May last year. “Watching Dayne play at Collingwood reignited the footy spark and I decided to have a crack at it,” he said.

“I figured you only get one chance and I’d forever wonder if I didn’t at least try my hand at footy.”

He joined Labrador due to a family connection, and after a three-week training block played his first game in Round 9 of the QAFL Reserves. After four reserves games he was elevated to the seniors and played Rounds 12-13-14-15-16-17 before intentionally dropping back to the Reserves so he could play in he finals.

He did enough to earn a 2010 Lions rookie list spot, and has capitalized on every opportunity this year.

Beams was promoted as the club completed their final list review today.

Sadly from a local perspective, Beams’ elevation came at the expense of fellow Queenslander Albert Proud, who was de-listed.

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