Billy Longer has been working on his strength and fitness over summer
4:24pm Jan 17, 2013
Jamie Charman takes a look at the Club's current crop of ruckmen
11:46am Dec 28, 2012
An incredibly quick ruckman, Billy Longer's height, skill and agility helped him to excel at stoppages as a junior courtesy his supreme tap work. He is strong overhead, and has been shifted forward on occasions with great success. His credentials were such that he was honoured with the Captaincy of Victoria Metro's side in the 2011 U18 Championships.
• Hailing from Macleod JFC in Victoria, Longer was an early developer who dominated the local junior leagues before heading down the elite pathway with the Northern Knight's U18 TAC Cup side.
• Longer was a gun junior basketballer and also took up the martial art of Muay Thai for a number of years to help strengthen his cardiovascular abilities and hand-eye co-ordination.
• He was part of the AIS/AFL Academy group that toured South Africa in 2010, and in the same year was selected in the Victorian Metro side as an underage player.
• Despite suffering a bout of Glandular Fever during the 2011 pre-season, he overcame the illness and played a dominant role in the TAC Cup competition, finishing Runner-Up in the Northern Knight's Best & Fairest award and being named as ruckman in the TAC Cup Team of the Year.
• Longer was also honoured with Captaincy of the 2011 Victorian Metro team, and helped lead Metro to their first U18 National Championships title since 2008.
• Throughout the Championships, he averaged 10.8 disposals, 21.5 hitouts and 5.3 marks per game, and was subsequently named in the U18 All-Australian team.
• A tweaked hamstring meant that Longer was unable to participate in much of the 2011 Draft Combine fitness testing, however he remained one of the most sought after draft prospects in the country.
• Despite being touted as a potential Top 5 selection pre-Draft, Longer slipped to the Brisbane Lions who took no time in reading out the 202cm ruckman's name with their first round select (Pick No.8 overall).
• Longer made an immediate impression in the AFL during the NAB Cup, playing predominantly as a forward/ruckman, and was among the team’s best players in their final practice match against Essendon.
• He was ultimately overlooked by selectors in Round 1, in preference to the more senior ruck combination of Matthew Leuenberger and Ben Hudson.
• He was eventually named to make his senior AFL debut in Round 3 against Fremantle, which ended up being a trial by fire. After losing Leuenberger early in the match with a season-ending Achilles injury, Longer was forced to ruck solely against Dockers giant Aaron Sandilands. It proved a huge learning curve for the 18 year-old, who approached the challenge head-on.
• After another two-week stint with the Lions Reserves, he went on to play four straight games between Round 6-9 – including a 15-disposal and 31-hitout effort against GWS in his first ever win at the Gabba.
• With the Club keen to manage the teenager’s workload, he was sent back to the NEAFL where he ended up spending the remainder of his 2012 campaign.
• He escaped serious damage after a heavy collision in Round 16 against Labrador, but was later diagnosed with a partial tear of his left medial ligament which kept him sidelined for a month.
• He returned in time for the Reserves’ Finals campaign, and was a dominating force in the ruck on NEAFL Grand Final day as the Club claimed its first State League Premiership in 11 years. “The young guys that have come through this year have really bonded well. Winning a Grand Final together has only added to the good morale," he said.
AFL Brisbane Lions: 5 games, 0 goals
Lions Reserves Premiership Player
Lions Pre-Season Premiership Player
TAC Cup Team of the Year
Victoria Metro Representative
Victoria Metro Captain
All Australian U18
AIS/AFL Academy Graduate