Queensland U18 representative, Liam Dawson, gives us insight into the 2014 rep season.
Each week is a bit of an unknown for me, because I generally don’t know where I’m going to play until Thursday, unless there’s a state game on.
I really like going back and playing for Aspley, it’s a more homely environment, but it’s always a good opportunity if I get the chance to play with the Lions reserves.
I played in the QAFL for the first time on the weekend, for Wilston Grange, and I really just tried to get as much information as I could from their senior players, particularly their captain.
It was a different level to what some of us boys are used to with state and NEAFL,but you’ve just got to run to the right spot and hope for the best.
I played a bit with the Lions reserves last year, but I didn’t really talk to a lot of their senior players, I just learned a lot off the older boys in my age group like Jono Freeman, Izzy Conway and Aden Rutledge.
With all that footy, it can be a bit difficult to manage your load properly, and since I work during the day, I can’t go and see a physio much out of training, so you have to get to know your body.
But I will do everything I can to make sure I can play every week.
If you know you’re no good, there’s obviously no point playing, but if it’s just something little, you sometimes push through those things.
I’m always trying to make sure I play.
That kind of stuff doesn’t really worry me on match day, though, I’m all focused on just beating my opponent.
Once I cross the line, my mind is just like ‘get that ball’, really.
I think there’s a bit more motivation for me to get out there this year, being a leader of the team.
You want to be out there with the boys that you trained with all summer, and that’s my first thought – the team.
Training four nights a week, I’m flat out trying to watch an AFL match on a Friday night, let alone many other sports.
Probably the only two sports I watch would be AFL and cricket, they’re the only ones allowed in our house, but if you live in Queensland, you have to watch State of Origin.
I’m definitely a Queenslander but sometimes I like to tell people I’m a NSW supporter and get them all worked up.
I did that at work this week and caused a bit of controversy, they were like ‘you dog’ and all this, but it was good to get them geed up.
Most of the guys I look up to do come from AFL, especially Scott Pendlebury and Joel Selwood, as well as some of the younger guys like James Aish and Lewy Taylor.
I used to really like Jonathan Brown – everyone loves Browny – and Brendan Fevola when he was playing, just for his on field talents.
This weekend is an exciting one for Queensland, and if everyone can win their one on ones, then we’ll go alright.