By Terry Wilson
It has been a week to remember for Sandgate rookie Tahj Abberley, near perfect except for one minor detail.
Abberley, who does not turn 18 until April next year, was a member of the victorious Sandgate Hawks when they broke their season duck with a win against arch rivals Wilston Grange at Lemke Road Oval on Saturday.
The stylish winger starred for the Hawks, to the extent that he was awarded the maximum points in the Syd Guildford Trophy.
Now the teenager can add to that honour after being posted as the Round 11 nomination for the QAFL Rising Star Award.
Abberley becomes the third Sandgate player to win the nomination, joining Lochlan Harrup and Loki Haines to get the nod.
There was just one minor hiccup in Abberley’s week and that came when the Hawks belted out their club song after their first victory in a year.
“Did I know the words to the song? Not particularly, no,” Abberley said rather sheepishly.
“Obviously I had never sung the song before – but not many of the boys knew it either.
“To win was so relieving with everybody getting around each other.
“We played well the week before but to get that win let us know we’re going in the right direction.”
Abberley is a product of the Auskick program at the Narangba Crows before he graduated to Moreton Bay Lions, where he played from under-14s to colts.
Abberley then joined Sandgate, as part of the Brisbane Lions Academy, and made his QAFL seniors debut in the sixth round against Morningside.
He has since played six games for the green and reds and has continued his development with every game.
Abberley is your typical still-growing teenager. He is 180m tall and weighs only 70kg, but despite this he has big ambitions.
He would love to model himself on AFL stars Scott Pendlebury and Adam Treloar if, in the not too distant future, he gets drafted by an AFL club.
“I like their cleanliness around the ball and their ability to find targets,” Abberley said of the AFL stars.
Completing Year 12 at Saint Eugene College at Burpengary, Abberley has always shown considerable ability, a talent who had played under-age schoolboy footy for the state as well as playing in the Academy Series for the Lions.
The teen was really looking forward to playing against reigning premiers Palm Beach Currumbin on the Gold Coast this weekend but he will miss the trip because of a school formal.
That was going to be a fixture that would really tell Abberley where he is at – although many keen judges already rate him as ready to take the next step, in particular to the NEAFL.
QAFL RISING STAR NOMINATIONS
Round 1: Nathan Colenso, Morningside Panthers
Round 2: Lochlan Harrop, Sandgate Hawks
Round 4: Angus O’Brien, Wilston Grange Gorillas
Round 5: Sam Hilton-Joyce, Surfers Paradise Demons
Round 6: Jack Wratten, Mt Gravatt Vultures
Round 7: Loki Haines, Sandgate Hawks
Round 8: Harrison Arnold, Broadbeach Cats
Round 9: Dan Edwards, Western Magpies
Round 10: Jack Austin, Western Magpies
Round 11: Tahj Abberley, Sandgate Hawks