Broadbeach recruit Harrison Kerr is the round 5 QAFL Rising star nominee.
The 19-year-old, who landed at the Cattery just after Christmas, is quickly becoming the go-to man in Broadbeach’s forward 50, proven by his seven-goal haul against Sandgate last weekend.
Kerr said it was nice to stamp himself on the competition with a big game so early in the year.
“It probably goes back to my training. This is the first year I have had a full pre-season, and I’ve been working pretty hard with BA (Brett Andrews) and Craig (Devonport) on my forward work. All the extras I’ve been doing have really helped,” Kerr said.
“I’d kicked a few goals in the first couple of rounds, but BA said to me, you want people to starting asking ‘who is this bloke,’ and by kicking a bag you’ll do that. So there was a bit of motivation from that, at a new club.
“I’d kicked a few behinds the week before so it was good to finally contribute on the scoreboard.”
Some players loved to put the headphones on before a game, run around like a bit of a madman, and gee themselves up as much as possible. Not Kerr.
“I felt very relaxed before the game. I’ve started to try and do that more, which seems to be the key, not overthinking things. Once you get a couple, you think maybe this could be my day, but you’ve got to take it step by step,” he said.
The bag of goals shouldn’t surprise anyone. Playing for Maroochydore in the Colts last year, he average nearly three a game.
“I’ve played forward my whole life pretty much. When I moved to the Gold Coast, Southport and Broady were both trying to slot me into a midfield role. I always had the fitness base through my surf life saving days, but like anything, when you change something you’ve been doing your whole life, it can change everything,” Kerr said.
“Broadbeach have a lot of midfielders, so I said to BA I’ve played forward my whole life, give me a crack.”
The move south was driven by a desire to play at the highest level possible.
“I moved to the Gold Coast originally for the higher level footy. I started with Southport before Christmas. They gave me a run down on the clubs they are associated with, and I am a family friend with Matt and Andrew Boston. Matt got on the phone with Tim Searl, he gave me a call, and just from speaking with him I knew it was a great club. It’s been all up from there,” he said.
“You don’t ever plan on leaving your home club, unless it’s for a higher level of footy. So the biggest thing for me was just gaining respect from my new teammates.
“I didn’t plan on going to the club and think I was better or think I deserved to be there, it was more about finding my feet, and earning the respect and earning a spot in the team. Now it’s about putting one foot in front of the other, and putting a year of senior footy under my belt.”
Once he gets that year in the books, Kerr doesn’t want put a roof on what he can achieve, or where he can play his footy.
“A year of senior footy is the biggest thing for me now… a year of consistent senior footy, and then go from there. My long-term goal, like a lot of kids, is to still make the AFL, and probably over the last two years I’ve put more of a focus on that.”
Broadbeach travel to Bendigo Bank Oval this Saturday to take on Wilston Grange. Expect to see Kerr lining up at deep in the forward line at the opening bounce.
By Andrew Wiles