By Terry Wilson
Smart Palm Beach Currumbin teenager Ethan Hunt is keeping his fingers crossed that nature takes its natural course as he chases his dreams of playing at the highest level.
Just turned 17 and completing Year 11 at the Palm Beach Currumbin High School, Hunt is the Round 16 QAFL Rising Star Award nominee after some impressive efforts in his only three seniors games with the Lions this year.
His maiden appearance for PBC was an eye-opener when he kicked three goals on debut against Broadbeach in the opening round at Salk Oval.
The irony of that was Hunt had played 173 games with the Broadbeach juniors after starting at Subaru Oval in the under-eights.
When he enrolled in the PBC High football program it was a natural he’d follow school mates across Thrower Drive and train with the Lions.
Hunt joined the Lions as a 16-year-old and played his first season in the colts when he won the best and fairest despite being still eligible for the U16s.
This year it has been a journey back and forth between the Gold Coast Suns academy, playing PBC colts, reserves and seniors, on top of representing Queensland U17s.
He is due to play for the Maroons against Vic Metro in a match at Princes Park in Melbourne next week.
Like most teens, Hunt has his dreams.
“I’d love to go a long way in the game,” he says.
But there is one issue that has to be dealt with – young Ethan needs a growth spurt because right now he weighs only 68kg and stands 177cm tall.
Those physical stats are surprising for anyone who knows his father Peter and watched him go around in the old Gold Coast league for Surfers Paradise.
Peter was an enforcer who played mainly at center half-forward. He was rugged and did not take a backward step.
“I’ve seen videos of Dad playing and he didn’t mess about,” said Ethan.
“He was a lot bigger than I am now so hopefully I’ve got a lot of growing to do.”
So far Ethan’s lack of poundage has not gone against him. The youngster clearly appreciates the way PBC tam members have looked after him whenever he has played at QAFL seniors’ level.
Asked if he has any worries playing against bigger opponents, Ethan said: “No, all the senior blokes get around me and protect me.”
Because of his size, Ethan has been used mainly as a winger, half-forward or a small forward inn his outings with the QAFL seniors but if and when he grows, he’ll be a pretty useful utility type with his kicking skills both sides of the body.
There is one thing that Ethan wants to do and that is to crack it for a premiership.
In his 173 junior games with Broadbeach he played in six grand finals. He did not win one.
If the teenager can hold on to a spot in PBC’s firsts – if not then in seconds – that monkey may finally be shed come September because the club is surging towards another flag.
FOOTNOTE: There are actually two Ethan Hunts playing seniors footy in the QAFL at the moment.
The second is Ethan Hunt from Morningside. Ethan (PBC) knows of his namesake but has never actually played against, nor met, the Brisbane version.
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
Round 13: Kwaybe Boakye, Broadbeach Cats
Round 14: Hugo Barry, Labrador Tigers
Round 15: Aiden Fyfe, Broadbeach Cats
Round 16: Ethan Hunt, Palm Beach Currumbin Lions