By Terry Wilson
Jake O’Halloran is not your normal teenager who loves to have a kick with his mates whenever he can.
No, this youngster is basically involved in Australian rules football up to his neck because not only does he play the game but also away from the field he works in the industry.
A four-goal haul against premiers Palm Beach Currumbin last weekend earned 19-year-old forward O’Halloran the nod as the round 12 nomination for the QAFL Rising Star Award.
O’Halloran a tall forward, is the fourth Sandgate teenager to earn a Rising Star Award nomination this season, joining Lochlan Harrop, Loki Haines and Tahj Abberley as recipients.
He has ability – as he has shown since he made his Sandgate seniors debut as a 16-year-old in 2017 when he managed to play 13 matches.
The next year he played 16 games (missing three when he had to fly to Tasmania for the funeral of his grandmother) and he has not missed a match this year.
This means O’Halloran has never been dropped since his debut, which is a pretty good record to have.
Unfortunately, his work as a development officer with the AFLQ is taking him to Cairns where he will join the team led by Rick Hanlon servicing the code in the Cape York region.
So when Sandgate play Mt Gravatt in a week’s time it will be his last appearance for the red and green, for the immediate future at least.
Who knows? In the future he may don the jumper again because he insists that if his employment lands him back in Brisbane, Lemke Road Oval will be the first port of call.
“I’d love to play back with the Hawks,” O’Halloran said.
“It has been my home for three years now and they did give me my first opportunity.”
O’Halloran’s football journey began as a six-year-old with the Moreton Bay Lions where he played until he turned 16 and switched to Sandgate in the QAFL.
As much as he still has a dream of playing at the highest level, the AFL, the teen is realistic enough to realise that he needs to establish a career away from the field.
“I’ve always wanted to play at the highest level but right now my goal is to work within the AFL system, I have wanted to do this since I started my traineeship,” he said.
Besides, he admits he needs to fill out his lean frame to have any chance of going a couple of steps higher as a player.
He is tall enough at 193cm, but he weighs only 78kg.
“As a forward I realistically need to put on a bit more beef,” he said. “I’m very lean – and I get that all the time.”
Never mind, when he moves to the far north and takes up residency in Cairns he’ll probably get plenty of time taking in life as a Cape Yorker and dabbling in a spot of barramundi fishing during his travels around the area.
His Dad David spent a decade in Cairns with the Navy and actually played some footy with North Cairns and Port Douglas.
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
Round 12: Jake O’Halloran, Sandgate Hawks