Almost 1000 Brisbane Lions guernseys will be given free to AFL Brisbane Juniors players born in 2007 (under 9’s) as part of a partnership between the Lions and AFL Queensland.
It is hoped this new incentive will encourage Queenslanders to continue to adopt AFL as their chosen sport.
Thirteen of the 47 players on the Brisbane Lions list in 2016 hail from Queensland.
Vice-Captains Daniel Merrett, Dayne Beams and Dayne Zorko, as well as Tom Bell, Harris Andrews, Jono Freeman, Claye Beams, Liam Dawson, Ben Keays and Eric Hipwood are on the senior list, while Archie Smith, Reuben William and Matthew Hammelmann are on the rookie list.
Lions CEO Greg Swann said the incentive would help encourage Queenslanders to follow and play AFL, as well as giving something back to the footy community.
“We see this as one way of helping to give back to our local grassroots footy community,” said Swann.
“The support we get from local footy clubs is just incredible and goes a long way to helping spread the word on our great sport across the region.
“It’s our plan to have 50 per cent of the playing list being Queenslanders if we can. There’s plenty of home-grown talent out there that we’re hoping can find its way into our Hyundai Help For Kids Lions Academy.’’
The new Lions guernsey will be presented to juniors at training at the start of the 2016 season. However, kids can still register now and receive their jersey at a later date.
AFL Queensland Chief Executive Dean Warren said: “Junior AFL football is sequentially modified from under 8 to 11 age groups to provide a fun, safe and quality match day experience and environment for all participants, this initiative will help connect our junior players (the stars of the future) with the Brisbane Lions and their players.
“To receive your first AFL footy jumper is special for most kids, to receive it personally from an AFL Player is something our under 9 participants will remember for the rest of their life, which will hopefully lead to a lifelong connection to our game and the Brisbane Lions”.