Sharp rise in AFL popularity on show in schoolboy clash

Brisbane Lions draft pick Harry Sharp will be one of more than 1,000 students expected to line the sidelines tonight’s blockbuster round five AIC First XVIII St Laurence’s vs Villanova match.

The two schools haven’t yet met this season and both come into the game undefeated.

With the Lions facing the Gold Coast SUNS in a pre-season practise match tomorrow, the 183cm midfielder, who’s in his final year of school at St Laurence’s, will have to settle for the stands.

Sharp, and fellow Lion Archie Smith, both hail from the South Brisbane boys’ school, where the popularity of AFL continues to rise.

St Laurence’s College Director of Sport, Eddie Wallace, said the growth of AFL at SLC had been significant over the last couple of years.

“This year the College has entered 9 teams into the various AIC competitions – more than any other school. This allows 180 boys to play the game each weekend,” he said.

“We are very grateful for the support AFL Queensland, the Brisbane Lions and their Academy have provided the College and we hope the students have the opportunity throughout 2021 and beyond to watch both Archie and Harry play many games for the Lions.”

Villanova College Director of Sport, Craig Stariha, said AFL at Villanova was continuing to kick goals.

“AFL is going extremely well this year, five of our seven teams are heading into round five undefeated which indicates the overall strength of our program and the talent we have at Villanova,” he said.

“We’ve got a fantastic group of teacher and parent coaches, who have worked well in the Junior School to expose our boys to the game and equip them with the skills and confidence to not only enjoy the game but to improve.”

“Many of the current year 10 boys, were the first group to ever play AIC AFL at Villanova and now make up a substantial part of our Opens team. We are now starting to see many good players filter through to our Opens and we look forward to seeing them drafted in the future.”

St Laurence’s vs Villanova AIC First XVIII match details:
Friday, February 26th 2020
Coorparoo Oval 1 at 4:45pm
Score updated can be found at

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